Quilt Makers Iris Young And Martha Liska Featured At “A Symphony of Stitches


By Doris Faltys

“A Symphony of Stitches” brings color to a rainy weekend!  150 quilts were displayed by Quiltmakers of Olympia at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church over the weekend. “A Symphony of Stitches” organizer Ellen Rice says that their quilting group has over 100 members.  They meet Thursday mornings and welcome all people with an interest in quilting.               For information call: (360) 456-1525 or (360) 493-1518.


Iris YoungIris Young started quilting at the age of 65.  Now, at 93, she has made over 125 quilts.  Iris was born on a farm in central Nebraska in 1919.  While growing up, Iris lived across the road from her maternal grandmother, Emma Root.  Her grandmother hand quilted many beautiful quilts. Iris’ appreciation of quilting dates from these early experiences watching her grandmother.

Iris married, raised a family, and taught elementary school for 39 years before diving into her quilting passion.  She says that she started by finishing a quilt her grandmother started.  Next she finished a quilt using 30 Dresden plate patterns she purchased at an estate sale.  She was hooked! Learning new techniques brings her pleasure

Lillian Ryan, a member of the quilting group, says, “Our group is fortunate that Iris enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge with other quilters.  Quilting is Iris’ life.  When she sees a quilt that she likes, she wants to make it.  She is excited about finishing one quilt so she can move on to the next one.  To Iris, living is quilting.  When she gives up one, she will probably give up the other one.”

Martha LiskaWhen Martha Liska was 5 years old her mother taught her how to embroider. By age 10, she was making hand sewn doll clothes which she sold to friends.  Over the years, Martha has become accomplished in many needlework arenas:  knitting, sewing, cross stitch, needlepoint, smocking, and quilting.

Martha collects antique/ vintage quilts, embroidery pieces, textiles, old patterns and other ephemera, and buttons. She enjoys replicating, completing, recycling, and repairing antique/vintage quilts and embroidery.  In addition, she creates “new” quilts from antique/vintage fabrics and blocks.

Martha loves quilt history and enjoys sharing her knowledge with the Olympia Quiltmakers group.   Many of Martha’s quilts reflect her interest in historical time periods, especially quilting from the second half of the 19th century and the quilts of the 1930’s Depression Era.   Martha has also made many contemporary quilts and paper-pieced quilts.  She also enjoys hand quilting doll size quilts.  Martha always has numerous projects going and welcomes sharing techniques and patterns with other quilters.

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