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Quilt to help mark 100th year of Amagansett library

Amagansett Library director Cynthia Young, left, and

Amagansett Library director Cynthia Young, left, and children's librarian Evan Harris look over the panels for a quilt being made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Amagansett Free Public Library in Amagansett, Jan. 27, 2016. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

The Amagansett Free Library needs a few stitch-savvy volunteers to help sew the decorative pieces of a quilt being fashioned to commemorate the library’s 100th anniversary.

Local library patrons of all ages began designing the felt patches last April as part of a project to create a centennial quilt to represent the history and character of the resort hamlet, where celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Scarlett Johansson, Kathleen Turner and Jerry Seinfeld have lived or owned second homes.

The patches will be sewn onto a top layer of fabric.

A “Community Quilt Stitch” will be held Feb. 7 and 14, at 1:30 p.m. both days, at the library at 215 Main St. When completed the quilt, which will measure about 110 inches by 65 inches, is to hang permanently in the library’s community room.

Plans are for as much of the quilt to be done as possible in time for the library’s Feb. 27 anniversary celebration.

“It is so colorful and so sparkly and so spirited,” children’s librarian Evan Harris said of the look of the quilt. “We hope it will be all done by the [time of the anniversary] celebration, but we’re going for quality over rushing.”

Harris said that nearly 90 people, including Amagansett residents and visiting authors, created their own designs on the rectangular patches during quilt program sessions at the library, or took them home to make them.

“There was a very wide range of people involved,” Harris said. “I believe the youngest quilter was 3 years old and was sewing for the very first time.”

Harris, who conceived the idea for the quilt, said she thought of it as an appropriate representation of the intimate, cozy character of the Amagansett library.

“I feel that there’s a history to quilting that we all tap into,” Harris said. “The coziness of a quilt; this library is cozy and inviting.”

Harris said the themes on the patches vary, and that the felt pieces were purchased new. Everything used to decorate them, such as buttons, ribbons, lace, sequins and string, was donated or recycled.

Library director Cynthia Young designed a needlepoint piece for the quilt of a woman in a field of flowers reading a book.

“The quilt is a wonderful way to show our diversity as a community and bring us together in such a joyful way,” Young said.

One of the patch designers is Bess Rattray, an Amagansett native who writes for Vogue magazine and now lives in East Hampton. She said she and her daughter, Nettie, 8, and son, Teddy, 6, and their two young cousins got a chance to have their work permanently on display by fabricating designs for the quilt.

“It was just a really great activity for the kids,” Rattray said. “It’s a hands-on crafty kind of thing, but it wasn’t a throwaway craft.”

Volunteers interested in helping with the quilt project can call 631-267-3810.

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