Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Quilting project offers help to needy

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        HARRISON — While they sewed colorful scraps into quilts Saturday, members of the Harrison Quilters Guild realized they were also stitching the fabric of community.

        Starting at 8 a.m., guild members and other volunteers gathered at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church to make small quilts for needy children in the community.

        When word got around last week that the guild planned to observe National Quilters Day with this marathon quilting bee, the phone started ringing with offers of fabric, batting and help. The local JoAnn's Fabrics store offered the guild a discount on quilting material. Tri State Sewing Machines in Harrison loaned several machines and sergers, and repaired guild members' older machines for free.

        The goodwill didn't end there.

        “An 80-year-old lady came in and donated fabric and a double Irish chain quilt she had made,” said JoAnn Hamilton, who was hostess for the event. “She said she couldn't quilt anymore and it was like she was passing the torch. It was time for us to take over.”

        Elizabeth Grimmreisen's quilt, which needs to be backed, will be finished and serve as the guild's banner, Ms. Hamilton said.

        Another resident donated an antique sewing machine.

        “Quilters are coming out of the woodwork,” said guild member Linda Johnson.

        The machine-made quilts will be given to the Harrison police and fire departments for distribution to children, to the Pregnancy Center and to the neonatal unit at Good Samaritan Hospital.

        Guild members had set a goal of producing eight juvenile-sized quilts between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. By noon, volunteers had reached that goal and were enthusiastically cutting, pressing, pinning and stitching more strips of cotton. Workers cheered each time a quilt was completed and displayed.

        By day's end, the 31 volunteers had produced 33 quilts and had received three additional lap quilts from a donor. In addition to Ms. Grimmreisen's gift of the double Irish chain, two other quilt tops were given to the guild to complete. A local merchant donated several bolts of fabric for future projects.

        For information about the guild, call (812) 637-3898 or (513) 367-6701.


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