By Carolyn Marnon – Her home brims with quilts she has made. Lap quilts, bed quilts, quilted wall hangings, even a wooden chair has been “quilted” with pictures taken from magazines and decoupaged on. “I’ve always done something,” says Wayne resident Henrietta Mack. “Macrame, paper mache, wallets, quilting.” She has some of her wallets for sale at Helium Studio on Wayne Rd.
Henrietta has also been the Chairperson for the General Henry Dearborn Quilting Society’s quilt show for the last 4 years. Henrietta is very excited to talk about The Quilted Tree Quilt Show being held at First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn October 19-20. “45 ladies have made 125-130 quilts that will be on display. All of the quilts are different, and all are beautiful,” she says. The show, held every other year, has each member doing something to participate. Each member gets to show 3 quilts. “We’re a very talented group of ladies,” says Henrietta.
Henrietta started making quilts in 1992 after she took a class in Dearborn. Her granddaughter now has that quilt. She took what she learned from the class and from there she taught herself additional techniques.
When she’s not quilting or making something, Henrietta has been working part-time at St. Joe’s for almost three years as a nurse making follow-up calls to patients the day after they’ve had procedures. She and her husband, who is deceased, bought their house in 1967. They had 4 kids who attended Wayne Memorial High School. Originally from Pennsylvania, she mentions that her mother just recently died at home at the age of 104. Henrietta is not a gardener; she says she has a white thumb. She likes to cook; her father was born in Italy, so she makes lots of food, including homemade ravioli. She also has taken an interest in photography. She says she “dabbles.”
Sitting at her kitchen table in her quilted vest, next to her quilted chair, with plates bearing quilted patterns on them and a sewing machine nearby, she also mentions going on quilting retreats where “it’s so much fun” 24/7 over 3-4 days.
She’s made so many quilts, she gives them away. Her daughter recently told her “Mom, don’t make me anymore.” The day we spoke, she was wearing a purple floral quilted vest she’d made.
The ladies of General Henry Dearborn Quilting Society range in age from about 40-80. Henrietta says she has belonged for 9 or 10 years. The group likes to do charity work and has made over 1000 quilted isolette covers and baby blankets for NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) babies.
The quilting group meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month. They have a business meeting on the 2nd Thursday and then do something fun on the 4th Thursday such as a quilt-in, making handmade ornaments that will be for sale on a lighted tree at the quilt show, or making items for TIP or the NICU. Henrietta is the only member of the Quilting Society that lives in Wayne.
“Publicity is what we need most,” says Henrietta regarding the upcoming quilt show. In the past, the show was held in April and was held at the museum in Dearborn. The museum is not handicap-accesible so the show was changed this year to the church. “I can’t say enough about everybody that has worked on this quilt show.”
Besides the quilts to view, there will also be vendors. Kathy Connor makes patterns for quilt embroidery under the name “Smith Street Designs” that can also be found at Bits ‘n Pieces quilt shop in Wayne. Stained glass, purses and wallets, quilts and books will also be for sale. Admission, good for both days, is $8. Children 10 and under are free. Parking is free and the church is handicap-accessible. First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn is located at 600 N. Brady. The show hours are Friday, October 19, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and on Saturday, October 20, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
There will also be a raffle. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. First prize is a full/queen bed quilt made with origami cranes that each member helped sew. Second prize is a twin bed quilt of maple leaves. Each member helped make the leaves and then one of the members put the entire quilt together. Third prize is a stained glass hanging.