GENESEO — Shelly Schmatz loves to quilt and it shows.
“Quilting is fun and it is also very relaxing,” said Schmatz.
Less than a year ago, she turned her passion into a full-time profession and opened Mikala’s Quilting. Her shop is at 4550 Millennium Drive, Suite 6, in Geneseo and sells quilting supplies and much more.
“Twice a month, people come in and bring their own projects and we sit and sew. I have made it socially distant so we are all 6 feet apart and following all of the guidelines,” said Schmatz.
She is also, for the first time, taking part in something called “Quilters Trek.”
It is an event in which quilters go from shop to shop and collect blocks that each of the shops have, said Schmatz.
After people collect the blocks, they can put them together. Quilters can then go back to participating shops and collect prizes. Quilters Trek runs through Sept. 8.
“Each store had to come up with its own block and I decided to make it pieces of history from Geneseo,” said Schmatz.
All the materials are provided in the kits and when people put them together, the quilts will display a pattern of history unique to Geneseo.
“I did the wall, the Big Tree, the airport (National Warplane Museum) and the hunt races,” said Schmatz.
For her, celebrating in a quilt all that Geneseo and Livingston County have to offer was important.
“My husband and I have gone to the airshow every year and we have been here 14 years. A lot of people do not know that the airport is here, that is why I wanted to make it part of the quilt and people would find out,” said Schmatz.
For her, the quilt blocks are not just pieces of fabric, but stories that she is hoping people will remember for generations to come.
“One of the people that I sold it (to), her daughter graduated from SUNY Geneseo and she is going to make a quilt for them, for a memory for them. That is why I called it a piece of history because it will be something that you will remember,” said Schmatz.
In addition to looking at them, Schmatz is hoping people will put them to good use.
“It makes me sad when I see quilts that I have given to people hanging on the walls. It is sad because they are nice to look at, but for me, I like them to be used,” said Schmatz.
It is not just something women are doing, but an activity that more men are also enjoying.
“My 7-year-old son has picked up quilting and he has made two quilts so far. Last year, he even won the Presidents Choice blue ribbon in the county fair,” said Schmatz.