Woman has been quilting for around 80 years

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

UPPER TOWNSHIP — The hand-stitched sampler on the wall humorously reads “Blessed are the quilters, for they shall be called piecemakers.”

If that’s the case, Goldie Bowman, of Township Road 208, is a piecemaker extraordinaire. She began quilting when she was “8 or 10 years old,” she guesses.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a little girl.

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My mother used to quilt, and I learned from her,” she recalled. “I needed something to do.”

But quilting became more than “something to do,” it became a passion, an art form, an expression of who she is. Goldie Bowman is now 88 years old and she still quilts. A large quilting frame sits in her living room, by the window where she can see birds and bunny rabbits gather on her lawn as she works.

“People piece them and bring them to me and I quilt them,” she said. “I did a huge one for a lady and she came and got it yesterday. It had six spools of thread in it. I had never done one that large. It was big and quilted close.”

Even with all that stitching, Bowman can churn out a quilt in a week or so. She has all sorts of patterns, as evidenced by the handwork that dots her home.

Just as the treasure of working with one’s hands was passed down to her from her mother, Goldie Bowman has handed it down to her daughter, Marilyn Rudolph, who lives nearby. Rudolph makes satin flower pillows and crochets afghans and hot pot pads. With mom, she also makes quilted coasters.

“She can do just about anything,” Bowman says of her daughter. “She’s just a jack of all trades.”

Bowman and Rudolph occasionally show their work at area festivals and fairs. They were involved in the quilting and handiwork demonstrations at the Festival of the Hills last year. They got invited back this year, too.

Bowman has crocheted a few afghans and loves roses but admits she’s not as much of a gardener as she is a quilter. And that’s okay. Quilting, she said, is what she does best.

“I’ve always liked it,” she said. “It gives me something to do.”