Featured Artists at 2024 Show


Guild Member Cindy Leen

My first experience with quilting was an Around the World pattern that my sister sent to me in
1991, out of the blue. I bought a used sewing machine, and made the wall hanging, with puffy
polyester batting. That was my first, and only quilt with a 100% polyester batting, although now I use a

In 1992 I met my husband-to-be, and in early 1993 we moved into our new home in East
Berlin, PA. I was now a stepmother to two young boys and a girl, who stayed with us every
other weekend. The boys shared a room, and I immediately decided to make quilts for them. I
bought two fabric panels that were covered in dinosaurs, put on borders and a flannel backing,
and quilted them myself. Looking back, this surprises me more now than it did then. At that
point I didn’t know anything about long arm machines, or realize that other people would
actually, quilt your quilts for you! I assumed if you were making a quilt, you would do it all, from
start to finish. How things have changed since then! Anyway, I quilted one with a diagonal grid
and one with a horizontal grid, so the boys could tell them apart. Thirty years later they still
have those quilts. Not long after that my stepdaughter got her (very purple) quilt, which she also
still has.

I was pretty much hooked after that. I joined the York Quilters’ Guild, took classes starting with
simple quilt patterns to the more advanced, to learning different techniques, and eventually to
machine quilting. I continue to try to improve my quilting, knowing that there is a lot of trial and
error involved in first choosing and then implementing a design plan. Plans don’t always work,
for various reasons, so I feel it’s important to keep trying different designs, and to keep
practicing them. It is very gratifying to finish a quilt, knowing that the quilting design I chose
was just right.

Cindy Leen

A York Quilters Guild member willing to share her journey with all of us.

Although I dabbled in sewing during my childhood, my quilting journey began much later in the 1980s as a new mom when the only television station we could get on our antenna TV in rural Maryland was PBS.   I watched the early pioneer TV quilters Eleanor Burns, Alex Anderson and Georgia Bonesteel which piqued my interest and I started taking quilting classes at the local community center.   My quilting career was sidetracked by the popular decorative painting craze and I spent several years painting, but especially loved painting on fabric.  So why not combine the two and make painted quilts?  So, I have been creating and learning how to make my portrait quilts for the past 10 years.  I am moved by photographs that have a story, particularly of the hardships faced by families during the Great Depression.  I learn something new with each quilt and how to improve my technique.  The first award was at the York Quilt Guild Show when my “The Fiddler” quilt won Viewer’s Choice.   The most surprising award was the Best of Show in 2022 at the York Quilt Guild Show and the West Virginia Quilt Festival for my “WV Gothic: Grandma and Grandpa Hatfield”.  I also enjoy making commissioned portrait quilts which are represented in the show with my sister-in-law’s grandchildren, Rowan and Landyn.  I have evolved into a small business called Appalachian Thread Works Quilt Company to make commissioned quilts and quilted items on request.
I am fascinated by all genres of quilting and have great respect for the creativity and inspiration behind these quilts and quilt makers.  Each stitch is a journey, each quilt a destination.    A quote I read sums it up nicely, “Every stitch we make tells a story of creativity and passion.”  (Author unknown).

Sue Royer