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RSVP show turns 30 as quilts fly in

This year is the 30th anniversary of the RSVP quilt show in Auburn, and for the occasion, there will be a non-traditional show in a non-traditional location.

The location: The Hoosier Air Museum, 2822 DeKalb County Road 62, near the DeKalb County Airport.

The show: "Thread Tails & Vapor Trails," a collection of quilts celebrating 100 years of naval aviation.

There are about 90 quilts in this collection, and Auburn is the only travel destination where they will all be in one place, at one time, said Shirley Johnson, assistant director at Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

The show is being curated by Kelly Galligher-Abbott of Fort Collins, Colo., who will give an opening presentation about the quilt show at a gala slated for July 1 and will then hold two lectures July 2, Johnson said.

"Thread Tails & Vapor Trails" was the idea of the wife of retired Navy Vice Adm. Gerald Hoewing, according to the quilt show's website, Charlie Hoewing, the wife, is a quilter and volunteer at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla., where her husband is president and chief executive officer, the site says. She thought it would be a good idea to have a quilt challenge to celebrate the 100th anniversary of naval aviation, and the challenge was born.

Quilters created naval aviation-themed quilts and submitted them for judging. The results can be found by clicking the "Challenge" tab at

With all quilts submitted and judging completed, the quilts have been split into groups and sent to different exhibits throughout the country this year.

The exhibit in Auburn will run from July 1 to 10. Because this is an RSVP fundraiser, the cost of admission is $5 and food and beverages will be available. There will be other quilts on display, too, Johnson said. But the naval aviation quilts are definitely the stars.

The gala from 6 to 8 p.m. July 1 costs $10 and includes a presentation of the colors, a talk about the collection and its specifics, and refreshments, Johnson said.

On July 2, Galligher-Abbott will give a presentation on longarm quilting and another on the collection.

While RSVP usually includes a class in its quilt show fundraiser, that won't happen because of space. Instead, the organization will host Kent Mick of Roanoke at RSVP's offices July 30 for a class on the mariner's compass, a quilt pattern. The cost is $30, and participants get a list of necessary materials when they register. The class is limited to 12 students, who must bring their own sewing machines.

In addition to the quilt show, RSVP is collecting quilt squares for its block contest and sampler quilt, which will be auctioned next year. The theme for this sampler quilt is "Shades of Black and White."

For the block contest, squares must be 12 1/2 inches by 12 1/2 inches unfinished, and each must incorporate black and white as part of the design. Additionally, the blocks should have adequate seam allowances and be pressed, made of 100 percent cotton or cotton blend, and be pre-shrunk to prevent color bleeding.

Entrants can submit as many squares as they wish by June 30 to the RSVP offices, 107 W. Fifth St., Auburn, IN 46706.

For more information on the quilt block contest or the quilt show, call Johnson at 260-925-0917 or email or

Also available are raffle tickets for this year's sampler quilt, which is done in autumn colors, Johnson said. The raffle tickets are $1 each or six tickets for $5.


Crafty Living will now appear every other Thursday. But the Math4Knitters podcasts will not change. New podcasts will continue to be posted at on Sundays.

Joyce McCartney is not a craft expert. She is, however, interested in crafting of all types. She shares her experiences and those of area crafters. To reach her, call 461-8364 or email Also, visit her blog at There, you will also find the weekly knitting podcast Math4Knitters.