Darlene Hawley – We live in a world of abundance!! We have everything we can possibly want, need or desire available to us at an unbelievable number and variety of stores surrounding our communities. Grocery stores are filled with every kind of food imaginable from all over the world as well as from local farms. They have prepared foods so that we do not have to cook and many will even deliver groceries to our door. A multitude of stores sell us our clothing, hardware stores sell us items to repair or remodel our homes, drugstores sell us our medicine and furniture stores sell us our furniture. Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Walmart’s, Target and Kohl’s, to mention a few, are huge “super stores” with unbelievable inventories. And if we can’t get to the store, we can go on line and order just about anything and have it delivered! Whatever you need, there is someone who makes it and will sell it to you.
Many of us have items in our homes that have been passed down from one generation to another and are treasured as reminders of those who have gone before us. Quilts are a good example of this. Mothers taught their daughters to sew and quilt and they would sit around the fireplace in the evening and work on these beautiful blankets as they chatted about the days happenings. They saved every scrap of material they had to make these quilts. Clothes that were outgrown or were damaged were cut up to make quilts. These quilts were extremely useful and kept them warm in the drafty homes of long ago.
Many of you may have quilts in your home today that are prized possessions that have been handed down through the years from one generation to another. Quilting is still going on today but it has changed greatly from the early years. It has become a hobby to millions of women (and many men) around the world and is now a huge industry. Many people quilt on their own and enjoy picking out patterns and fabric and putting together beautiful quilts to be used by their family or given to friends, new brides or new mothers. Many belong to quilting clubs at churches, in communities or with friends in their homes. Patt Hartford has been teaching quilting in Wayne for a number of years. She claims quilting is easy and anyone can learn. She begins with a simple pattern and her students quickly graduate to more complex quilting. David Carpenter, a local businessman, decided to join his wife Lynn, an avid quilter, and has been making quilts for a number of years. He keeps his favorite ones displayed on his phone to share with others.
Today there are books and magazines on quilting, fabrics, patterns and all the equipment to go along with it and stores where you can purchase all of these products. There are quilting shows with prizes for the winning quilts, and even quilting museums. Quilts can be hand stitched, machine sewn or tied. Each of our United States has an official quilt pattern. Quilts called crazy quilts are made from odd shaped pieces of cloth with decorative stitching. Mourning quilts are made by using pieces of fabric from the clothing of loved ones who have passed, thus helping many in the grieving process.
I am not a quilter (as you may have guessed) but as I talk to those who quilt, I am fascinated by the things that I have learned about this “hobby” and the passion some have for it. Quilting is not easy! It takes an enormous amount of time, effort, creativity, persistence and money!!!!
This past week, quilts played an important part in our community. St. Michaels Lutheran Church on Glenwood and Hannan Roads draped 270 quilts on the pews of their sanctuary to display them for their congregation, community and friends. These quilts were made by a group of the church’s women and their friends who meet weekly at the church to enjoy each others company and quilt. Following this special exhibit of beautiful, colorful quilts, they are packed and shipped by train to the Lutheran World Relief Center to be distributed throughout the world to those in need. This group has been providing this service for a number of years. Material and supplies for the project are donated primarily by members of the church but some financial support is offered through a Lutheran organization called Thrivent. Thanks to Grace Tocco, a friend and member of the quilting group, who shared this information with me.
Also, the First Congregational Church in Wayne celebrated their 70th annual Church Fair on November 3rd and 4th. The community enjoyed two days of lunches, turkey dinners, shopping for Christmas decorations, hand made candy, attic treasures, hand sewn and knitted boutique items, and a raffle was held. The first prize was a beautiful hand stitched quilt made by the church quilters. The pattern depicted the values of America and the story of our country.
There are many other churches and clubs in our community and surrounding cities who have quilters working and sharing their creative talent. Pat Hartford suggested we all get together to offer a quilting show to display the work of these groups. What wonderful opportunities the art of quilting offers us!!!