Not your typical Quilter's Guild
Tri-state locals come together to quilt, bond
MILFORD — If you hear the words quilting guild and your mind conjures up a group of traditional looking grandma type ladies sitting in a circle sewing around a quilt, you are not alone and not even close to what the Milford Valley Quilters Guild is all about.
The organization has more than 100 members who reside in three states, according to Helen Wood, former publicity chairperson.
From as far away as western Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, there are members in every age group. And just as their members do not fall into any particular age group, their projects do not fall into only making quilted bed covers.
“I like the variety of the members,” said Helen. “Everyone is special and we don't just do quilting together.”
If a member is sick, somebody organizes a comfort quilt and goodies to be sent to that member. The group — which at one time had a man who quilted — is made up of all women of various ages and backgrounds.
Heather, the youngest member has two young boys and Helen Marinaro, an original member was recently honored at the guild's 25th anniversary celebration. The members also have many other hobbies and interests according to Nancy Millard, the current publicity chairperson. Nancy joined the guild three years ago after a friend who was in the guild told her about it. She wanted to learn something new and appreciated the willingness of existing members to share their techniques and be supportive of anyone wanting to learn.
Very few of the members only quilt. Most do so many other crafts. For example, the present president has a loom and also enjoys weaving.
“It is part of who she is,” said Helen.
Several also sew, embroider, hook rugs, knit or crochet. Most are very far from the stereotypical image of what a quilter might be imagined as. In addition to quilted bed covers, they make quilted tote bags, quilted pillows, and anything else that can be quilted.
The guild does many charitable projects, such as providing “Ouch Pillows”, a small pillow for patients at Wayne Memorial Hospital who have just had surgery and have to hold it against them when they cough or sneeze.
They also made “Quilts of Valor” for returning troops several years ago.
“Just after 9/11 happened, we made a quilt and presented it to the White House,” said Helen.
According to Nancy, their newest community project will be to make lap quilts to honor the Mid-Hudson Valley WWII veterans who will be going to Washington, D.C. The quilts will be on the laps of the veterans in wheelchairs to keep them warm on the trip.
Every other year, they have a week long quilt show at Delaware Valley High School where a queen-sized quilt is raffled off. Their next one is due to take place in 2015. This year's quilt is a design with black bears and pine trees. At several meetings members gather to construct the quilt sections, then after the pieces are assembled it is sent out to be professionally quilted by a non-member in Tafton who batts and backs the quilt that the guild has made.
The proceeds from the raffle go partly to a scholarship for a high school senior who is planning to pursue a career in fine arts. Part of the raffle proceeds also go to guest speakers and programs for the guild and another portion goes towards a charity that the guild agrees upon.
The guild meets the second, third and fourth Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Delaware County Middle School in the cafeteria. A subsidiary group of theirs called Golden Needles meets once a week during the day. Anyone is welcome to attend one meeting for free, but then there is a $5 fee to continue to attend future meetings.
The first meeting of the month, is their business meeting where all business endeavors of the organization are discussed and minutes are kept and afterward members will work on individual projects.
The second meeting of the month is for anyone needing help with a project or for members to gather and work on new or individual projects. The third meeting is a program meeting with a speaker or workshop. For example, this month, Pat and Arland Christ from Pennsylvania Dutch Quilts will present “Folklore and Superstition”, a trunk show. They will bring quilts to illustrate their program.
At every meeting there is a show and tell where members will bring at least one finished project to share and present to the group. This is where all members get to "ooh" and "ahh" and be inspired by what others accomplish and different ways of using quilting techniques.
Each month the guild puts out a comprehensive multi-paged newsletter that informs all members of events, community endeavors, the status of projects and the minutes of the business meetings complete with color photos.
There are often contests within the group to come up with themes for quilts or to design pins to commemorate the quilts. The member whose design is chosen is awarded a free pin. Quilts are also raffled off regularly and the guild sells raffle tickets at the Milford Music Festival. There is a list of committees, officers and chairpersons of committees. Members hold positions within the group for one year.
For more information contact Nancy Millard at 570-828-7259 or visit https://sites.google.com/site/milfordvalleyquiltersguild/home.
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