4-Her finishes last of 100 squares on Centennial Quilt at the Fair

Posted 28 July 2021 at 3:47 pm

Project started in 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of Cornell Cooperative Extension

Provided photos: Makenzie McGrath is shown with the centennial quilt in the Trolley Building at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Press Release, Kristina Gabalski, Orleans County 4-H Program Coordinator 

KNOWLESVILLE – The Covid pandemic resulted in many setbacks and delays, including the completion of the Centennial Quilt begun by Orleans County 4-H back in 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Volunteer Robyn Watts explains that the 4-H Family and Consumer Science Program Development Committee decided a quilt would be a wonderful keepsake from the centennial year and invited CCE Orleans staff, volunteers, 4-Hers, 4-H Clubs, Board members, Master Gardeners and alumni to decorate squares which would be included in the quilt.

Makenzie McGrath created this quilt square.

Robyn’s granddaughter, 13-year old Makenzie McGrath of Medina, began stitching the quilt together in the Trolley Building at the 2017 4-H Fair.

“Makenzie was looking for a way to help out at fair and she started working on the quilt,” Watts said.

But the quilt needed 100 squares to be complete and it took a couple additional years to gather enough decorated squares to fill out the quilt. The plan was to finish the process of tying-off the quilt at the 2020 4-H Fair, but last year’s fair was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Makenzie is completing the tying-off process at this year’s fair and the quilt will then be ready to hang on display in the Trolley Building.

Under her grandmother’s guidance, Makenzie persevered to complete the quilt.

“I learned to sew from my grandma,” she said.

Makenzie is a regular participant in the 4-H Fashion Revue each spring. Her textile projects have been selected for NYS Fair many times and received special recognition there.

Makenzie designed one of the quilt squares. Her square features a butterfly perched on a flower with the words, “Fly with 4-H” and her initials. She said it would be difficult to pick out a favorite square, but, “I like the one with the photograph, I am not sure how they did that.”

Two members of one 4-H family submitted a square with their photograph printed on the fabric.

Both Makenzie and her grandmother are thrilled with how the quilt has turned out and are excited to see it on permanent display.  “It’s going to be beautiful,” they said.

This centennial quilt square was decorated in recognition of the 1ooth anniversary of the Cornell Cooperative Extension.