Catching Up

Greetings Friends!  I hope you all are well and remain healthy throughout this unprecedented time in our county and world right now   I have no idea when we will be able to see one another again so i will do my best to keep in touch with you here and on social media.  If you’re like me I’m sure you have fabric and projects to occupy you for another good three years easily, am I right!?  If not or if you’re quilters adhd has kicked in there are plenty of Quilt Alongs going on on social media and I’ll try to keep you abreast of those.  You can always follow @letsquiltalong on Instagram, she does a great job of posting everything she knows about.  There’s a few happening on Facebook as well  GE Designs has a one day project happening this Sunday and The Sewing Shed in Ireland is doing an instructional medallion Quilt which started today.

Unrelated, and on a more cheerful note, last Thursday myself, June Mellinger (and her son Chris), and Deb Hunter had the pleasure of  meeting one of the founders of Mary’s Place By The Sea, Michele Gannon, to whom we delivered the twelve “jelly roll race” quilts that you all so generously made!  Mary’s Place is a Place for women with cancer to take a break from their challenges  in a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere and where she can enjoy Oncology Massage, Nutritional Education, Reiki and Healing Touch Therapy, Yoga, Guided Meditation, Expressive Writing, Art Therapy, Prayer, and the list goes on.  There are nine private bedrooms with queen size beds and each has a private bath.  A house manager is always there ready to support the guests.  Complimentary organic, plant based breakfast and lunch is prepared in the gorgeous kitchen and served in their dining room.  I can not accurately describe how beautiful and clean, warm and inviting this house is.  Since it’s inception, Mary’s Place has served over 10,000 women, absolutely free of change!  Not one dollar has ever been taken from any woman for their stay here.  This is all funded by grant-writing, fundraising, and the 200+ volunteers who give of themselves to make this work and now we can consider ourselves one of them!

Our quilts were most graciously received by Michele who was extremely grateful.  I envision them in baskets in the living room waiting for the guests to curl up in front of the fireplace with or on one of the many classics white rockers outside on one of the porches that span the front of the house on each of the three levels of this beautiful home.

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This was another wonderful thing we did, ladies, here’s to more in 2020.

Stay well and keep in touch, Eileen

 

 

Welcome to March!

Hi everyone, hope you all are well and getting ready for Spring!  March is here and our next Saturday meeting/sew-in is right around the corner. Once again I will open the doors at 10 and the meeting will commence at 10:30 or sooner if we have everyone there. June and I did a fairly good job at keeping the meeting well within the one and a half hour goal ( I believe we were just slightly over an hour). Hope to see all of you there again. Our turnout last month was phenomenal. This month I’m encouraging you to bring a friend to our meeting.  Guests can stay and sew-in with us for the small fee of $10.00

Just a few reminders:

Michelle will be teaching us needle turn appliqué as part of our programming this month. Bring your own charm square if you like but Michelle will be providing some as well.  Regarding future programming, please let Deb Hunter know what skill of yours you’d like to share with us and any ideas you have for something you’d like to learn.

April is our fundraising event in lieu of our monthly meeting. Brandy will provide more details.

For our May sew-in I will be guiding us through the construction of the Noodlehead 241 Tote. It’s more of a bag than a tote and I think you’ll love it. Purchase your pattern and supplies if you haven’t already done so. You’ll need to do all your cutting and apply the interfacing beforehand to speed up the process. As always you can call or text me any questions you may have.

Hope to see you all on th 14th!!  Eileen

Quiltcon and News from the MQG

Have you checked your email?  The MQG sent out their February  News and Happenings email today and it is full of information about Quiltcon and how you can participate virtually and through live streaming.  In addition, the Board is asking for input from you, the members,  on the 2022 Community Quilt Challenge (formerly the Charity Quilt Challenge). We were just talking about this at last Saturdays’ meeting/sew-in!  There’s lots of other information and past webinars are there for your viewing and reference. Take advantage, this is part of your membership.

