Friday, April 16, 2021

The Gnadenhutten Quilt Project Pulls to a Close

The Gnadenhutten Quilt Project Closes

Posing with the last quilt bound by the Gnadenhutten Quilt Project are a few of our unofficial team members. Our core group was made up of 7 talented women that worked at every aspect of quilt and comforter making over nearly 3 years. We estimate we made and shared over 200 quilts and comforters during that time! 

Dozens of quilts went to Harbor House Domestic Violence Center in New Philadelphia, Ohio during the first years. More went through Mennonite Central Committee's outreach each year. Last week we shared 31 quilts with the Village Network for children in foster care in Tuscarawas Co., and another 45 with the Coshocton Co. Children's Services for their children in foster care. What a finale!

We blended both new and vintage fabric and scraps into works of art, full of color and wonderment! 

We frugally pieced together batting from cutoffs when we ran out of rolls. When we had a hard time sourcing backings, we learned the art of converting gently used duvets and sheets. 

I will never forget the visitors who came last fall, and stayed through spring. On rare occasions they would be allowed in the studio to look around, and always took advantage.

Our group used to say we were having a sewing day, but soon used the term, Sewing with Cats on Tuesday. They'll be moving in a few weeks, but will still be nearby. I've become quite attached to the 3 sweet boys belonging to our daughter. 

Between Covid, explosions, and the chaos of the past year, I'm personally ready for some new directions in quilting. (Don't worry, though, I have not given up longarming. I'm still busy most days quilting for customers.) Classes will be starting up again after the cats are gone, and the door can be opened wide. Oh, I'm so looking forward to that again. I love sewing in the open air!

The Gnadenhutten Quilt Project was both a special time and great opportunity to reach out to the local community to share what we all loved. We had a mission as friends. But the time has come when we long to move on to other projects, and that has to be respected as well. Many of us have special quilts on our bucket lists, and time is ticking.

I want to say thank you to my mother, Joanne, Irene, Elaine, Gigi, Debbie, and Chris for sewing their little hearts out. To Karen, Debbie, Joyce, Diane, Amy, and the Harmon family, thank you for donations of fabric and quilt tops along the way. You all were so generous with your time and patience when you knew I was frazzled. What a tremendous experience this was! I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Onward girls.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.



Linda Swanekamp said...

I woke up this morning and you were on my mind and then I saw your blogpost! Congratulations on completing such a ginormous task and helping people get a bit of cozy comfort. Looks like such a terrific accomplishment. I know you will put yourself into whatever the next phase of quilting will be for you. Wish I could have joined in and sewn with you and the cats!

Angie in SoCal said...

I've been wondering about how you all are doing - what with all the recent events. Congratulations on your three years of showing compassion and sharing comforts. You have been such a caring group for the communities you helped.

KaHolly said...

You were responsible for an amazing thing, Julie! Thank you for the opportunity to contribute just a little bit! Onward and upward with your new adventure! XO

Barb N said...

Oh, no! Mischievous kitties, eh? My puppy dog LOVES batting, as in rips it to shreds, oh my. He does get yelled at occasionally! What a tremendous effort your crew has undertaken and accomplished - just wonderful! Looking forward to seeing your new directions.

Rebecca Grace said...

What a wonderful endeavor, but I can understand that you are all wanting to wrap it up and pursue personal projects for awhile now. Can't wait to see what you make next!

audrey said...

What an adventure you all had. I can tell this feels very bittersweet.:)