Local women create OKM keepsake

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — Staff at OK Mozart received a wonderful surprise on May 25, 2017 when Marilyn Johnson stopped in to show them a quilt she had been working on for three to four months.

“I’ve been collecting OK Mozart T-shirts for more than 20 years and didn’t know what to do with them,” she said.

“I didn’t want to throw them away and didn’t want to give them away. I’d heard about T-shirt quilts, so I called my friend who was a quilter, Marge Bice.”

Johnson had never quilted before, but she sews a lot and also cross-stitches.

“I was reaching out to an area I knew nothing about,” said Johnson.

Johnson drew the designs she wanted, and Bice, who has been quilting since 1986, took over the technical end. Johnson wanted them to look like real T-shirts on the quilt, so she drew a pattern, placed it over each T-shirt and cut them out.

Bice said once Johnson came up with the shirt design, the project just “grew and grew.”

They chose a cream-colored background for the squares. The strips between the squares are a flowered material to pick up all the colors of the T-shirts, according to Johnson.

Mary Lynn Mihm, festival chairman, was overwhelmed by the beauty of the quilt. “We are blessed to have amazing patrons in the community,” said Mihm.

Johnson will pass down the quilt to her daughters to share — Lori Ahlert, Jennifer Hanseen and Marianne Egan.

Johnson, of Bartlesville, and her late husband, Marvin, are longtime patrons of the arts. Johnson spent 50 years volunteering with Theater Bartlesville, on stage and as a board member.

Johnson said she likes everything about the Mozart concerts. “We used to have family outings at my daughter’s and always enjoyed the Woolaroc concerts. We made a big party out of it.”

The quilt will be on display during the OK Mozart festival, June 8-16, first in the Bartlesville Public Library till June 7, then in the Community Room of the Bartlesville Community Center from June 8-11, then back to the library display.

Photo: Marge Bice and Marilyn Johnson stand in front of the OK Mozart keepsake quilt they created.