Peaks ‘n Pines Quilt guild blankets underserved families, honors veterans
When Barbara Roberts is making a quilt, she takes the time to hug each piece of fabric or quilt square before stitching it into the final product. It’s an especially important step in her creative process when she’s making quilts for soldiers and veterans.
“I make sure that any quilt I’ve ever sent out has been duly hugged … so I hope that comes through,” Roberts said.
Roberts is part of the Peaks ‘n Pines Quilt Guild, a local group of around 60 quilters who share their passion with the community by donating much of their work to underserved populations, and she heads the guild’s Quilts of Valor projects.
This weekend, Peaks ‘n Pines is hosting its annual quilt show in Grand Lake, where visitors will get the chance to explore members’ works, purchase quilts and wall hangings, as well as watch demonstrations of techniques including free motion quilting and cloth baskets.
In memory of former guild president Ann McLean, there will also be a dedicated quilt for sale, and funds will go to the Ann McLean Scholarship Fund to help local students pay for college.
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Martha Stephenson, interim president of the guild, said the annual event showcases members’ skills, but also raises money to bring in speakers, offer workshops and buy supplies for charity quilts.
“It’s a wonderful, welcoming group,” Stephenson said. “I like the camaraderie when we get together to do a workshop or quilts of valor.”
The group meets monthly to share tips, ask questions and quilt together, as well as blanket the community in their work. Peaks ‘n Pines partners with Mountain Family Center to ensure families in need can access quilts for all ages and sponsors local families each Christmas.
Last year, the guild was able to donate over 70 quilts to local families.
“We hear from Mountain Family Center that the families are just overjoyed that someone took the time to do this for them,” Stephenson said. “If I give my quilts to someone, their face just lights up with joy.”
Through the Quilts of Valor, the guild is also working on awarding every World War II veteran in the county a quilt this year. Next year, the focus will be on veterans of the Korean War.
For Roberts, who began quilting with Quilts of Valor prior to joining Peaks ‘n Pines, this is a personal mission. Quilting helped her keep her sanity when her son was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and now she sees quilting as a way to honor and thank soldiers for their sacrifices.
“Even though the war may not be popular, I never wanted my son to come back and feel like people weren’t thankful,” she said. “(This is) a great outlet to try to help military people be comforted when they come back, for the hidden wounds and physical wounds.”
An awards ceremony for the Quilts of Valor completed this year will take place on Veteran’s Day and Roberts said there’s sure to be no dry eyes in the house.
Peaks ‘n Pines will host its next meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 8 with guest speaker Jackie Vujcich. Anyone interested in quilting is welcome to join, Stephenson said.
What: Peaks ‘n Pines Quilt Show
Where: Grand Lake Community Center, 301 Marina Drive
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 20 – 21
More info: peaksnpinesquiltguild.org
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