St. Peter the Apostle's church picnic offers more than a beer garden, pull-tabs, and a cake wheel. This is one of only a few Louisville picnics that offer a chance to win an original piece of art--a handmade quilt. St. Peter the Apostle Church, located at 7718 Columbine Drive in Louisville's Southend, is home to the St. Polycarp quilters. The group of twelve women have been quilting and making crafts for the parish (formerly known as St. Polycarp Church) for over twenty-five years. They have provided quilts and crafts for the church picnic raffles, assisted the school children with numerous quilts or other sewing projects, and even provided the vestments for the parish priests. The group was formed by a few parish members with a common interest and has grown into tight-knit sisterhood.
"We've been together for twenty-five years and we've become so close. We've all gone through a lot of happy times and a lot of sad times and we've always been there for each other. When we started we were just mere acquaintances, if that, and we were all beginners. We've learned from each other," said JoAn Barnes, one of the founding members of the group.
These are talented women that give of their time to create beautiful quilts that are treasured by those lucky enough to win them. The quilters, both individually and as a group, have entered several quilts into the Kentucky State Fair and more times than not, come home with a ribbon. Lozetta Fehler, the oldest of the quilters at 95 years old, won her first blue ribbon for her quilt she entered in last year's Kentucky State Fair. Barnes has entered over twenty Kentucky State Fairs and has won numerous ribbons and awards, including Best of Show for her Twelve Days of Christmas and Bella's Tulip Garden quilts in 1998 and 2001, respectively. Quilter Rosalee Chamberlain is also an accomplished seamstress and has won blue ribbons in the Kentucky State Fair for clothing and other textiles.
The large quilt being raffled this year just missed the Kentucky State Fair's size requirements and was not entered. The smaller quilts are typically created after the State Fair and are raffled off before they could be entered. The quilters have logged over 225 hours of time piecing, sewing, and quilting the quilts that will be raffled this year.
The large quilt pattern is titled, "Diamond in the Rough." Barnes described the design of the quilt as, "It's a star pattern and it's done in shades of black, rose, and green. We saw it at Forget Me Not Quilt Shop in Mid-City Mall and fell in love with the design and decided that it would be something we'd like to do."
A raffle will be held for the large quilt and the winner announced around 11:30 Saturday night. 100-number laydowns will be held throughout the evening for the six smaller quilts. Chances are $1.00 each.
The picnic also offers carnival rides, the usual church picnic prize booths, a casino tent, beer garden, a chance to win an American Girl doll and wardrobe, and three Capital Prizes of $500, $1,000, and $4,000.
The picnic is being held at the St. Polycarp grounds at 7718 Columbine Drive from 6:00 PM - midnight on Friday and 4:00 PM - midnight on Saturday. Fried fish (a Catholic Church staple) will be offered for sale until 9:00 PM Friday and chicken dinners with all the trimmings will be sold Saturday from 4:00 - 8:00 PM.
Photo: Jessie Oswald