Dream became a reality for local quilter
CLARKSTOWN – “I had a dream,” began Frances Spring during a segment of the morning worship services held Sunday, Nov. 20 at Clarkstown’s Messiah Lutheran Church honoring its longtime group of volunteer quilters. The stage had been set with two quilts placed over the altar alongside a large, red blooming cactus, its colorful blooms blending with the colors of some of the fabrics. Another quilt cover was displayed on the back of a front pew.
Upon entering the sanctuary, each quilter was given a carnation corsage with a fabric bow. Later Laura VanDine presented each quilter with a gift bag containing a daily devotional book with quilted-related stories.
“This is a history lesson,” Spring said as she remembered events of previous decades, “In 1987, I mentioned the idea to the pastor’s wife, Rosella Warrick, who said let’s do it.”
The small initial group included Spring, Warrick, the late Irene Baskin and Marie Miller. The late Lola McCarty was their mentor and came to share her expertise. “We watched for women about to retire and invited them to join us,” Spring said.
A first the group met only during winter months, but as they found the basement a cool retreat from summer’s heat, they began gathering year round. “More went on than just the actual quilting,” she said. It was enumerated that Bobbi Schwank said, “never make appointments on quilting day.” Jean Cunningham would say,” No one should die on a day that would involve the necessity of attending funerals on quilting day.” Hazel Klock refers to it as ‘Mental Heath Day’ replacing the need for a psychiatrist. “We share learning, laughter, jokes, books, news items, and we’re open to taste-testing each other’s new recipes. Whatever the remarks, one thing holds true for them all, “We love to quilt and we love the company,” Spring said.
Income from the groups’ volunteerism currently stands at $26,775.00 with raffle incomes of $3,800.
A spin-off group known as “The Want-a-Be’s” gave working women a chance to meet at night. They recently came to the rescue after September rains flooded the basement ruining shelved quilting magazines and books. The women listed the names of water soaked books, went on the internet and replaced much of what was lost. “Their only request for restoring the library was a big hug, which I gladly gave them,” Spring added.
The founder finalized her remarks by reading the following quilter’s poem: “God, you are the Master Quilter who loves me and gently stitches the patches back on after I’ve fallen. You pick up the pieces when I get discouraged and lonely. You have chosen my family and friends and have lovingly stitched us together in love. Even though I may be different from friends and family, may I ‘knot’ forget that you are the thread of Life that holds the lives together. May my life’s quilt reflect you, the loving Master Quilter of all creation.”