About the Quilter:
Charlene is a lifelong resident of Pike Road and the first employee of the Town of Pike Road. She co-leads the Pike Road Quilters at the Pike Road Art Center with her mother Evielean Howell. She enjoys sharing quilt designs, technique, color patterns and ideas with this group of quilters. Charlene began sewing at an early age as a 4-H Club member. She made many of her clothes in high school and later made clothes for her children and special occasion dresses for her two granddaughters. She made baby quilts for both of her children and became interested in hand quilting over 30 years ago. She eventually became very interested in quilt piecing and construction in the early 1990’s with a First Saturday Quilt Class at Kudzu Quilt Shop. She started five quilts with this group and then began working and that was laid aside. Following her retirement five years ago she became an avid quilter. She enjoys making quilts for benefits such as the Pike Road Summerfest and the Pike Road Veterans Day event; she also enjoys making quilts for family and friends, especially grandchildren.
Patriotic Quilt: Charlene Rabren made this patriotic quilt for her husband, a Green Beret Special Forces Airborne Veteran, in 2018 for his birthday. It is an odd size, but made the perfect size for a coach quilt. It features a patchwork flag design in the center with assorted pieced blocks above and below Old Glory all in patriotic fabrics. The Old Glory pattern was put out by JoAnn’s Fabrics. Charlene used it for her center focal point and then created her own design by adding 10” blocks and patriotic borders. The quilt was machine quilted by Kelly Thompson using a red and blue variegated thread in a running star pattern. Her husband is very proud of his own personal quilt for relaxing on the couch.
Symphony in Blue: Ruby’s Symphony in Blue was a pattern in Better Homes and Gardens, American Patchwork Quilting magazine to commemorate Ruby Short McKim, an artist and internationally recognized quilt and needlework designer in the 1920’s and ‘30s. The quilt is actually a 47 x 47 inch wall hanging featuring a center medallion, reminiscent of a porcelain plate. The center design and corner designs are cut out and appliqued on to the foundation piece then machine embroidered. It is accented with coordinating shades of blue in rectangles, triangles and squares.
This was a joint project by Charlene Rabren and her mother, Evielean Howell. Mrs. Howell began the project by cutting out the center medallion and corner flower designs and appliqueing to fabric and then as with many of our projects, it went into a box for a later day. After moving in with her daughter in 2016, Charlene ran across a box with fabrics and the appliqued pieces and started working on the project. It was a fun piecing project and was completed in 2018. However it has remained in a small quilting frame until the last few weeks when she decided it had to be complete for this show.
Red and Black Jewel Box: This quilt began as a demonstration of a quilt fabric cutting tool called the AccuQuilt Cutter. It has been said that the AccuQuilt it is the best thing since sliced bread. It actually cuts six layers of one design at one time. We use this in our Pike Road Quilting group. The Jewel Box 8” squares are cut and made using 8 squares and 4 triangles, the trick is to lay out colors to form the unique design. This quilt is a double bed size and was made in 2019. Charlene has made a matching pillowcase to store the quilt.
Cozy Blue and Yellow Block of the Month Quilt: Charlene Rabren first started this quilt while attending Kudzu’s “First Saturday Quilt Classes” in 1994. The first Saturday of the month you would go purchase your quilt square kit, receive group instruction and then go home and construct your square. At the end of the year you had twelve 12-inch blocks, and Charlene put hers together with 3” stripping setting the blocks on point. White setting triangles were used to square the quilt and then several borders in coordinating fabrics were added to the other edge. The quilt is made of flannel and is king size.
Love Quilting: This patchwork heart is actually a printed design. It is totally hand quilted and used as a wall hanging. This was before I enjoyed piecing, but loved to hand quilt. A project of several years and completed in 2018.
Shades of Blue: Featuring hand embroidery medallion center basket of flowers finished with a solid blue flange and basket weave quilting. Surrounding center medallion are embroidered squares and triangles. Inserted among embroidered squares and triangles are small triangles in shades of blue forming a star pattern. This is bordered with small triangles followed by a border of hand embroidered flowering vine. A solid 3 1/2” blue border follows. The original design was intended to be a wall hanging and ended here but makers liked it too much to stop here and increased size by adding solid borders, small and large triangle borders creating a large queen size. The final border is a 4” coordinating floral print and bound with the coordinating solid blue.
This quilt was also a joint project by mother daughter team Evielean Howell and Charlene Rabren. The original embroidery work was done a few years ago and the remaining quilt assembly was done in 2019. However the majority of hand quilting was done by Mrs. Howell during the 2020 pandemic.