Kearney Hub Weekend March 30-31, 2019 By MIKE KONZ Hub Enterprise Editor AMHERST — The countryside of northwest Buffalo County stretches in every direction from the sidewalk in front of Shirley May’s quilting cottage. A gentle Nebraska wind is beginning to dry the flood-soaked roads in the rural neighborhood, where barricades warn local drivers that water has overrun the road in low spots and there may be washouts ahead. The flood of 2019 left its calling cards everywhere, but the soupy farm- yards and other reminders of Mother Nature’s tantrum won’t last forever. With spring around the corner, the moist earth soon will give way to fields of corn and pastures dotted with cattle — a sort of man-made quilt with a pattern set in 640-acre increments. For May and her friends, quilting is the thread that draws them together and cements their relationships. It’s an excuse to meet with other enthusiasts, pull out their latest projects, and share some tales and quilting tips. May became a quilter about 23 years ago when she lived in Oxford and taught business and comput- er classes at Southern Valley High School. Her teaching days are behind. A few years ago May moved back to Buffalo Pieces come together for May’s she shed Cottage for quilting Erika Pritchard, Kearney Hub AN IRONING BOARD that folds up and out of the way creates more space for quilting. Erika Pritchard, Kearney Hub SHIRLEY MAY’S quilters cottage measures 12 ½ feet by 28 feet and stands next door to her house on Green Hill Road in northwest Buffalo County. Wes Kellogg, Kearney Hub IN ADDITION to personal projects, the Empty Spools Club creates patriotic quilts for the Quilts of Honor Foundation to comfort military veterans touched by war. CONTINUES ON PAGE 3C Erika Pritchard, Kearney Hub A SELF-PROFESSED “quilting nut,” Shirley May shares her quilting cottage with other enthusiasts in the Empty Spools Club. She’s been quilting for 23 years. Erika Pritchard, Kearney Hub AFTER QUILTERS empty their spools of colorful thread, they’ll hang them on pegs for other club mem- bers to see.