While there are many fine quilt designers in Lancaster, C Jean Horst's quilt creations stand out from all the others. Her ability to select fabrics is phenomenal. Her original appliqué designs are stunning.
Jean tells how her mother taught her, at the age of five, to use her sewing machine to make doll clothes. She has been sewing ever since.
Yet it was on a family vacation 33 years later that she first discovered the creative and colorful world of quilts. In spite of living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the quilt capitol of the world, she purchased her first pattern while on vacation in Tennessee.
Home from vacation, she went straight to the fabric store. One week later she had pieced what she thought was the most beautiful quilt in the world-- the Modernistic Star-- in red, white, and blue. Knowing nothing about quilting, she called her neighbor who saw to the quilting. Before she knew what happened, she sold it.
Weeks later, with great enthusiasm and she says little thought, she placed a small ad in a local weekly newspaper, asking for experienced help to piece quilt tops. Amish and Mennonite women from local towns began calling. She had a true education as she met with them in their homes and learned about their favorite quilt patterns, as well as ways to process grape juice, make butter, use a treadle sewing machine, grow pansies from saved seeds, and dry apples for snitz. A whole new world opened to her-- right in her own backyard.
Her hobby has now become a meaningful business. She works with many ambitious women, who piece, appliqué, mark, quilt, and bind quilts and wall hangings, creating heirlooms for tomorrow and functional art for today. Recently, she has had the privilege of designing and managing some very special projects. Of special note she designed the Governor's Star - an original quilt for Governor Tom Ridge, and a millennium quilt "It's About Time" for an American Cancer Society raffle (which raised over $30,000!).