Quilt is Teresa Haines' loving tribute to her mother, mothers-in-law

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Teresa Haines, a member of Ellicott City's Faithful Circle Quilting Group, is showing her work this month at the National Quilting Association, in Rockland Arts Center in Ellicott City.

The centerpiece quilt tells the story of love's labor by Ms. Haines and her "three mothers," all deceased. When her mother, Antonia Spinelli, an immigrant from Italy, and her mothers-in-law Laurel Hurtley and Annie Haines passed away, Ms. Haines kept some hand-crocheted doilies they'd given her as remembrances. She thought that some day she'd do something with them.

The day finally came when she found the time to create a quilt with them -- a white-on-white beauty rivaling any found in glossy design magazines.

She designed a patchwork that accommodates the different sizes of the doilies, some just inches wide. The circles created by her mother run along the sides of the quilt and are uniform in size and design.

The quilt, which Ms. Haines started in 1985 and which she calls "Grandmother's Doilies," showcases crocheted doilies of various sizes. The quilt's large spider-web style doily was made by an anonymous craftswoman. Ms. Haines sewed together the little circles to create a large square.

You are invited to visit the gallery during the month of December for an exhibit of this and other quilts created by Teresa Haines. The National Quilting Association is open 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Reduced holiday hours mean that the building is closed from Dec. 24 to 26 and on Dec. 31, and open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Dec. 27 to 30.

Rockland Arts Center is at 8510 High Ridge Road in Ellicott City. Information: (410) 313-ARTS.

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We're in the sixth day of Hanukkah now, and families have been celebrating the holiday over the weekend, taking a break from the routine to enjoy one another's company and exchange gifts.

Nancy Britcher of Ellicott City spent time with the class of her son Jared at West Friendship Elementary last Thursday.

Teacher Sylvia Popkin had asked Jared's mother to interpret Hanukkah for the second-graders. Today, she will repeat the performance for the fourth-grade class of her son Stephen.

We wish you a Hanukkah full of lights and love.

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Centennial High School's class adviser Pat Maisel is proud of her juniors. Last weekend, at the Holiday Mart, the students ran the coat check for shoppers.

The service was complimentary, but a can was discreetly placed to accept tips. Tips for the two days totaled more than $300, which the juniors donated to FISH of Howard County, a charitable hot-line service.

Hey, we're proud of you, too!

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For 10 years, Ellicott Mills Middle School eighth-grader Kristin Leigh Marshall practiced and took music lessons to master the ** violin.

All the work paid off this month, when she was elected to Maryland's All-State School Orchestra.

This year, the competition was particularly tough, as more than 500 students from around the state auditioned for the 140 places.

The Marshall family particularly wants to thank Ronald Mutchnik, Kristin's violin teacher of four years, who has been "instrumental" in helping her achieve in music.

Mr. Mutchnik is a member of the Baltimore Ensemble Orchestra.

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At Dunloggin Middle School in Ellicott City, the eighth-graders are sponsoring a holiday Giving Tree, named after author Shel Silverstein's popular book in which an apple tree gives a boy necessities as he grows up.

This Giving Tree is aimed at helping a group of people much in need of our assistance, the homeless. The students, their families and the greater community are giving some necessities to help mothers and children at a homeless shelter in Baltimore.

Needed items include twin-sized sheets, disposable diapers, baby wipes, hats, mittens, socks and toys such as wooden puzzles for preschoolers.

All gifts need to be in the school by Friday, when everything will be gathered to take to the shelter.

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The date of the first Rockburn Elementary School Winter Concert has been changed from tomorrow to today at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will be repeated tomorrow during the school day at 2 p.m.

Let's place school winter concerts on our calendars to support our budding musicians. The very young musician in your family may be motivated to continue the daily practice if he or she sees a concert given by the "big kids" in middle or high school.

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Centennial High School will give two Winter Concerts. At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the vocal music group will join the jazz TTC ensemble in giving a concert. At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the String Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform.

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Dunloggin Middle School's Music Department will present its Winter Concert at 7 p.m. next Monday, with the orchestra, band, handbells and chorus giving performances.

Popular pieces from "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Pippin" will be included in the repertoire.

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Mount Hebron High School's Winter Band Concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22. Howard High School will present its Madrigal, Choir and Band concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

For choral music, be at Chatham Mall in Ellicott City for the Howard County Children's Chorus Holiday Concert. More than 100 fourth- and fifth-graders will perform seasonal music.

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I had the rare experience of having time to kill on a Tuesday afternoon, so I took a trip to the Howard County Historical Society Library.

I met the library's founder Anita Cushing who, in her retirement, works as assistant librarian.

A tour of the library, truly a complete archive, was the highlight of the visit. The library, squeezed into three small rooms at 8330 Court Ave. in Ellicott City, holds some most unusual items: old marriage licenses; extensive Civil War records, from both North and South; scrapbooks and snapshots from early in the 19th century; letters and maps; and even a complete set of the Columbia Directory.

Much of the material is fragile and can only be touched with great care and cotton-gloved hands.

It is kept under key, because it represents an irreplaceable resource to researchers, academics and genealogists, and librarians retrieve needed items for patrons.

The library has just received a generous donation: the compiled records of Frances Louise Day, a lifelong resident of this county. Library staff members have taken on the large task of organizing the collection into a form usable for researchers.

Ms. Cushing relates some unusual requests received from researchers around the country. For example, a man in California, not realizing that his request would fill several boxes, asked for complete information on the Dorsey family.

In another case, an agronomist researching the history of tomatoes was provided with an early diary entry that documented the tomato's long use in Maryland.

Since time was fast escaping, I flew through the Historical Society Museum to see Florence Bahr's lovely antique doll collection. Mrs. Bahr, an Elkridge resident, has loaned her collection to the museum, where it will be on display until Feb. 15.

The museum and library are at 8328 Court Ave. in historic Ellicott City.

To visit, park your car in the lot near the county courthouse, walk past the courthouse and look for the church spire. The museum is in the church and the library in the historic home next to it.

Museum hours are noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The library is open the same hours, extended until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays to accommodate researchers.

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