Berks in Stitches

We moved to Berks County PA in 2014 from Pittsburgh. Although only a three and a half hour drive, there is a world of difference. Eastern PA developed historically about a hundred years ahead of Western PA.  The Allegheny Mountains were an impediment to developing roads and then railroads in the western part of the state. Tucked into the valleys and winding roads of Berks County are many 200-year-old stone homes and barns. The county is primarily agricultural, but there is a lot of manufacturing too.  The largest city is the county seat, Reading, a city of less than 100,000 people, and notably impoverished. 

A lot of people confuse Berks with Bucks County. Their borders do touch slightly, but they are very different. Bucks is closer to Philadelphia for one thing. 

My husband is a native of Berks County, but it was all new to me. I began to establish myself but even after living here four to five years, there is so much I don’t know. I decided to follow along with the Reading Eagle newspaper as it began a series on the municipalities in Berks County, from A-Z. I would drive to each place, take a look around, and choose an image or two to feature in a little quilt. Whenever I could I would try to include some object from that place. This is the project I call “Berks in Stitches.”

There will be some 72 places when all is completed. Some will have more than one quilt — usually because I was able to find/ purchase additional objects such as old postcards or souvenirs that I could sew into the quilt.

I plan to have an exhibition of the completed quilts in 2021. I’m looking forward to all of the stories that people will bring to the show. I will be able to add a few of my own when this project is completed!

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