Two current exhibits are knitting together the art and tradition of quilting.

The Grove City Council's Art Concern exhibit "The Quilted Traveler," featuring the work of German Village resident Karen M. Trifonoff, is on display through mid-March in council chambers at City Hall, 4035 Broadway.

The Southwest Franklin County Historical Society is presenting a historical quilt exhibit through March at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum, 3378 Park St.

Both exhibits will be open to visitors from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17.

"The museum isn't usually open on Saturdays, but we're having this special open house to give people a convenient way to visit both exhibits," said Linda Lewis, a past president of the historical society and curator of the museum display.

Lewis has been collecting quilts for more than 25 years and supplied most of the pieces on display at the museum.

Some of the oldest quilts in the exhibition date back to the 1880s with the oldest being from the 1860s. Other quilts were hand-made during the 1920s and 1930s, she said, also noting many came from family members.

"What's interesting to me is that back in those days people made these quilts for practical reasons -- as a way to keep warm," Lewis said.

"They used whatever material they could find, but were able to create quilts that were expressions of their creativity," she said.

The display includes quilts made out of feed sacks.

"The sacks were made with a lot of different colorful and pretty fabrics," Lewis said. "They were easy to use to create some beautiful quilts."

Women also made elaborate "crazy quilts" using fabric scraps featuring a hodge-podge of designs and colors, she said.

Historical information about quilting and some of the pieces on display, provided by Jan Evans, will be included, Lewis said.

Trifonoff, a professor for more than 20 years with the department of geography and geosciences at Bloomsburg University, said she combines her love of quilting and cartography in much of her work.

"I've always had an interest in maps and mapping, so I look for fabrics that include maps in their patterns," she said.

One of the most prominent pieces on display at City Hall incorporates a number of those map fabrics into a single quilt.

Another piece demonstrates the Ohio Amish style of quilting.

"People often think of 'Amish' quilts as all being the same, but an Amish quilt made in Ohio is much different from one made in Pennsylvania," Trifonoff said.

Often her pieces are about places on the map that Trifonoff has actually visited.

"Sedona Study I" is a tribute to the Sedona region of Arizona, she said.

"It's a magical place," she said.

Visitors also can view Trifonoff's quilt titled "My Favorite Things," which depicts some of the books in her bookcase at home.

Quilting is a calming art form, she said.

"It's very relaxing way to express your creative side," Trifonoff said. "I find it very therapeutic."

In its 26th year, the Art Concern presents about six exhibitions each year, curator Ray Kline said.

"It's a way to make art easily accessible to everyone in our community," he said. "We're really fortunate in Grove City to have a program like this, created by city council, that brings art and culture to the community."

The Art Concern exhibit is open to the public 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays or by calling Kline at 614-875-2423 or 614-203-9123 to schedule appointments.

The welcome center and museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays with hours extended to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays.

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