Happy sewing, Eileen

Friendly Reminder

Just a friendly reminder, our first combined Meeting & Sew-In will be this Saturday, February 8th, 2020 at the Colts Neck Reformed Church.  Doors will open at 10 am, meeting will commence at 10:30 or sooner if everyone is there and ready to go.  We will aim to be finished with the meeting portion of the day between 11:30 and 12:00 in order to leave ample time for everyone who is sewing-in.  Please plan to attend, there are things to discuss, lessons to be learned, and quilting to show off.  We will be having a visitor in attendance from the Beachplum Quilters, to talk about their upcoming show and who is very interested in our show and tell, so make sure you have some.

If you have not already done so, please read and respond to Brany’s email about the meeting and again if you haven’t already paid your dues be prepared to pay them at the meeting.

Looking forward to seeing all of you on Saturday.          Eileen

President’s Message and A Year in Review

Greetings and Happy New Year!  First I would like to thank the members for the vote of confidence in me as your new President. Once upon a time, I was just a gal sewing at my kitchen table.  In 2013 when the Boston Marathon bombing took place, I made a flag for the “To Boston With Love Project” and posted a photo on Flicker.  Next thing I knew, Diane contacted me via Flicker and asked if I would like to join her newly formed guild. I met up with her and Bonnie Bartholomew at a sew-in at Fabric Inspirations, and the rest is history.  I hate to sound cliché but this has truly been the best thing that happened to me.  I never had friends who sewed or didn’t roll their eyes when I talked about it and I never dreamed I would one day be heading up the guild, but here we are.

I would also like to thank June Mellinger for continuing in her role as Secretary and stepping up to fill the role of Treasurer as well.  Thank you to our outgoing President, Deb Hunter, good wishes to her this coming year as she faces some new challenges and to Phyllis Garnant, our outgoing Treasurer, thank you for your service to the guild.

As a guild, in term of numbers, we are small; however, we are mighty in the sense that when we put our minds and hearts (not to mention our machines) together we accomplish great things.  Last year we did some great things in the name of community and charity and when I think of quilt guilds those things go hand in hand.  In January, I personally delivered 7 quilts to the homeless camp right here in our neighborhood in Howell, Destinys Bridge, while those residents were facing eviction and were in fact evicted shortly after.  They were humbled, grateful, and perhaps a tad bit warmer because of your generosity.  In February we had a sew-in for charity where I told you all about Oceans Harbor House in Toms River, a safe haven for homeless youth.  I asked for 20 something pillowcases and in March I donated 40 something pillowcases to them.  Our March sew-in was a “jelly roll race for charity”, I now have almost 12 completed quilts ready to be donated.  In August, we donated our 2019 Quilt Con Charity Quilt to 180 Turning Lives Around, an organization that supports victims of domestic violence, to be used at one of their upcoming fundraisers.  December was no different, our members made small drawstring bags and at our holiday party in lieu of swapping gifts we purchased new socks and toiletries and stuffed those bags again to give to the youth at Oceans Harbor House.  We also presented local veteran, Scott Nokes, with our 2018 QuiltCon Charity Quilt at the dedication of his new “smart home” built for him by the Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation.  Wow ladies, pat yourselves on the back because you never cease to amaze me.

I’ve said it so many times that our members have an abundance of talent in every aspect of sewing and quilting and this year we had no shortage of member lead demonstrations, tutorials and instructional sew-ins.  We made bags, pillows, learned about thread, needles, sewing notions and so much more.

We had another, bigger, successful “In Stitches” event and we are planning to expand that to twice a year with one being on a little bit less of a scale.  This is another example of using the talents’ within our own guild to demonstrate modern quilting techniques and to have quick, little make and takes.  Our own Brandy Borden and Allison Fitspatrick deserve so much credit for putting this event together; as well as, June and Pam for procuring so many fabulous prizes!

