Press-Republican

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May 12, 2014

Quilting with Dorothy

Plattsburgh store a space to share quilting techniques, companionship

PLATTSBURGH — It was a lazy Wednesday afternoon. Warm enough to want to stay outside and bask in the sun and not go inside.

Not so for Fran Rougeau, Rina Eastman and Vivian Melin in the rear of Loose Threads in Plattsburgh. They were whipping needles and thread through fabric, under their own power and with sewing machines.

Each was engrossed in a quilting project. Their gardens would have to wait until another day. They were quilting with Dorothy Colby, who owns the fine fabrics and quilting supplies store with Lora Barshow and Jacquie Barshow.

Rougeau pieced together a crazy quilt with a vegetable motif — tomato, green-tail onion, peas, jalapeño pepper, egg plant and carrot.

“I take six fat quarters, I put them down, I cut them in any type of direction I can and you sew them backwards to the way you cut them,” Rougeau said.

Colby, her sister, got her quilting in 2003.

“She just keeps me occupied every Wednesday,” Rougeau said.

This Wednesday was the first drop-in for Eastman, who lives in Churubusco.

“I’m putting the binding on my bear quilt here that I made in September,” she said. “I took a class here and Dorothy was one of the instructors teaching the class.”

Eastman is making an oversize lap quilt for her living room. 

“Although my son has claimed it,” she said.

The quilt has focal fabric, images of bears, and rails of solids and patterns. Eastman began quilting a dozen years ago.

“I needed to take some refresher classes because I hadn’t quilted in quite a while," she said. "I think it’s very relaxing to quilt. Most challenging is getting my colors together. I think that is the most challenging for me.”

Melin has quilted for more than 30 years. She was stitching a binding onto a charity quilt.

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