There aren't many places you can find an assortment of materials sewn together to create art.
During January, the Columbia County Library is one of those places.
Quilts of all shapes, sizes and colors can be found in the main lobby. The Georgia Quilt Council Inc. is sponsoring the second challenge quilt tour called Crazy Quilts for Modern Times: the Tradition Continues.
Julie Monroe, of Gainesville, Ga., said that she has been quilting for 25 years and wanted to make a quilt her granddaughters could enjoy. Her silk-embroidered quilt, Crazy About Flowers, was awarded first place in a viewer's choice category.
Monroe said she chose her design for the aesthetics.
"I don't always go for the most daring or new or unconventional," Monroe said. "I just did something that I thought would be pretty."
The quilts have been on display since Jan. 1.
"We've had lots of favorable comments on how beautiful the quilts are," wrote Columbia County's library director Christina Rice in an e-mail.
The exhibit shows a variety of quilts. Crazy for Elvis and Mardi Gras Crazy Quilt are just two of the many titles.
There are 29 quilters from around Georgia participating in the challenge. The size of each quilt is between 20 and 30 inches, and features "traditional, elaborate handwork, as well as modern machine stitching," Rice wrote.
"The single thing I wanted to do is to get it (each quilt) well traveled around the state," said the tour's coordinator, Robin Meyers. "I think the small pieces are a wonderful way to get quilting in front of the public without having to have enough space to hang a bed quilt."
Meyers, who has sewn for more than 10 years, was in charge of finding a local venue and organizing the tour's schedule. Her quilt, Rick Rat Riot , is also on the tour.
"The most rewarding thing for me has been the excitement from the quilters whose quilts are traveling," Meyers said. "They are just so pleased that something they have made is being exhibited."
The main missions for the tour are to promote quilting, increase awareness and expand membership, but Meyers said the long-term goal is to establish a quilt museum.
This is the first year the Columbia County Library has participated in the tour, Rice wrote.
The exhibit is free and available for viewing during the library's business hours.
The tour lasts about two years and will end in early 2009.
"It's wonderful to get together with your friends and sew," Meyers said, "but it's also wonderful to take your own project in the direction that you want to go."
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