The new year comes not without challenges to our guild, but we’ve faced them in the past and persevered.  Trying out a new meeting schedule and combining it with our sew-in is a first step in figuring out what will work for us this year.  My wish for the guild is always to see it grow: however, it continues to be challenging for us.  I don’t know what the answer is but I personally am willing to try anything that will potentially  work.  I would certainly also be okay with the “status quo” in that our membership would at the very least stay the same.  As in the past I would like us to embrace modern quilting, in addition to our own particular styles.  I would also like to continue to see us glean from each other what each of us have to offer, and there is a lot.  Let’s make this a year of having fun with each other, (after all we are basically just a group of ladies who enjoy sewing), learning, stepping out of our comfort zone perhaps and volunteering for a project, continuing to serve our community, and camaraderie!!

 

JSMQG Gives to the Homeless in Howell

Charity Update from Eileen DiPietro:

I needed some time to absorb everything before I could attempt to write about my visit to the homeless encampment but here goes.

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As most of you all know, I had been in contact with “Minister Steve” Brigham, as he is so fondly referred to by his fellow residents,  about the guild donating quilts to the homeless encampment in Howell. All of you may not know that the bulk of the residents there are people who had been living in Tent City in Lakewood until they were forced to leave. At that time Howell let them use a parcel of land that belonged to the township and then without warning sold the property out from underneath them, a provision of the sale being that the new owner had to find them a place to set up camp. Well to make a long story short no one has done that or made any effort to do it and these folks are once again staring down eviction. When I first contacted Steve I was trying to get a census so to speak about the residents and that is when I found out that most of the thirty residents had relocated to different areas in the woods in anticipation of the eviction and that only six had still remained. Of those six one is the minister himself and his assistant, Cindy.

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I managed to put together six decent size quilts from our charity stash and gave them a label and last Thursday I set out to the camp to meet with Steve. (Side note I had also thrown out if anyone had warm clothing and such they wanted to donate that I would be willing to collect and deliver as well. Deb Loeb and Sherre were kind enough to pack some things up. Deb Loeb, you know those shoes and boots you weren’t sure anyone would want, fear not they were a huge hit!). I brought my husband along for the ride and followed the directions that were shown on the Facebook post of Howell Happenings that I had shared. I’ve probably driven past the dirt road that leads to the camp, right off Route 9 nestled amongst a shopping Mecca, hundreds of times but little did I know. The dirt road   doesn’t go very far before you enter the camp. There are tents, as in camping tents, makeshift tents, abandoned rvs, cars and buses all set up around a circle, these are their homes. Homes that they are proud of, homes that are well taken care of, homes with beds made,  homes that are in jeopardy now. I was so afraid that I would be emotional there but strangely I was not. I was greeted by Cindy first because Steve was on the phone. I didn’t know if she was aware of why I was there so I proceeded to tell her about the guild and the donation. She helped me unload the trunk and when I showed her the box with the quilts, it was like a child on Christmas morning! She was so excited yet somewhat spellbound that someone would give her and her neighbors a handmade quilt.  She couldn’t wait for the others to be home later so she could hand them out.  Steve was equally delighted, I don’t think he realized before that these were handmade quilts we were gifting. I stayed for quite some time there and talked with the two of them. Cindy expressed a desire to learn to sew and maybe help teach some of the struggling women a craft they could use. I would be happy to oblige. Steve invited me to a screening of a documentary made about Destinys Bridge and how he is fighting a town to save his people from eviction, that happened to be that same night. I had to juggle a few things but I went that night to the Toms River library to see the film. I was greeted by Steve and Cindy like an old friend, hugged and kissed, like we’d been friends for years. We couldn’t stay for the whole film but I bought a copy, both to support Destinys Bridge and so that I could watch it at home in its entirety. I will bring it to the next meeting. Anyone who wants to watch is welcome to borrow it.

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I have so many feelings about this donation, I can’t even begin to put them into words. What I can say is that this gift we share, it never gets old. It really doesn’t.  I would love to keep donating to these folks, I really would. Thank you all for letting me do this.

You can read more about this homeless camp here.