Block Number: 158


On Friday, March 28, 2014, Cheryl and Jean Perusse became hosts to “Starbright”, Block #158 on the McDowell Quilt Trail. The block was positioned on their home, mounted on the diamond by volunteers Mike Lucas and Jack Raker. Cheryl is a retired Registered Nurse and her husband is a handy-man and self-employed monument draftsman, working out of their home.

Cheryl began quilting around nine years ago and considers it a relaxing hobby. She is a member of the “Quilted Hugs” group that meets monthly and quilts together, focusing on providing the children at the Gingerbread House a comforting youth-related pattern coverlet. She also creates new baby quilts as gifts for friends and relatives, has made quilts for the Veteran’s Home, under-privileged children and families that have lost their homes due to a fire. In addition to her quilting talent, Cheryl sews receiving blankets and belongs to a local knitting group.

Last year one of her beautiful quilts entered in the Quilt Guild competition entitled “Celebration” was awarded a ribbon. She has also created one framed “stained glass” quilt wall hanging, a technique that captures a stained glass look using bright dark and light puzzle-like pieces of fabric look like a true stained glass artwork. Currently she is working on a “mystery quilt”, an exciting project in not knowing what the outcome will be. Guidelines are provided the quilter as to type and how much material is needed. Instructions for piecing the units together are sent over an interval period of time (example: month-to-month) and presented in such a way that the design is hidden until almost the very end.

“Starburst” is a 3 foot by 3 foot block with a variety of bright solid colors, the diamond and square shapes bursting from the center eight-pointed star radiating to the outer tips of a sixteen-pointed star, reminding one of looking into a kaleidoscope. It is believed that the first star quilts emerged in eastern United States in the early 19th century however, it was the Native American culture that gave significance to the basic star pattern having adorned animal hides, tepees and moccasins long before the arrival of the English. The Plains Indians believed the star showed reverence for all celestial bodies, the Lakota Sioux thought it represented a link between the plane of the living and that of the dead and other tribes shared the belief that the Great Spirit asked the stars to watch over the people on earth, naming it ‘God’s Eye’. “Starburst may be seen on the side of the Perusse home, which has a magnificent view of Shortoff Mountain and Linville Gorge, at 356 Oaks Park Road, Nebo, N.C.

In addition to the exterior Block “Starburst”, Cheryl and Jean purchased a smaller interior block they have named “Carolina Lily”. The 20 inch by 20 inch block will be displayed in their bedroom the colors complimenting and accenting those of her award winning quilt “Celebration”. Chairwoman Jill Lucas presented Cheryl and Jean with the Quilt Trail Certificate of Authenticity, accompanied by their rescue dog, a young and lively boxer-hound mix named Allie.

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