Once a month, usually on the first Saturday, members of the Scraps to Treasure quilting club gather at WaterStone Community Church to create creative and colorful quilts that will warm the hearts of people in need.
For more than 10 years, members of the club have dedicated their talents to crafting heirloom quality creations for such charities as Helping Hands Pregnancy Center, Joshua Station and Dry Bones, which is a ministry for homeless teens that teaches life skills. For its part, the group is supported through donations of fabric from members of the community. WaterStone Community Church provides a large, well-lit room and free storage of materials.
Some experienced members can finish a quilt in 10 hours or less.
“Some members can get a quilt done in here in a day — we’ve seen that — depending on what it is,” said Ginny Masimer, a longtime club member who also does much of the community outreach for the group. “We are a pretty productive group.”
Members have a keen attention to detail, pointing out the intricacies and beauty of one another’s creations.
During a recent club gathering, the ladies of the group sewed and shared their creative opinions. Over coffee and snacks, members cut, stitch and banter.
“There’s not a bad quilt in the batch,” Masimer said, to a chorus of agreement.
The club welcomes new members and those who have no experience quilting — but with one caveat.
“We’ve had some ladies come who’ve never sewn before come and learn,” Masimer said. “And it takes a kind of special person to come and learn it this way because they’re just picking up pieces. We don’t stop to teach all the steps, because our goal is to make quilts.”
Dubraska Fox is one member who has learned the art of quilting during her time with the club.
“I always wanted to learn how to quilt, and what a great cause,” said Fox.
Fox said members’ personalities come to life through their design and color choices.
“We tend to gravitate to certain colors,” Fox said.
“I’m the conservative one,” Masimer said with a giggle.
“We find that a lot of the fabrics we use have a lot of flowers on them, or we end up doing colors that are a little more feminine, so it’s like, ‘Every other quilt has to be a boy quilt,’ ” said member Cathy Begej.
“That’s the thing, some of the work these ladies do is so intricate, time-consuming and beautiful, if you were to sell these quilts, you’re talking about some money.” Fox said. “We get a little bit of everything and put a little love into it.”
Leadean Dickerson, a retiree and longtime member of the club, kneels over a large children’s quilt, pinning the fabric so that she can finish the meticulous stitching.
“It’s really rewarding to see the kids that we give them to cuddling them,” Dickerson said of the quilts.
The hum of sewing machines is punctuated with encouraging words for fellow members.
Their canvas is cloth.
The quilts are “made with whatever is there,” Fox said. “It pays homage to the reason quilting got started — to make do with what you had.”
Chris Ferguson is a news editor for Evergreen Newspapers. E-mail story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.