Quilts by Martha Boschen
July 1st through August 31st
Quilter Martha Boschen has been making quilts and preserving memories for over 30 years.
In 1985, Martha’s daughter Liz was on a four-week break from her senior year in nursing school
and needed a stress relief project. She and Martha decided to make a quilt; it would provide some much-needed relaxation and be a project they could work on together.
Once finished, Martha was hooked.
Since that initial project, Martha has made hundreds of quilts. She has made them for babies, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and other milestone events. Most of her quilts have been given away as gifts. Her popular T-shirt quilts celebrate the memories and events of people’s lives. She has gifted her four children and seven grandchildren with numerous quilts. But she has also made and given quilts to friends and strangers.
Martha helped create the Scrappy Quilters group when she retired to the Smith Mountain Lake area. That group made quilts for the high school graduates who were members of the Trinity Ecumenical Parish congregation. Those quilts gave the graduates physical representations of memories of their youth and high school days to take with them to college. In addition to making these memory quilts, the Scrappy Quilters made quilts for schoolchildren in Tanzania. Although Martha no longer leads the Scrappy Quilters, she remains supportive of their mission.
Part of that mission is to educate younger generations. All ages have participated in the Scrappy Quilters, and children can hone their sewing skills while helping others. Martha herself has helped pass on sewing to her grandchildren. One grandson made and sold miniature pillows when he was young. Another grandson wanted to write a book on being careful of pins on the floor. Martha believes she’ll be remembered as always having loose threads on her from her projects. Loose pins, needles, and threads are just some of the consequences of an adulthood spent sewing.
Wildfowl Carvings: A MOarts Display Cabinet Exhibit
by Mark Oldham
August 1st – August 31st
Mark Oldham began carving when he was in Boy Scouts. It was around 1960, and he was 13 years old. Ten years later, he was assigned to Edwards Air Force Base. He asked his mother to send him his old carving set, and he got back into wood carving by creating a small toy soldier out of scrap wood. He then moved on to carving a twelve inch high couple out of California redwood.
His first paying job as a woodcarver also featured a person. He made a caricature carving of the Bedford, Pennsylvania, Post Office custodian, who was a character with a long beard. The gentleman liked it so much that he ordered another one and paid fifty dollars for each one.
From there, Mark tried relief carving, which is a type of wood carving that involves carving images into a flat piece of wood in such a way that the images seem to rise out of the wood. He says his best piece was a relief-carved covered bridge on the family farm with a horse-drawn wagon coming off the bridge. It was carved from Honduras mahogany for his first cousin. He did relief carvings for a while, until he became interested in decoy carving.
Mark’s first decoy was for his local Martinsburg, Pennsylvania, Rotary Club auction. He was a member, so he volunteered to make a decoy to auction off. He says that first decoy was not very good, but that being the local Postmaster may have helped with its success in the auction. Whatever the case may be, Mark had caught the bug for decoys.
Mark has studied and worked with Keith Mueller, one of the premier decoy carvers in New England. He has attended classes and workshops to further his craft. He has made numerous carvings over the years. In the mid-2000’s, he received two honorable mentions from the World Wildfowl Carving Contest in Ocean City, Maryland, for his decoys. He is currently working on a hooded merganser drake decoy.