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Carlson ties in her love of quilting and history

Carlson ties in her love of quilting and history Carlson ties in her love of quilting and history

This year, Cornell will play a special part in the Feed My People Empty Bowls Silent Auction, as a one-of-a-kind handmade quilt, crafted by Mary (Flood) Carlson, is up for bid. Carlson has many ties to the area, and continues to be involved with happenings in, and around, Cornell.

Her quilt features a map of the Village of Cornell, circa the 1940s, and will be on display Thursday, March 5, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Florian Gardens in Eau Claire.

Empty Bowls is in the 19th year of the annual fundraiser, where last year, just over 3,000 people attended the event. During the fundraiser, a meal of soup can be purchased, with or without handmade bowls.

“All of our bowls are donated by universities, local students and elementary schools,” said Amanda Parkinson, Feed My People Food Bank development specialist.

The soup, bread and desserts are also donated from local businesses, making almost pure profit for the fundraiser. Feed My People partners with more than 200 hunger relief programs in a 14-county service area, including the food pantries of Cadott, Cornell and Holcombe.

“It’s phenomenal, the amount of support we receive from the community, it’s just wonderful,” said Parkinson. “It’s amazing how each community has a place for people to come who are in need of help. And we’re just able to support them in what they’re do- ing by providing food.”

With the quilt provided by Carlson this year, it marks the third time Carlson has donated a piece to be auctioned off. Last year, the historic Cobban Bridge in Jim Falls, was featured on a quilt that Carlson put together with her sewing group.

“The woman who got it, she was just so excited, because her dad used to drive them over that bridge when they were kids,” said Parkinson. “It just really connected her to the quilt.”

Carlson is a self-taught quilter and her love of quilting and history collided, when she saw a quilted map of Hoboken, N.J., in a magazine.

“As a native of Cornell, and a lover of history and geography, when I discovered this circa 1940 Cornell Village map, I knew it would be the second of a series,” said Carlson in her artist bio. “On the Cornell map, the landmark paper mill, Native American burial ground, railroad with siding, bridge and dam are evident.”

Meanwhile, the confluence of the Fisher and Chippewa rivers is shown at the top of the quilt, and the old archery range is indicated by red dots.

“The beautiful and renowned Brunet Island State Park is to the upper left,” said Carlson. “Churches, village hall, schools and athletic fields are noted in green thread.”

Parksinson says she loves the way Carlson displays her quilts and invites the public to check out all the donated items for a good cause.

“I never would have thought of doing something like that,” said Parkinson of the map quilt. “We’re just so happy that she (Carlson) keeps putting something in every year, because they (quilts) go so well. It’s a huge, wonderful asset to our silent auction. It means a lot that she’s giving up such a nice piece to us to use.”