http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgA woman looks at a quilt in the 65th annual Cherokee National Holiday quilt show. The show had 23 categories. Awards were given on Sept. 3 at Sequoyah High School’s old gym in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A woman looks at a quilt in the 65th annual Cherokee National Holiday quilt show. The show had 23 categories. Awards were given on Sept. 3 at Sequoyah High School’s old gym in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Holiday quilt show sees record entries number

“Viewer’s choice” and first place in “Machine Pieced/Hand Quilted” quilt titled “Eureka” by Avis Choate, which was on display Labor Day weekend at Sequoyah High School old gym during the 65 h annual Cherokee National Holiday. COURTESY
“Viewer’s choice” and first place in “Machine Pieced/Hand Quilted” quilt titled “Eureka” by Avis Choate, which was on display Labor Day weekend at Sequoyah High School old gym during the 65 h annual Cherokee National Holiday. COURTESY
09/07/2017 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The 65th annual Cherokee National Holiday’s quilt show welcomed a record-breaking number of 126 entries into the show this Labor Day weekend at Sequoyah High School’s old gym.

“This quilt show was awesome,” Tammy Bigfeather, quilt show coordinator, said. “I believe 100 entries was the previous record, and we bypassed that with a record-breaking 126. We were panicking on Thursday at the time of check-in not knowing if we had enough quilt racks to display everything. But we had a great turn out this year.”

The quilt show consisted of 23 categories with 19 categories being voted on by viewers, which received first, second and third place ribbons. Additional categories included the Chief’s Choice, Chiefs Wife’s Choice, Deputy Chief’s Choice, Deputy Chief’s Wife’s Choice and Vintage Award, which the show’s committee voted on.

Marie Johnson, 86, won the Chief’s Choice for her quilt “Bow Ties,” as well as Deputy Chief’s Choice for one titled “Dahlia.”

“I was surprised when I found out I won with the ‘Dahlia’ because I really didn’t think it was that good. But I am really proud and honored to receive the both awards,” she said.

This year, quilt show staff wanted to add categories to allow participant more opportunities to enter their quilts. One new category offered this year was the T-shirt Quilt category.

Cherokee Nation citizen Patsy Gillaspie, won first place in the T-shirt Quilt category with a quilt she made for her husband titled “Duane’s Quilt.” Gillespie said she was “ecstatic” to learn the quilt received a blue ribbon.

“It took me three years to figure out how I should make this quilt because some of the blocks aren’t as big as others, and I had to figure of how to fill them in and what to use to fill them in,” she said. “All of the T-shirts are from California American Graffiti Car Show’s. And before I brought to the show I made the mistake of having it dry-cleaned and it took some of the color out of the T-shirts. So they’re a little dull compared to the way they used to be. But everyone apparently thought enough of it to vote for it. So I am just thrilled.”

Along with new categories, the quilt show offered quilting demonstrations from how to color on fabric to how to make T-shirt quilts, as well as how to make a bull’s-eye quilt, which showed how to use pieces of left over fabric.

“We appreciate everyone that came out to view the quilts and vote for this year’s winners. They had a very tough job trying to choose from so many beautiful entries. I can’t wait to see what next years show will bring,” Bigfeather said.

Quilt Show Winners
Series 100 – Hand Pieced/Hand Quilted
First place – Joyce Morrow, “Dogwood”
Second place – Marie Johnson, “Maple Leaves”
Third place – Mary Arteberry, “Dresden Plate”

Series 200 – Hand Pieced/Machine Quilted
First place – Cynthia Hayes, “Dresden Plate”
Second place – Carla Henson, “Grandma’s Flower Garden”
Third place – Carla Henson, “Blue Patchwork”

Series 300 – Machine Pieced/Hand Quilted
First place – Avis Choate, “Eureka”
Second place – Tammy Bigfeather, “Arrows”
Third place – Debra Harl, “Fabric Frolic”

