Centennial Quilt Has Pieces From Many Places : Pasadena Patches Together Its Past

Staff Writer

Marilyn Davis didn't know it, but she was stitching a bit of West Germany, Sweden, New York City and Michigan into a centennial quilt that will be presented to the city of Pasadena for its 100th birthday.

Davis was piecing together the official Pasadena Centennial logo that will form the center of the 8-by-8-foot quilt, which is being put together by the San Gabriel Valley Retired Senior Volunteers Program (RSVP). After it is given to the city on May 5, the quilt will hang permanently in an acrylic frame in the council chambers at City Hall.

The logo, which will appear on thousands of official Centennial posters, pins, T-shirts, brochures and calendars, was designed by Antje Goebelsmann, 25, a graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena who has lived throughout Europe and in various parts of the United States.

"I have been influenced by a lot of different cultures that have allowed me be more open to new ideas and new ways of thinking," said Goebelsmann, whose design was chosen by the Centennial Committee from 25 entries in a contest at the school.

Influenced by Travel

"I know that while I was working on this logo my travel influenced me a lot," Goebelsmann said. "I compared Pasadena to other places I've traveled to and got a lot of information just from comparing the differences and similarities between Pasadena and other places."

The logo features a dark green dome on Pasadena City Hall surrounded by dark green palm trees and the San Gabriel Mountains in the background. Oversize magenta confetti floats down from the top of the logo over the front of the scene.

"I decided early in the project that Pasadena needed an identity beyond the Rose," Goebelsmann said. "I used the City Hall because . . . the dome represents the charm and history of the city and the culture of the people who settled there. The palm trees and mountains describe Pasadena's environment and location. The confetti represent the fun and excitement of a community celebrating its 100th anniversary."

Underneath the official logo, the 26 characters in the words "Pasadena Centennial 1886-1986" will be affixed to the quilt and underlined in magenta.

Running the length of each side of the quilt will be the signatures of about 700 people willing to pay $10 for the privilege of having their names embroidered on it.

"We need 700 signatures to reach the proportions we want," said Mary Ann Eachren-Spraic, the former chairman of RSVP who came up with the idea for the fund-raising project.

Volunteers are soliciting signatures by running ads in local newspapers and mailing flyers to Pasadena residents. They hope to have 700 signature pledges by next week so that the logo, lettering and signatures will be ready to be sewn together during a two-month quilting bee to be held twice a week from Feb. 15 until April 12 at Plaza Pasadena, said Mancha Kurilich, executive director of the San Gabriel Valley Volunteer Center, which coordinates volunteer efforts in the area. The center sponsors RSVP.

"We have about 200 signatures now," Kurilich said.

It took Davis three weeks and countless hours to assemble the centerpiece for the quilt.

Veteran Quilter

Davis, who has been making quilts for 14 years, said she shopped all over the San Gabriel Valley to find the right colors and prints for the quilt.

It will require 13.5 yards of material, Davis said, including seven different fabrics, about 5 spools of thread and 64 square feet of batting to puff it up.

Now that work on the logo is completed, Davis and eight embroiderers and nine quilters are concentrating on the signatures and preparing the rest of the quilt.

Since the entire quilt will be made by hand, each signature will have to be painstakingly embroidered.

Eachren-Spraic said the quilt will make a contribution to the Pasadena Centennial and will help raise money for RSVP and the Pasadena Arts Council, a nonprofit organization that acts as a coalition for arts groups.

Eachren-Spraic said RSVP hopes to raise $10,000 from the signatures and sale of cards and posters depicting the quilt.

The Volunteer Center received a $6,700 grant from Pasadena-based Beverly Enterprises Health Care Facilities for the RSVP quilt project.

People interested in having their names embroidered on the quilt can send their signatures and $10 to the Volunteer Center/RSVP-Quilt, 3301 Thorndale Road, Pasadena 91107. More information is available at (818) 792-3281.

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