Innsbrook quilter adds to state's bicentennial celebration


Marsha Tischler, of Innsbrook, recently created the Warren County winning submission of a 6 x 6-inch quilt square designed for the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt. All 114 Missouri counties will be represented on the quilt. Tischler chose the Innsbrook restored log cabin as the subject of her “picture pieced” quilt square. The premiere showing of the quilt will take place at the Governor’s Mansion Thursday, March 26. Pictured here, Tischler is standing by a unique quilting machine she uses for some of her designs. Cindy Gladden photo.
By: 
Cindy Gladden
Staff Writer

New hobbies often emerge for the newly retired. After teaching mathematics, robotics, and gifted students for many years, Martha Tischler, of Innsbrook, had some time on her hands.  

She tried several new challenges, including volunteering at a children’s camp, taking classes in painting and even working retail during a Christmas season. Tischler found she was still looking for that special something to occupy her mind and time. 

“I didn’t find my niche until I decided to pursue quilting,” she said. “I had no idea what terms like nine-patch, flying geese or rotary cutter meant. I found myself ordering lots of books, viewing many online tutorials, and taking classes at sewing centers — and enjoying all of them immensely.” 

Tischler recently found that her quilt block submission to the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt contest has won first place for Warren County. The completed quilt will be showcased at the Missouri Governor’s Mansion Thursday, March 26. First Lady Teresa Parson will also use the quilt blocks to design Christmas ornaments for the 2020 Christmas tree. 

The contest was sponsored by the State Historical Society of Missouri, the Missouri Star Quilt Company and the Missouri State Quilters Guild. Each block submitted by Missouri quilters was judged by meeting contest criteria, its creativity and significance. 

Tischler, a resident of Innsbrook and a member of the Innsbrook Historical Society, had no trouble choosing her design for the quilt block. For 10 years, she was one of the volunteers who helped transform and restore the 1840 Innsbrook log cabin. 

“It’s the most historic thing we have at Innsbrook,” she said. “It was the obvious choice.” 

Each submission was a 6-by-6 inch square quilt block. All 114 county submissions were joined together to make the Missouri Bicentennial quilt. 

Tischler began the project by taking more than 40 photos of the log cabin. She used more than 90 individual pieces of fabric and joined them to create a fabric painting of the cabin, a process called “picture piecing.” 

“I can do this,” Tischler remembers thinking as she began the project. 

Tischler found that quilting has given her “a way to express creativity, express problem-solving skills and practice critical thinking,” which fits right into her mathematical brain. 

It has also given her a way to meet new friends who also share the love of quilting. 

“It’s an opportunity for me to practice organization, challenge myself and provide usable, functional end results,” she said. 

Tischler will be present when the quilt is unveiled and intends to increase her knowledge in the art of quilt making.

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