Series 400 – Machine Pieced/Machine Quilted
First place – Cynthia Hayes, “Unity”
Second place –Melissa Eagle, “Saddle”
Third place –Pamela Cowart, “Black Diamond Stars”

Series 500 – Mixed Technique
First place – Bonnie S. Richmond, “Vintage Handkerchiefs”
Second place – Cynthia Hayes, Love
Third place – Andrea Sizemore, “Autumn Leaves”

Series 600 – Specialty Technique
First place – Sherry Wallis, “American Diversity”
Series 700 – T-Shirt Quilt
First place – Patsy Gillispie, “Duane’s Quilt”
Second place – Carla Henson, “Jeremy’s Quilt”
Third place – Pat Taylor, “Remember When”

Series 800 – Embroidered 75 Percent
First place – Leslie Aselis, “Little Red Riding Hood”
Second place – Janet Leshko, “Basket of Flowers”

Series 900 – Appliqued 75 Percent
First place – Andrea Sizemore, “Butterflies”
Second place – Andrea Sizemore, “Christmas Basket”
Third place – Carla Henson, “Dutch Girl”

Series 1100 – Baby Quilt
First place – Beth West, “Emmy’s Diamonds”
Second place – Martha Mojica, “Trip Around the World”
Third place – Brandi Brown, “I love Polka Dots”

Series 1200 – Quilts of the Past (6-19 years old)
First place – Carla Henson, “United States”
Second place – Loretta Ross, “Whispered Image”
Third place – James Percifield, “Falling Leaves”

Series 1300 – Youth Quilt (17 years and younger)
First place – Emilee Brandon, “My First Quilt”

Series 1400 – Youth Quilting Project (Under 12 years old)
First place – Brylee Rose Choate, “Rag Doll Quilt”

Series 1600 – Wall Hanging
First place – James Percifield, “Fire Phoenix”
Second place – Janet Leshko, “Tone on Tone”
Third place – Linda Wilson, “Civil War Tribute”

Series 1700 – Purse or Clothing
First place – Pamela Cowart, “Native Design Purse”
Second place – Leslie Aselis, “Bow Tuck purse”
Third place – Leslie Aselis, “OSU Purse”

Series 1800 – Miscellaneous
First place – Leslie Aselis, “Fidget Quilt”
Second place – Carla Henson, “Mom’s Yo-Yo”
Third place – James Percifield, “French Braid”

