Doris Bloomer has created quilts for friends and family for more than 25 years.
But participating in a two-year quilting challenge put her mostly private hobby on national display.
"This is like way out there," said the Winfield resident.
Six of her quilts are included with those created by 18 other quilt artists in the book A Quilt Block Challenge: Vintage Revisited, by Mary Kerr, a quilter, appraiser, teacher and lecturer.
The 117 quilts created by 19 quilters in the challenge had to creatively reuse blocks from abandoned quilt projects into a 24-by-24-inch quilt. The quilts are now part of a traveling exhibit, Kerr said.
"A lot of (quilt) pieces in history have not been completed for one reason or another," said Kerr, who worked for many years with vintage textiles. "Each woman was able to participate and create a quilt using the same block while using her own voice and in her own style," Kerr said.
A native of Germany, Bloomer came to the U.S. with her Army husband, Harry, in 1983. That's when she discovered quilting by looking at magazines such as Country Living .
"I just loved the quilts," said Bloomer, who moved to Winfield with her husband five years ago. "I just thought they were just beautiful. What also intrigued me was the fact that these women were able to do these wonderful pieces of art out of pretty much nothing, when you think about it. Some of the quilting was just unbelievable."
Bloomer said she met Kerr about 15 years ago, when both of their husbands were stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga. She now meets weekly with a group of Appling quilters, who often sew for area children or charities.
A traditionalist, Bloomer said she mostly prefers to quilt by hand, which allows her to add intricate detail with thread as she sews the pieces together.
The challenge quilts she created were the first she's put together without a pattern.
"This opened up a whole new avenue for me, because I had to take something and make something out of it," Bloomer said. "That was pretty neat. It stretched me incredibly. I really enjoyed it very much."
All of the quilts created are featured in the 301 photos of the book in addition to tips for quilting groups to create their own quilt block challenge.
Giving her quilted creations to friends and family is Bloomer's usual practice. So to see what other quilters created and to have them all displayed and published is amazing, she said.
"We had a great time doing it," Bloomer said. "And everybody's quilt looks different. ... It was really astounding."
To view the beginning blocks and completed quilts, to order a book, or to view the exhibition schedule, visit www.marywkerr.com.
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