Saturday’s Peasant Market to feature hooked rug raffle

MIDDLEBURY — Ever since the 1830s, members of the Middlebury community have welcomed high summer by visiting the Peasant Market, a festive occasion on the town green next to St. Stephen’s Church. Peasant Market Day will be held this year on Saturday, July 6, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. It’s not only the largest yard sale in these parts, it’s also a gala occasion featuring food, crafts, live music, activities for children, plants, an auction, books, a raffle and an outdoor lunch created by the St. Stephens expert barbecue team.
The hundreds of people who come to the Peasant Market every year not only are getting amazing deals on items ranging from antique jewelry and furniture to bicycles, kitchenware and sports equipment, but with every purchase they are contributing to local nonprofit organizations and international relief agencies that support needy children and adults nearby and throughout the world. Last year, $32,000 was raised and donated to a total of 24 agencies providing services ranging from winter shelter and food supplies to summer camp experiences, tutoring, and clean drinking water in Haiti.
Each year, a high point of Peasant Market Day is the raffle drawing. Parishioners design and create a special work of art to be awarded to one lucky ticketholder. This year the St. Stephen’s Ruggers produced a striking hooked wool wall hanging. Its design is based on one of the panels from the stained glass windows behind the altar. Amy Oxford, leader of the rug-hooking group, climbed high up on a ladder to the window, and from her precarious perch managed to trace the design on paper. It has now been transformed into a 24-by-24-inch hanging with a sleeve on the back for a dowel so it can be easily hung on a wall. Made with Oxford punch needles invented by Amy Oxford, the hanging is 100 percent wool in a range of colors including red, blue, blue-green, yellow and black, all hand-dyed by Nancy Jewett. The commercial value of this treasure is $2,500. Raffle tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at St. Stephen’s Church Tuesday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., as well as on Peasant Market Day.
There will be other unique handmade products as well. Doris Grimm, a quilter with 45 years of experience, led a team including Barb Wood and Marge Drexler in creating two quilts. They used the paper-piece method to get the brightly colored patches just right. One quilt is suitable for hanging or placement on a table at 27 by 35 inches; the second one is a 54-inch square. These lovely quilts will be for sale at the crafts booth, but beware, it’s predicted that they will go to early buyers.

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