Chief’s Choice – Marie Johnson, “Bow Ties”
Chief’s Wife’s Choice – Lora Neldon, “Blue/Pink Chip Quilt”
Deputy Chief’s Choice – Marie Johnson, “Dahlia”
Viewer’s Choice – Avis Choate, “Eureka”
Vintage Award – James Percifield, “Star Burst”
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05/22/2018 04:00 PM
AKINS – Visitors to the first “Sequoyah Day” event held May 20 experienced all things Cherokee such as art, music, lectures, performances, demonstrations and National Treasures all on the grounds of the historic Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum where the Cherokee syllabary creator lived. “This is a chance to celebrate Sequoyah’s life and his legacy,” Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Director Travis Owens said. “We’ve had a flute-playing performance, the Cherokee National Youth Choir performed. We had the Girty Family Singers and presenters on our language today.” Others attending the event included Cherokee National Treasures Lorene Drywater and David Scott, as well as Cherokee artists Roy Boney, Jeff Edwards and Mary HorseChief. Tribal Councilors Bryan Warner and E.O. Junior Smith, and 2017-18 Miss Cherokee Madison Whitekiller also attended. Another highlight was the Traditional Native Games competition. CN citizen and games coordinator Bayly Wright said “Sequoyah Day” was a great place to hold Cherokee marbles, cornstalk shoot, horseshoes, blowgun, a hatchet throw and chunky competitions. “Today is the second of the five competitions leading up to the championships, which will be held on Aug. 25, the weekend before the Cherokee National Holiday,” she said. For more information on cultural events, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or call 1-877-779-6977.
05/18/2018 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Every year on May 7 the Descendants of the Cherokee Seminaries Students Organization hold its annual reunion at Northeastern State University where it awards two NSU students with scholarships. This year’s recipients were Cherokee Nation citizens Bryley Hoodenpyle and Marilyn Tschida. Both students received a $1,000 scholarship based on their GPAs, activities and interviews. Hoodenpyle said her fourth great-grandmother’s aunt and two cousins attended the Cherokee Male and Female seminaries, which she discovered through online research and NSU’s archives. She said after college she plans to attend NSU’s optometry school. “It means a lot to me to receive this scholarship just because this university has given so much to me and has helped me grow personally,” Hoodenpyle said. “NSU has developed me as a student and as a leader so its really awesome to me that my family played a part in that story however many years ago.” Tschida is an education graduate student and plans to graduate in December. She said she found her grandmother’s name in the Cherokee Female Seminary roll book in NSU’s archives and decided to apply for the scholarship. “I am really proud to accept it, I think she would be very proud for me to have gotten something on her behalf,” Tschida said. On May 7, 1889, the Cherokee Female Seminary reopened north of Tahlequah after a fire destroyed it two years earlier. So, no matter what day May 7 falls on, the descendants of students who attended the Cherokee Male and Female seminaries gather to honor their ancestors and their time at the schools. DCSSO President Rick Ward said the reunion is the oldest tradition on NSU’s campus, accruing annually for 167 years with the exception of one year during World War II. “It started out as a picnic, but it wasn’t the descendants getting together it was the actual students of the seminaries coming together, bringing food and visiting out in front of the sycamore tree,” he said. After noticing the number seminary students fading away, Jack Brown established the DCSSO in 1975. Brown served as the executive vice president of the Cherokee Seminaries Students Alumni Association for years. He wanted to get the descendants of the alumni involved in the activities of the association as well as keep the tradition alive. In 1984 the name officially changed to the Descendants of Cherokee Seminaries Students Organization. The state bought the Female Seminary in 1909, which now serves as Seminary Hall and the centerpiece of NSU. DCSSO Secretary Ginny Wilson said she wants to keep the reunion tradition alive for her grandmother, who was a student at the Female Seminary. “I do this for my grandmother. We used to bring her up here to this reunion. It was always the one thing in her life she wanted to do,” Wilson said. Wilson said the DCSSO follows the same format as their ancestors did during their reunions, which consists of the organization’s meeting, lunch, a speaker, the Cherokee choir and Miss Cherokee. “We follow that format as close as we can to just do the same thing. It’s gotten a whole lot smaller, but that’s what we do as descendants in memory of those people,” she said. Since the DCSSO established a scholarship for students who are descendants in the early 2000s, its goal is to continue to provide that scholarship. “Our biggest plan is to increase our scholarship amount. That’s the most important, but also to keep the (May 7) tradition going at Northeastern. Otherwise it will die,” Wilson said.
05/16/2018 12:00 PM
