Quilter helps Extension celebrate its centennial anniversary — Centennial Quilt

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Quilter helps Extension celebrate its centennial anniversary

A former 4-Her who enjoyed completing sewing projects, Charlotte Tucker is a professional quilter whose family also farms about 800 acres in Major County.

“I was excited,” Tucker said of receiving the call to gauge her interest in the project. “I felt honored they chose me and asked if I’d be interested in quilting it.”

As part of a series of events honoring its 100th anniversary, Extension sponsored a quilt block challenge to engage the public in the celebration. Out of 152 well-crafted entries from 48 Oklahoma counties as well as Texas and Missouri, 42 colorful blocks were chosen to create the official quilt.

Tucker, who lives near Fairview, Oklahoma, was selected as the quilter for the commemorative project based on the recommendation of a member of the committee overseeing the quilt block challenge, as well as a fellow quilter who had entered the challenge.

Incredibly, in a day and age rich with technology, Tucker firmly believes when it comes to quilting, she can do what a computerized machine cannot. Instead, she guides her freehand long-arm sewing machine with only a steady hand and sharp eye.

“One thing that’s interesting about [Charlotte’s] work is that this is not computerized. It’s all free-hand, long-arm quilting, so it’s an art form in itself. It’s quilted by hand through her eye and careful measurement,” said Recia Garcia, co-chair of Extension’s centennial committee, who noted Tucker treated each individual block in a manner she thought best highlighted its characteristics to create a truly customized quilt.

A self-described fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants quilter, Tucker said she never has a plan for a quilt until it is in her quilt rack. In the case of Extension’s centennial quilt, Tucker felt it called for the tight, intricate stitching that makes every block shine to its fullest potential.

The finished product is a stunning 118-by-89-inch creation representing well over 30 hours of Tucker’s time, expertise and creativity.

A former 4-H’er who enjoyed completing sewing projects, Tucker took up quilting at 18. Although she has only been a professional quilter for about seven years, and despite relying almost entirely on word of mouth, business is brisk.

Even so, quilting is not Tucker’s primary vocation. The family farms about 800 acres in Major County, including a couple hundred acres of wheat and about 600 acres of grass, along with running a cow-calf operation.

The centennial quilt has been shown at various venues across the state such as the Oklahoma State University Homecoming Sea of Orange Parade.

“I’m just so honored and humbled by the talent and generosity that people have shared with us,” Garcia said. “I want to thank everyone who made this possible, and I hope they feel like the quilt belongs to them.”

Tucker was featured on SUNUP in a segment about Extension’s centennial quilt block challenge on Saturday, Dec. 20.

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Oklahoma State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local Governments Cooperating: The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or status as a veteran, and is an equal opportunity employer.

REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Leilana McKindra
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
140 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-6792
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: leilana.mckindra@okstate.edu

 

 

 

We travel to Major County to join Charlotte Tucker as she puts the finishing touches on the Extension centennial quilt. Recia Garcia talks about the quilt block challenge, and we visit with 94-year-old Marie Davis of Washington County, who won first place in the hand-pieced category.

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