A tragic year in Dayton is the inspiration for exhibit that promotes healing

Quilters put ‘love into the quilts’

The organizer of a quilt exhibition hopes the show will help heal the Dayton community after a year of devastating events.

“Dayton Strong, A Quilt Show” showcases 40 quilted banners and prayer flags made by the Creative Quilters Guild. The show is on display through Dec. 2 at the Woodbourne Library in Centerville, 6060 Far Hills Ave.

The quilts are a response to the May Ku Klux Klan rally in Dayton, the Memorial Day tornadoes and the Oregon District shooting.

Cathy Jeffers, a member of the guild who has been creating art quilts since 2005, organized the show and sees the quilts as “symbols of compassion.”

Creating the quilts was “healing for all of us,” Jeffers said. “When you talk about the show in general, it’s a sad subject but we’re talking about humanity and how we need to think about how we’re going to interact with everybody.”

Neighbors helping neighbors inspired Jeffers to create her quilt, “Tornado,” after a friend lost 15 large trees at her Beavercreek home on Memorial Day. The quilt depicts volunteers clearing her friend’s property after the devastation.

“It wasn’t about the damage in her mind,” Jeffers said, “but what she remembered was the people who came and helped her out.”

The quilts are filled with color and symbolism. In “Dayton Strong Carillon” by Marilyn Anderson, the artist has sewn the proclamation, “Dayton Strong” into a depiction of the Deeds Carillon.

“Hearts Path” by Cindy Majusick, is a street scape of the Oregon District with nine hearts representing the deceased shooting victims floating into the sky. A 10th heart, flatter and darker, is sewn at the bottom symbolizing the gunman.

Robed members of the Ku Klux Klan cross Dayton’s Peace Bridge where midway they transform into white doves in flight in “Winds of Change” by Jane Perri.

Jeffers said she hopes visitors recognize the quilters put “love into the quilts” and cared enough to “create the emotion and desire to make people think about the tragedies again in a way that makes it meaningful.”

Members of the Creative Quilter’s Guild will be at the Woodbourne Library Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 6-8 p.m. to talk about the organization and answer questions about the exhibit.

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