GRANVILLE — The Putnam County Library's 75th anniversary series will host a quilting program at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Granville Library branch.
Mary Jane Serafini, a well-known, long-arm quilter and quilt expert, will present, "Your Grandmother's Quilts," a PowerPoint talk and demonstration on the value and care of quilts.
Serafini owns A Stitch in Time and is a respected expert of quilts. She will be bringing six to eight quilts, the oldest is from the 1850s. There will be a question and answer session, and audience members may bring their own quilts to ask about.
Originally a nurse, Serafini said she always enjoyed sewing. She and her husband, Dan, raised their five children in the Putnam County area. Dan found a company which had long arm quilting machines and introduced his wife to it. From then on she was enthralled.
"I have been quilting for customers ever since. I have a great customer base now," Mary said. "They come and pick up one quilt, and they bring me two more. I'm always busy; it's a good thing."
Serafini eventually joined the Covered Bridge Quilters group in Princeton and saw a program on quilt appraising. The American Quilters Society has a program where a person can study and go through a process to become certified. This program takes three to five years to complete. There are only 99 people across the United States and Canada who have earned this designation.
"It's been a great experience. I have learned a lot," Serafini said. "I have learned a lot about history in relationship to quilts."
The next step for Serafini is to study to become a National Quilt Association judge. She is in the beginning phase for this certification.
Quilts, whether older or modern day, have a dollar value as well as a sentimental value. There are many factors that go into deciding how to arrive at this determination. An appraiser must determine person hours, cotton or other fiber prices, material prices and if the quilt has been embellished.
Workmanship, difficulty in pattern, the rarity of the pattern and the originality of the pattern add to the ultimate value of a quilt. The current condition of the quilt is also considered.
"When you look at appraisals on a quilt, it is so amazing to me because when you look at a quilt, you are looking at a part of history. Sometimes when we are inspecting the quilt we are seeing things even the owner of the quilt didn't see," said Serafini.
Serafini has found messages and dates on quilts and even once found a ring quilted into the quilt itself. With the older quilts, she noted that it is often hard to tell if more than one person worked on it because they were so very good at what they did.
For more information, contact the library at 815-339-2038.