Gatlinburg Garden Club member’s quilts help cabin preservation effort

Mar. 16, 2014 @ 11:42 PM

Judy Schmidt spends about nine months working on each of her quilts.

“It’s like having a baby,” said the Gatlinburg Garden Club member, laughing. “You work a long time on those things.”

Two of Schmidt’s recent creations honor Lucinda Oakley Ogle, who was a charter member of the garden club. After Ogle died in 2003, at age 94, the club worked to preserve her historic cabin off Ski Mountain Road.

The cabin was carefully dismantled in 2011, and if enough money can be raised, it will be reassembled on Wiley Oakley Road, near the Gatlinburg Welcome Center on the Spur.

One of the quilts depicts the cabin “as it stood,” Schmidt said. Around the cabin are quilted images of local flowers, like mountain laurel and white trillium.

“The back of the quilt carries a full list of the original founders of the garden club,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt created the quilt “as a tribute to Lucinda,” she said. “She was a neat lady. She was unique, and we appreciate her in the garden club.”

The commemorative quilt is to be displayed at a forthcoming welcome center, according to Bea Terry, co-chairwoman of the garden club’s Lucinda Cabin Project committee.

Schmidt’s other Lucinda Ogle-related quilt is to be featured in A Mountain Quiltfest, which will take place March 19-22 at Pigeon Forge’s LeConte Center. The quilt is called “Straight Furrows.”

“It has a log cabin design, after Lucinda’s log cabin,” Schmidt said. “It is a scrap quilt. Back in the early days, a lot of women made quilts from scraps of this and that, and put it all together.”

Terry encourages Quiltfest visitors to vote for Schmidt’s quilt in the Viewer’s Choice contest. If the quilt wins, the prize money will go to the cabin restoration fund.

About $100,000 is needed to restore the Ogle cabin, Terry said, and about $27,000 has been raised.

Among the Gatlinburg Garden Club’s fundraising efforts is the Smokey Mountain Amateur Cook-Off, scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25, at the Brookside Resort in Gatlinburg.

“It’s a very simple cook-off, with two categories,” Terry said. One is cakes, and the other is soup and stews. “We felt that doing a cook-off for a one-pot-on-the-stove kind of dish would be representative of old-fashioned cooking.”

Other upcoming fund-raising events include a garden tour, a luncheon and a wine tasting.

“It is most befitting that the cabin in which Lucinda spent her last days be preserved for future generations,” Terry said. “She was a very influential person as far as representing the mountain people.”

For more details on the cabin and on fundraising events, contact Terry at 865-277-7075, or Lucinda Cabin Project committee co-chairwoman Diana Hale at 937-475-7572.

kburns@themountainpress.com