A century of Sulphur's history wrapped into special city quilt

By By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

SULPHUR — The 100-year history of Sulphur has been woven into one quilt as part of the city’s centennial celebration.

Tonya LeBlanc, with help from friends

Beth Menard and Brenda Goodson, constructed the quilt, which features

more than 30 pictures

from the city’s collection.

‘We started in August, I am a member of

the centennial committee and was assigned to do the quilt,” LeBlanc

said. “I am a

quilter, so I got some quilting friends together to work on it. We

finished in the beginning of December. We spent about 15

hours researching. As far as the sewing and quilting, it took

about 50 hours.”

LeBlanc said she hopes the quilt resurrects memories for viewers.

“I was looking for things that people would remember when they saw it, but maybe had forgotten,” she said.

“There are some pictures of streets

being paved when there were a lot of dirt roads. I wanted to capture the

rich history

of Sulphur, there have been a lot of people who have lived in

Sulphur all their lives, I wanted to make it special for everyone.

Feedback has been positive, that has been reassuring since it was

such a big project.”

LeBlanc was happy to take on the chore.

“I was excited, I wanted to put some pictures on it so you could see things from the past that are no longer there,” she said.

“It was hard, we went through hundreds

of pictures to decide what would go on. I enjoyed remembering some of

the things that

were there, old businesses that are no longer there. Sometimes you

forget about them until you see a picture. We have 35 pictures

on the quilt. 34 of them are of the city, the center block is the

centennial coin.

“All of it was enjoyable. Looking

through the pictures while doing the research was fun. I got the pattern

from a magazine,

it was made for someone’s anniversary. When I saw the pattern, I

knew that is what we should do for the city’s quilt. It gave

me a lot of opportunity to put a lot of pictures on it, but still

displayed attractively.”

LeBlanc got a helping hand from Kennedy Wilfer, a fifth grade student at Frasch Elementary, with washing, drying and ironing

the pictures, which were edited by Kimberly Feidler.

“She was thrilled to be able to be a part of it,” LeBlanc said. “There is a special paper you buy and use an ink jet printer,

you print the picture, dry it for a couple of hours, then rinse each picture out with cold water to get excess ink out of

it, then they are ironed.”

LeBlanc said she enjoyed the project, despite feeling a little stress.

“I felt relieved when we finished, there was a lot of pressure for it to be something we could be proud of as a city,” she

said. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to do it. Beth and I work together and do a lot of sewing together, so when we were

working on it, it was just like visiting with friends, but we had a job to do.”

Menard said she had a good time working on the quilt.

“I just love to sew and quilt, it is

fun to work with someone, especially since Tonya and I work so well

together,” she said.

“It was fun, I was doing one thing and she would be doing

something else. It was a lot of fun and kept it interesting instead

of working by yourself.”

The quilt is going to be raffled at the celebration on Sunday, March 16. Tickets are $10, the package includes the quilt,

a coin, book, t-shirt, local hotel package and a dinner at a local restaurant. The quilt will be on display at the library

until the celebration, then it will be displayed at a rodeo at West Cal Arena on March 13, then at the Henning House until

it is raffled off. Tickets can be purchased from Sulphur students, Harrington Gallery, Simmons Auto Services and Hollier’s


Money raised by the raffle will be used to help pay costs for the centennial celebration. Terry’s Fabric Cottage donated the

stand being used to display the quilt. Tonya’s parents, Bill and Mary, donated costs for construction of the quilt.

Warren Arceneaux writes a weekly column on interesting people in Southwest Louisiana each Monday. Have a story idea about

someone in Southwest Louisiana? Call him weekdays at 494-4087. E-mail him at warceneaux@americanpress.com.