Quilted items highlight church auction offerings

Mary Lou Burkhart poses
with some of her table runners which will be part of the Calvary United Methodist Church’s upcoming
auction. (Photo: Aaron Carpenter/Sentinel-Tribune)

TONTOGANY – The annual Swiss steak dinner and auction for Calvary United Methodist Church will be held on
Nov. 14 beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Tontogany American Legion Hall.
Among the featured items will be quilted table runners created by Mary Lou Burkhart. She has helped make
quilts at the church for more than 35 years.
Burkhart indicated they have a regular quilting group that meets at the church on Thursday mornings.
Though the group used to be larger, they are now down to three quilters.
She said for several years she had made a "name quilt" for the church. People would pay to have
their name added to a quilt, and then the quilt would be auctioned off. It was always a major fundraiser
for the church; however, she indicated interest in the name quilt had waned and this year she focused on
six different table runners as well as a small table covering.
All the items will be part of the auction.
Last year she made a runner which two women wanted. The small piece sold for $100. So this year there are
more runners.
Burkhart remembers one quilt where she had to add 259 names in indelible ink carefully. That quilt sold
for $2,000.
The six runners feature various holidays and seasons. There is one for spring, another for summer and
autumn; two for Halloween and one for Christmas. Another which is red and green, Burkhart says is
appropriate for both Christmas and Valentine’s Day as it also includes big red hearts.
Much of her work is hand-quilted, but she also does some machine quilting.
"I like machine quilting, there are just so many techniques," the quilter stated.
Burkhart was one of the quilters honored last summer at the church during a worship service for their
She indicated she is an avid watcher of quilt shows as she is always looking to learn something new.
Her items will be among the auction items on Nov. 14. The auction begins at 6:30 p.m.
Other items in the auction include homemade pies, gift baskets, baked goods and mystery gifts. There will
also be a "kid’s table" and much more.
The Swiss steak dinner is served from 4:30 to 6:15 p.m. Adult dinners are $8 with children 10 and under
eating for $4. In addition to the titled meat, the meals include mashed potatoes, roll, salad bar and
Organizers also promise "top notch surprise entertainment."