Quilting documentary features Paducah quilter, town events
In the world of quilting, the buck stops in Paducah. The city, known affectionately as “Quilt City”, is home to the national quilt museum, along with an entire subculture of artists and history. So, when it came to making a quilting documentary, it was no wonder a woman from the city was on director Jenalia Moreno’s mind.
“We thought we were going to interview one woman,” Moreno said. “Then we get here, and we realize there’s an entire industry in this town.”
Moreno’s quilting documentary, “Stitched,” premieres at the American Quilter’s Society’s National Quilt Show and Contest in Paducah, as well as Maiden Alley Cinema, throughout the week. The film spotlights three quilters: Randall Cook, Hollis Chatelain and Paducah’s own Caryl Bryer Fallert, the first woman to win Best in Show at the Paducah quilt show with a machine-stitched quilt.
“Each of us is just a little controversial,” Fallert said. “When I first made a quilt with a machine, it stirred up all kinds of controversy. Then you have Hollis [Chatelain], who is painting quilts, and Randall [Cook], who is a man in this world with quilts showing nude men. It’s safe to say we are talked about.”
While traditional quilting uses geometric patterns and themes, art quilters use more modern patterns that are meant to hang on a wall, not a bed. This realization sent Moreno and her partners into a world they were not expecting when they started working on the movie.
“You have this very traditional picture in your mind that you’re going to find grandmothers with very traditional quilts,” Moreno explained. “But when we got into this project, we realized that the industry wasn’t just about tradition. There were young quilters, men quilters. It was an eye-opening discovery.”
The city of Paducah is featured prominently throughout the film. Fallert’s studio, The Bryerpatch Studio on North 5th Street, is the setting for Fallert’s segments in the film. The quilt show is also featured, along with the National Quilt Museum and the town’s quilt mascot, Quilt Man.
“I’m excited for the reaction Paducah will have,” Fallert said. “I hope that even after the quilters leave, the people of Paducah come to see it. It shows our town, the way we see it. It’s really amazing the things they show.”
The richness of the culture and the wealth of quilting material was one of the main reasons the filmmakers visited the town twice. Moreno, a journalist at the Houston Chronicle, and her partners are first-time documentary makers, and coming to Paducah to film and explore was unexpectedly easy.
“Everyone took us seriously,” Moreno explained. “We were nobodies. But everyone here was ready to talk to us and willing to help. The entire city helped us.”
Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652.
First Baptist Church
Show times: Fri. at 6 p.m., Sat. at 4 p.m.
Maiden Alley Cinema
112 Maiden Alley, Paducah
Tickets: $4.75 for children and students,
$5.25 for seniors over 65 and matinees
(Before 5 p.m.), $7.25 for adults
Show times: Tonight at 7 p.m
Fri. 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.,
Sat. at 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and
9 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.