In 1974, Margaret Doornbos, who had never made a quilt, bought quilting supplies at a store going out of business.
For many years, the project rested in drawers, occasionally to be taken out, worked on, then put away.
In the last two to three years, though, Doornbos was determined to get it stitched.
“Every time I would look over there, she was a’ working on that quilt,” said Doornbos’ daughter, Teresa Bachman, El Dorado.
Doornbos faced a self-imposed deadline. She wanted to finish it before she turned 100 years old.
In November 2018, she completed the cross-stitching pattern on the beige-on-white quilt. On Dec. 19, 2018, she celebrated her 100th birthday.
Vera Rausch, Garden Plain, hand quilted the Doornbos quilt, and this week the quilt was taken to the Domestic Arts Building at the Kansas State Fair. Doornbos competed in the “over 70 years of age” category.
A recent hospitalization for pneumonia prevented Doornbos from traveling to Hutchinson with Bachman to deliver the State Fair entries. Doornbos also entered several porcelain pieces - two cutting boards and one tray - in the china painting competition in the Oz Gallery.
She favors painting birds, nature, and fruit, and all pieces bear her signature “MDoornbos 2019.” On the tray highlighted by a row of bluebirds sitting on a branch, Doornbos also painted the name of the person for whom it was painted - her great-granddaughter Cora.
“Her eyesight has remained good,” Bachman said. “Her hands don't shake so she can do this painting,” she said.
Doornbos picked up the hobby of china painting when she and her husband, Robert Doornbos, retired from farming in 1970 and began traveling. They worked at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota in the summers of 1972 and 1973 and spent winters in South Texas, where she started china painting.
Like quilting, painting porcelain is a hobby that demands patience.
“You layer on the colors and fire it each time,” Bachman said. A piece can be fired four times very easily, she said.
Doornbos’ ribbons for china painting include a Best of Show at the Kansas State Fair that she won over a decade ago.
Doornbos and her husband, who died in 1997, reared three children, and she taught school before the children were born. Her last job was at the Coutts Art Museum, El Dorado, where she retired at age 90.
She lives with Bachman and her husband, and travels include a trip in June to Iowa for the American Rosie the Riveter Convention.
Bachman said Thursday that the doctor was optimistic her mother would be out of the hospital in a few days. Before pneumonia, she took only a few medicines, the daughter said.
Bachman said her mother is upbeat and happy and has said, “‘I would hate to get up in the morning and not have something planned do.’”
When the State Fair opened Friday, winning ribbons adorned top entries. A Doornbos’ cutting board took second place in china painting. Her quilt, which can be seen near the south wall in the Domestic Arts Building, claimed the third-place ribbon.