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Elaborate Quilt Celebrates State's Sesquicentennial

May 16, 1999|IRENE GARCIA

Linda Emord and her 11-year-old son, Justin, stared in awe at the colorful sesquicentennial quilt Saturday at the Airtel Plaza Hotel.

Hundreds of people worked more than 2,000 hours to create the quilt, which represents all 58 counties in California and celebrates 150 years of statehood.

The scenic quilt, with incredibly detailed stitching, features the state seal and flag, Chumash Indians, gold miners and Mexican dancers.

Images of water, boats, the Golden Gate Bridge, several kinds of trees and old missions were also decorated the quilt.

"The workmanship is impeccable and the quilt is absolutely magnificent," said Emord, who lives in Canoga Park. "It really depicts every part of the state of California."

The quilt, which is about 10 feet by 6 feet, is touring the state until it is officially admitted to the Golden State Museum of the California State Archives in Sacramento on Sept. 9, 2000.

Award-winning quilters Zena Thorpe and Ellen Heck were in charge of designing the piece and putting it together once all the parts were completed by quilters throughout the state.

"The California Sesquicentennial Commission said make it big and beautiful, so we did," said Thorpe, a native of England and longtime Chatsworth resident. "It was a very big challenge, but we so wanted to do it because it's the history of California."

The quilt can be viewed today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Balboa Room of the Airtel Plaza Hotel. It's free to see the sesquicentennial quilt, but admission to the show, which features more than 120 quilts and quilt-related items for sale, is $5.

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