SALLISAW – Enjoy a day of traditional Cherokee art, music and more, honoring legendary statesman and inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, Sequoyah. The event will be held in conjunction with Cherokee Nation’s Traditional Native Games. Sequoyah Day begins at 10 a.m. on May 19 at Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum. “We are proud to bring to life an event like Sequoyah Day. It’s a unique daylong celebration of Cherokee history and culture at the home of the man who pioneered the Cherokee syllabary,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “Now that Cherokee Nation owns and operates the Sequoyah Cabin Park, we can organize these types of family-driven events that are both educational and fun for all.” The event runs until 4 p.m. and features live performances, activities for children and cultural demonstrations such as pottery, flint-knapping, bow-making, stone carving and graphics. The event includes multiple performances from the Cherokee National Youth Choir and a special language presentation at 1:30 p.m. Sequoyah built the cabin in 1829 and welcomes more than 12,000 visitors each year. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and a National Literary Landmark in 2006. The homestead includes a one-room cabin and nearly 200 acres. Prior to reopening under CN management in 2017, Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum received much-needed repairs and renovations. The museum now features large displays that share the story of Sequoyah, his development of the Cherokee syllabary and the Cherokee language today. The museum also features a retail space offering Cherokee Nation apparel, gifts and souvenirs. The museum is located at Highway 101, 7 miles east of Highway 59. For more information, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.
05/09/2018 12:00 PM
PARK HILL – Explore the messages of John Ross in his correspondences with fellow tribesmen and political allies throughout his 38 years as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. “The Letters of John Ross” is the tribe’s first digital exhibit and allows guests to view documents that are usually off view and housed in collections at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. Featured writings address topics such as delegation nominations, potential resolutions, rumors of assassination plots and the possible removal of Cherokee people to Mexico. “This is the first exhibit of its kind for Cherokee Nation, and we are eager to see how the public responds,” Travis Owens, Cherokee Nation Businesses cultural tourism director, said. “The digital format enables guests to focus on their specific interests in an interactive and engaging way.” The exhibit runs May 4 through Jan. 31 at the John Ross Museum, which highlights Ross’ life and legacy and houses exhibits and interactive displays on the Trail of Tears, Civil War, Cherokee Golden Age and tribe’s passion for education. The museum is housed in an old, rural school building known as School #51 and sits at the foot of Ross Cemetery, where Ross and other notable CN citizens are buried. The museum is located at 22366 S. 530 Road. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information, call -1877-779-6977 or visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.
05/09/2018 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Speakers Bureau will be held Thursday May 10, 2018 from 12:30 – 4 p.m. We will meet in the Community Ballroom that is located behind the Restaurant of the Cherokee. All Cherokee speakers are invited to attend. If you want to bring a side dish or a dessert, feel free to bring it. Come speak Cherokee and enjoy food and fellowship. For further information about the event, please contact: the Language Program at 918-453-5151. Tsalagi aniwonisgi unadatlugv dodvnatlosi Nvgineiga Anisgvti 10, 2018, ganvsulvi 12:30pm adalenisgi 4 p.m. igohida. Na Anitsalagi tsunalisdayetiyi tsigotlv unaditli wayvsdi onadilvyvi utani kanvsula dodvnatlosi. Naniv Anitsalagi aniwonisgi otsitayohiha uniluhisdii. Alisdayvdi ayohisdi yodulia. Dodayotsadatlisani ale dodayotsalisdayvna hilutsvi. Ugodesdi tsadulihesdi tsadelayohisdi hiina wigehiyadvdi: Tsalagi Gawonihisdi Unadotlvsv 918- 453-5151.
05/08/2018 08:00 AM
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – The Museum of Native American History will host storytelling and a beadwork class on May 12. The museum is located at 202 S.W. “O” St. Admission is free, and the events are open to all. From 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., MONAH staff will share traditional Yup'ik (Alaska) and Cherokee stories about how berries came to be just in time for berry season. “Our stories for the day include ‘Berry Magic,’ written and illustrated by Teri Sloat and Betty Huffmon, and ‘The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story,’ retold by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Anna Vojtech. Stick around after the stories to make a self-portrait using nature and try akutaq, a traditional Yup'ik dish made with berries,” MONAH Director Charlotte Buchanan-Yale said. Storytime is geared toward ages 4 and up, but kids of all ages and their adults are welcome. A Creative Visions artist will host and teach a “Beadwork for Beginners” class beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the museum. Join Cherokee beadwork and jewelry artist Carolyn Chumwalooky for an in-depth introduction to the intricate art of beading. This hands-on workshop will lead participants through the process of creating a beaded keychain to take home. Registration is free and required. Supplies and refreshments will be provided. For more information, call the museum at 479-273-2456 or visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.