Long after the bands’ music has faded into memory and the lights of the carnival have dimmed, one contribution to this year’s 100th celebration of All Schools Day will live on.
LaQuita Geis of McPherson created three quilt tops to commemorate All Schools Day 2013.
Geis, 53, who works for Swindoll Janzen Hawk & Loyd, has seen many All Schools Days. She has lived in McPherson since she was 2, and she graduated from McPherson High School 1977.
The quilt includes screen-printed depictions of all the All Schools Day buttons since 1987 when buttons were first issued, the 100th celebration logo and a logo for Toby’s Amuseuments. Toby’s Amuseuments has been coming to McPherson for 55 years.
Geis said her favorite was a button from 1999 that depicts a young child holding a blanket. The theme that year was “Masterpiece in the Making.”
Hundreds of pieces of fabric went into the making of the quilt. Geis chose a lucky star pattern for the quilt’s design. Star points radiate out from each button block. The rectangle pieces that border the blocks are in every color of the rainbow — red, blue, yellow and green. Some pieces depict brightly colored squiggles or shapes, others depict school-house themes like scissors or colorful numbers.
“I chose bright colors because that is what I think of when I think of All Schools Day,” Geis said.
Geis, with the help of her sister, Lisa Nelson, worked on the quilt from September through December.
The quilting was done by Karen O’Reilly of McPherson.
“It took an amazing amount of work,” Geis said.
One of the quilts is currently on display in the lobby of the McPherson Opera House. The other is on display at Stitches. Stitches will be moving the quilt to the bed in the store’s front window later in the week, so parade-goers can get a better view of the quilt. All of the fabric for the quilt came from Stitches.
When All Schools Day concludes, one of the quilts will be donated to McPherson Museum, and the other will be donated to Toby’s Amusements. The committee has yet to determine what will be done with the third quilt top.
The original art work for all the All Schools Day buttons, along with the names of the artists who created them, can be viewed at the McPherson Opera House.