• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 19s

Quilters feature Anchorage’s history in fabric

By Heather Hintze 7:29 PM July 25, 2014

For Katy Neher, there’s just something about looking at black and white pictures.

“The Kimball building,” said Katy Neher. “Every time I see it — I live downtown now — and when I go by it’s neat to see something that’s been in the same spot my whole life.”

Anchorage’s 100-year history is strewn out in quilts on the floor of the Central Lutheran Church.

In honor of the upcoming Centennial Celebration, the Anchorage Log Cabin Quilters decided they wanted to feature the past in fabric.

Neher is a lifelong Alaskan; her parents homesteaded in Knik. The photos spark memories and stories of the strength and determination it took to live in Alaska before it was even a state.

“My mom snowshoed out in January and had me and six days later snowshoed back in to a dry cabin without any electricity or water,” said Neher, later adding she was carried on her mother’s back in a sugar sack.

The ten banners depict a little piece of each decade from the humble tent city in 1915 to the downtown towers of today.

“It’s mind-boggling when you look at all the decades and see how much it’s changed,” Neher said.

On Thursday the ladies worked on the back of the quilts, sewing on special centennial-emblazoned fabric. They all have to be ready for the Great Alaska Quilt Show at ConocoPhillips on Sept. 13 and 14.

Neher hopes the project will help others reminisce about the old days.

“I like the ‘55-’64 quilt because I was here for the earthquake,” Neher recalled. “I remember that very well. Fortunately we didn’t have any damage. We were on the east side of town. The house I spent some time in as a toddler went down in the inlet.”

The banner from 1925 to 1934 seems to be the quilters’ favorite. It features three pictures: The storefront of the Empress Theatre, three women riding a car in a parade and the railroad.

“We originally wanted to have the skyline of Anchorage for each decade but we ran into problems because we couldn’t find pictures that would go together to make the skyline,” said Marilyn Merino.

For her, the project is a chance to channel her passion for sewing and show it off to the city.

“Quilting gives you so much more freedom of expression than making clothes. So it’s the culmination of all of that. That people are really going to look at that and tell a story,” she smiled.

Smaller quilts accompany the banners. Each is a snapshot in time of what the quilters thought was important about the past.

“You’re kind of leaving legacy you wouldn’t get an opportunity to do otherwise,” Neher said.

It’s a small stitch in the fabric of history the quilters hope will last a lifetime.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Heavy snow closes several highways in Fairbanks area

    by Associated Press on Nov 25, 17:01

    Heavy snow is creating difficult driving conditions in the Fairbanks area, with winter conditions closing several highways Wednesday. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the Richardson Highway was closed for about a 75-mile stretch, from Delta Junction south to Paxson, for about seven hours. Department of Transportation officials cited whiteout conditions, heavy and drifting snow and […]

  • Lifestyle

    Thanksgiving in space: What astronauts eat on Turkey Day

    by Sarah Lewin / Space.com on Nov 25, 16:20

        Astronauts gave thanks and previewed their “traditional” space meal in a video greeting from the International Space Station just in time for Thanksgiving. NASA astronauts Scott Kelly, who is nearing the end of his one-year mission, and Kjell Lindgren took a moment to celebrate the season in a video preview of their Thanksgiving […]

  • News

    Bethel school interior photos highlight damage from fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 25, 15:56

    School officials ventured inside Bethel’s burned Kilbuck building Tuesday, and captured several images highlighting the damage wrought by a recent fire. A group of Lower Kuskokwim School District officials discovered some Yupik education materials could be saved, said Superintendent Daniel Walker. While damaged by smoke, the school’s library was largely intact, as were books and […]

  • News

    100 Stone: Rescuing the symbols of mental health issues

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 25, 15:38

    A project highlighting mental illness was nearly destroyed on an Alaska beach Tuesday evening following high winds and waves. Eighty-five statues made of concrete, burlap, plaster and straw were installed at Point Woronzof on Saturday. Known as 100 Stone, the project portrayed the struggle many face while living with mental health issues. Each statue was […]

  • DayBreak

    Workforce Wednesday: Aviation careers

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 25, 12:37

    From pilots and dispatchers to air traffic controllers, the Alaska labor department projects the need for more than 4,000 workers in the aviation sector over the next few years. Cari-Ann Ketterling with the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium (APICC) and Ravn Alaska’s Chief Pilot, Aaron Rocereta, joined Daybreak Wednesday to talk aviation careers. “The aviation field […]

  • News

    Alaska, British Columbia leaders sign cooperative agreement

    by Associated Press on Nov 25, 12:10

    The latest on the signing of a cooperative agreement by Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark (all times local): 2:50 p.m. British Columbia’s minister of energy and mines is hailing as significant the signing of a cooperative agreement between his province and the state of Alaska. The agreement isn’t legally binding. […]

  • DayBreak

    Medical Myths: The real and imagined risks with vaccines

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 25, 11:08

    Physicians and health officials have been battling misconceptions about vaccines over the past several years. Many parents are now choosing not to get their children vaccinated — a move, doctors say, that prompted the recent measles outbreak at Disneyland over the summer. Wednesday, Dr. Michael Reeves, a family physician at Medical Park Family Care, joined […]

  • Sports

    Making Waves: Pepperdine’s Ogwumike leads the climb back

    by Dave Goldman on Nov 25, 10:55

    Erica Ogwumike is blazing her own path in Malibu. The freshman guard is leading the rebuild of the Pepperdine University’s women’s basketball program. “I’m just trying to play these four years, play basketball, and get a great degree at Pepperdine University, so that’s all I can — the future is far,” she said. There’s another […]