Sunday, August 22, 2010

Charity Quilt Day at Jackie's

I'm in a small quilt guild made up of 2 other orchestra members plus a few other ladies-- one is a nurse at a local hospital, the other a professor at our local University.  There are a few other members who come and go, but we're kind of the "core" of the group.  We meet usually twice a month at a members house for a few hours of chatting and sewing.

A member of our guild died suddenly a few years ago.  Among her posessions was an absolute mountain of quilting fabric.  Trust me-- it's more than enough to open a shop.  If I see a fabric I really like, I might buy a yard of it.  If Mary saw a fabric she liked, she bought THE BOLT.  

She had very particular taste in fabric.  Namely, dark.  The darker the better.  And since she started collecting fabric in the late 1970s, alot of what she left looks like this:
Yeah.  Not exactly what we're looking for to augment our collections.  And like I said, there's a ton of it:
And that's just a tiny portion of it.  Jackie and Kathie have been making regular trips to her house (her husband still lives there) to slowly unearth the fabric and bring it back to Jackie's house for storage.  Jackie has a large spare bedroom to use as her quilt room (lucky her!) and it has a big closet, perfect for storing all this fabric.

So what to do with all this fabric?  Make quilts, of course!  We take a Sunday every few months and bring our sewing machines to Jackie's to spend the day making charity quilts.  It's a terrific way to spend the day, as it was today on a dark and rainy summer day.
We started by basting several quilts. 

Isn't that one with the letters cute?
There were four quilts basted in all today.  (That's alot of crawling around on the floor, even though most of the quilts are lap sized).
Then, it was time to get out the sewing machines.  Jackie has a long dining room table that can fit a bunch of sewing machines.
In the lower left hand corner you can just make out Merrilee's 1950's era Singer, which she hauled over in the cabinet (It's not a portable machine, although it was today!).  It looked like she was moving furniture when she got it out of her car.  I was amazed at the gorgeous free-motion quilting she did on it today.  

Of course, one must keep one's strength up for all the work involved.    A lunch break with cake is an important component of any Quilt Day.  Thanks to Kathie for bringing cake!
  Well, I think we've come to realize that none of us is going to live long enough to get through all of Mary's fabric.  But I think she'd be pleased with what we're doing with it.  And it's been a fun way for us to help out some less fortunate people in our community just a little bit.  So I can't wait for the next Charity Quilt Day!


  1. What an amazing amount of fabric. Perhaps you could find a larger guild or other organization that would help you make quilts for Charity.

  2. You're right Melinda. We've given away many, many boxes full to Keep Me in Stitches, a local quilt shop that hosts charity quilt-making events at their stores.

  3. this is wonderful, what a great way to spend a day with friends and making charity quilts. sounds like my kind of day.

  4. oh my goodness that is a lot of & your group will be making quilts for a long for stopping by my had no reply on your email so I couldn't reply properly...

  5. I could actually smell that cake! Yum.

    What a good exercise to quilt with abandon using all those fabrics. And lots of fun with friends. Perfect. Your selvage pillow with the yoyo is fantastic.


  6. Oh looks like a fun afternoon! I have a singer like that, made 1955 in a cabinet and it is a bear to move around. I got it specifically for free motion since I heard it did a great job.

    The quilt with the letters is adorable!

    (New Tampa Quilter)