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home : news : news February 6, 2016

5/1/2014 3:00:00 PM
Helen Hounshell: quilt maker
Helen is contributing a beautiful queen size quilt appropriately named ‘Thumbleberry Village’.
Helen is contributing a beautiful queen size quilt appropriately named ‘Thumbleberry Village’.
Bill is contributing a 66-inch custom-made sideboard of solid walnut, featuring three drawers, two open shelves, two hidden end compartments for bottles or drinking glasses, and fittings of antique brass. The top has an attractive bookmatched grain pattern which you will want to see for yourself.
Bill is contributing a 66-inch custom-made sideboard of solid walnut, featuring three drawers, two open shelves, two hidden end compartments for bottles or drinking glasses, and fittings of antique brass. The top has an attractive bookmatched grain pattern which you will want to see for yourself.
Bill Burt: woodworking
Bill Burt was born in Rush County, grew up in Shelby County, and eventually moved to Switzerland County to take the position of lead engineer at Belterra.

That was two years ago. His adventures in woodworking began long before.

He still displays two items he made during high school shop class in the 1960s, but he says his real interest in woodworking started in the 1980s. He and his wife Carla were shopping for a waterbed frame when he thought to himself, "I could do that."

And so he did.

He started out by buying a small table saw and then a friend who was moving sold him a radial arm saw and some routers. In time, he filled a succession of basement and garage shops.

Bill's workshop now fills a two-and-a-half car garage on the West side of Vevay, with additional wood storage in the basement of the adjoining home.

Despite cramped quarters, he moves things around to create work space for larger projects. His biggest challenge, he says with a smile, is finding time to build furniture after working 12-hour shifts at the boat.

Bill likes to make furniture from solid wood, especially red or white oak and cherry. His favorite piece was commissioned after he made a casket for his mother. The funeral director liked his handiwork so much that he asked Bill to make a custom 21-rifle gun cabinet. The same client already has expressed interest in having Bill make another one.

Another interesting project came from a mother who wanted a crib for her baby. The mother was disabled and very petite, so she needed a crib with unusually short legs. Bill made one to her specifications.

You can view color photographs of Bill's creations on his Facebook page, BrotherBill's Woodworking. There you will find cradles, cabinets, chests, a tambour-top desk, flag cases, kitchen cabinets, and much more.

Bill's dream project is to build a canoe.

*

For the 2014 'Flair for Wine', Bill is donating a 66-inch custom-made sideboard of solid walnut, featuring three drawers, two open shelves, two hidden end compartments for bottles or drinking glasses, and fittings of antique brass. The top has an attractive bookmatched grain pattern which you will want to see for yourself.

- Dick Yanikoski


"Our lives are like quilts, bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love."

Helen Hounshell's shop Cardinal Quilts & Fabrics is filled with more of a variety of beautiful fabrics than are seen in many large chain stores.

Helen grew up in Bennington and recalled her mom making their clothes out of feed bags which was more common than not. As a child Helen was in 4-H program and began sewing at age nine.

Little would she have known at that age that after raising a family and having a career outside the home, that time spent in 4-H would eventually lead to owning her own quilt and fabric shop in Vevay.

While her two long arm quilting machines work perfectly and precisely and keep a quiet rhythm stitching the hundreds of artful pieces together, she looks off the landing and smiles as she thinks about all the clothes she made for her seven children - including the prom dresses for six daughters.

You can see a proud woman as she speaks of her children and her life.

"I always have loved taking care of people", Helen says as she looks around at all her fabrics as her pet canary sings from his nearby perch.

In 1998, after raising her children, Helen because a registered nurse. She always loved her work and preferred to work in nursing homes. At some point during her career Helen was diagnosed with cancer and the day she was released from treatment asked her doctor how soon she could go back to work.

It is no surprise that she returned the next day. She believes that she had a keener sense of what the patients she cared for were going through after her diagnosis and recovery.

Although she stayed busy most of her adult life, she never got away from her sewing. She bought her first quilt blocks in 1965 and took them to Helen Demaree to get them quilted which led to her career of quilting in the 1970s.

Since retiring from nursing, Helen has dedicated her life to quilting.

She does many commissioned pieces and fondly spoke of a gentleman who had lived all over the world and wanted a specialty oriental king size quilt. In her self assured manner she said it was not a problem and made it.

With her beautiful fabrics and over 20,000 patterns (and still adding about 175 a month to her collection), there is no doubt that practically any design and color could be stitched in no time.

As I was leaving her shop two ladies from Kentucky were just walking in to look around. Later that afternoon I ran into them and one of the two said she was going home to measure her bed because the pink quilt was one of the prettiest she had seen.

When I stopped and asked Helen for an interview, she said, "Well I have to be on the road by 3:30 p.m. because I'm heading to Springfield, Tennessee."

I assumed she was just taking a little time off. After we spoke I learned that she was heading there to buy fabric for a commissioned California King quilt, dust ruffle and pillow cases.

It's no surprise that she gets requests from Canada, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and many other states for her quilts.

*

Vevay Main Street had its choice of her beautiful quilts for the 'Flair for Wine' event, and it took three ladies to decide on a beautiful queen size quilt appropriately named 'Thumbleberry Village'.

The many vibrant colors including gold, red, purple, blues and greens would accentuate any décor. The pattern certainly describes the scene with houses, evergreen trees, flowers and stars and the dimensions shown in the quilt by using different fabrics welcome you into the village.

- Teresa Bovard Lyons





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