• 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
ANCHORAGE –

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

    Following fire, Eagle River residents get home safety tips

    by Eric Ruble on May 28, 18:49

    The recent fire near Eagle River has reminded some Alaskans of the need to be fire ready, or “FireWise.” The Anchorage Fire Department’s FireWise program is helping Alaskans keep their properties safe this summer, when fire conditions are considered dangerous. Watching the plumes of smoke billow from his Eagle River balcony Friday afternoon, Rick Roberts […]

  • Sports

    High school runner brings spotlight to Alaska transgender policy

    by Jake Edmonds on May 28, 13:05

    Haines runner Nattaphon Wangyot qualified for the girls 1-2-3A 100-meter and 200-meter finals Friday afternoon at the high school state track and field meet, but unlike her competitors, she was born with male anatomy. Transgender equality has become a hot topic of discussion around the country, and Alaska is no exception. The Alaska Schools Activities […]

  • News

    Pasco frozen food company lays off 61 in wake of recall

    by Associated Press on May 28, 12:32

    A Pasco frozen food company has laid off 61 more workers amid an ongoing shutdown in connection to listeria contamination in some of its products. The Tri-City Herald reports that CRF Frozen Foods announced the additional layoffs Friday, raising the total number of workers laid off to more than 300. CRF Frozen Foods has recalled […]

  • Lifestyle

    Earliest snowmelt on record in Barrow

    by Emily Russell / KNOM on May 28, 12:21

    Snow in the northernmost town in the nation is melting earlier than ever before on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Observatory in Barrow reported a snowmelt staring on May 13. That’s 10 days earlier than the previous record set in 2002. NOAA has been recording snowmelt from its Barrow Observatory for over 70 years. The […]

  • News

    Health experts: Move Rio Olympics due to Zika outbreak

    by Associated Press on May 28, 10:25

    Health experts on Friday urged the World Health Organization to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Olympics should be postponed or moved because of the Zika outbreak. The 150 experts — including former White House science adviser Dr. Philip Rubin — issued an open letter to the U.N. health agency, calling for the games to be delayed or […]

  • News

    Crews work to mop up Hiland Fire near Eagle River

    by KTVA 11 News on May 27, 22:18

      Last updated at 3:11 p.m. on Saturday, May 28 EAGLE RIVER — A large number of emergency responders spent Friday evening battling a small wildfire near Hiland Road in Eagle River. By Saturday afternoon, the fire was 100-percent contained and crews were conducting mop-up operations, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry (DOF). In […]

  • News

    From WWII to Vietnam: Wasilla veteran remembers 28 years of service

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 27, 21:36

    There may not be many people who can claim they fought in World War II, became a German prisoner of war then stayed in the military to complete two tours of duty in Vietnam, but Wasilla resident Walter Ferguson is one of them. Walt and his wife Lila are both 91 years old. They met […]

  • Lifestyle

    Anchorage store goes above and beyond to support deaf employees

    by Shannon Ballard on May 27, 20:30

    Inside the South Anchorage Petco there are plenty of sounds to grab your attention, but 22-year-old Joseph Martin works in silence. “I can’t hear and it’s hard they don’t understand. I can’t talk,” Joseph Martin said using sign language. When KTVA spoke to Joseph Martin on Friday, his mom Jane did her best to interpret. […]