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State's Sesquicentennial Quilt to Be Displayed

May 12, 1999|ART MARROQUIN

A 10-by-10-foot quilt celebrating California's 150 years of statehood will be on display Saturday during an annual quilting convention.

The quilt, representing all 58 counties, was designed by more than 300 people from throughout the state. After touring through California, the sesquicentennial tribute will be permanently displayed in Sacramento.

The quilt will be in town for the annual convention of the Valley Quilt Makers Guild and the San Fernando Valley Quilt Assn. It will be on display starting at 11 a.m. at the Airtel Plaza Hotel, 7277 Valjean Ave., Van Nuys.

Zena Thorpe, 59, of Chatsworth, an award-winning quilter, helped develop the large quilt. It took 15 months for Thorpe and Ellen Heck of Somis to complete the work, with most of it assembled in the Valley.

Thorpe, a native of Sheffield, England, moved to the Valley more than 30 years ago and has become a respected quilter nationwide, said Jack McGrath, spokesman for the Valley Quilt Makers Guild.

"I thought it was a marvelous challenge, and I was very eager to do the job," Thorpe said.

The quilt makers ran into some roadblocks along the way. They wanted to include Mickey Mouse as part of California's history, but after a squabble with Disney officials, the mouse was pulled. It was replaced by a rose, symbolizing the Rose Parade.

"I thought it was sad that Disney didn't want to participate in the state's celebration," Thorpe said. "It's not like we're going to sell the quilt. It belongs to the people of this state."

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