In April, Kathy Sorensen of Washington Island passed away. Kathy offered more than ten classes at Sievers, mostly as Sievers in Winter classes and two team-taught with Judith Yamamoto during our summer season. Many students through the years may have shared a class with Kathy, bought some of her exquisitely dyed silk ribbons and fabrics or experienced her enthusiasm for color, art, fibers and the Island while watching her demonstrate and share her love of silk painting, dyeing, embroidery or watercolors.
As you can see, her interests and talents were varied. In the former Door Voice newspaper, an article written about Kathy quotes her saying, “Gazing out of the window is not a waste of time… I see at least seven shades of yellow in a single bloom.” Kathy maintained a successful home business for many years under the name Island Fibers and was an exclusive dyer of silk ribbon (about 25,000 meters monthly) for Quilter’s Resource, now Brewer Quilting and Sewing Supplies.
Kathy’s family is generously and graciously donating her memorials to either the W.I. Foundation (for this year’s $100,000 Matching Challenge Fund for the benefit of the Rec Center) or to the W.I. Community Health Program.
Jeanne Pfister (looking onto a student’s work during a studio visit) passed away in early May. Jeanne taught classes in appliqué, quilt embellishment and free-motion quilting at Sievers from 2007-2011 when health concerns precipitated her retirement from teaching. She had also taken a number of classes here in quilting and dyeing. Jeanne was a long time member of the Darting Needles Quilting Guild in Wisconsin and was a special education teacher turned master quilter, whose work was recognized at regional and national quilt shows. She was quoted in an article, “you can go anyplace and if you meet a quilter, you are an immediate friend.” Jeanne’s work was often filled with bright, contemporary colors, exquisite details and embellishment.
Jean Lohmar, quilting teacher and student of Doreen Speckmann at Sievers, passed away in late May. Her primary interest was in heirloom machine quilting. Jean offered classes at Sievers from 2002 – 2005, often team-teaching with friend Marla Yeager. Besides machine quilting, one of the classes Jean taught was titled “Sievers: Sampler Quilt”.
Jean’s quilts won many awards at national shows and are seen in Harriet Hargrave’s Heirloom Machine Quilting (2nd, 3rd and 4th editions). She also worked and taught at the Galesburg (IL) Sewing Center for 20 years.
With these three ladies, our reading from Anonymous Was A Woman, paraphrasing Aunt Jane of Kentucky seems appropriate. “…But when you see one o’ these quilts, they’ll think about me, and, wherever I am then, I’ll know I ain’t forgotten.”
For pathways just starting, two of our former Sievers employees have new beginnings in their lives. Sarah (Aagesen) Koehler and husband Matt welcomed a 8lb 9oz baby boy into their family on June 18.
On June 6, Lydia Foss was married here on Washington Island to Pete Nikolai. Their beautiful and happy day shows through in this wedding photo taken at Schoolhouse Beach.