Region – The St. Philip Church Quilting Group, which includes women from other area parishes who share a love for the art, has announced that after 35 years of making “big” quilts to benefit their community, they are ending the tradition.
Their last creation will be raffled off at the “Make a Bid on Faith Benefit Auction” to be held Saturday, June 20, at the Community Harvest Barn. The auction will benefit the parishes of St. Philip and St. Mary in Grafton.
Members of the quilting team include: Marcia McGee, Mary Turcotte, Anna McAucley, Peg Atchue, Eva Bolack, Rachel Costello, Nancy Reed, and Kathy Nichols.
According to Patti Hart, the auction co-chair, the group began in 1981 when several local women decided to get together to quilt. The group has numbered between eight and 15 members at any time during the past three and a decades, meeting for three to four hours every week for six months every year, to sew for their church, for fun and to keep their skills sharp.
“They began as young, vibrant women with full-time jobs, children to care for and an interest in quilting. They are now older women, still strong, vibrant and full of energy, but wiser about the limitations arthritis brings,” Hart said. “They still love being together for a common purpose and promise to keep going at it, but differently from now on.”
Over the years, the ladies have raised thousands of dollars for the work of their community through the raffles of their efforts at the annual Christmas Fair which began in 1981 and ended in 2013.
One team member, Kathy Nichols, said in an e-mail regarding the final quilt, “It’s such a lovely quilt. What I particularly love about it is that each square is its own little perfect work of art, but together they blend into something even greater. That almost describes the perfect balance of friendship among those girls!”
They have been asked many times what each quilt is worth but they stopped putting a value on that many years ago when one winner couldn’t believe its value and wanted to sell it back to them.
“All we care about it is getting these projects to a good home, where they will be taken care of,” member Peg Atchue explained.
Although the group has decided to not make any more “big quilts,” the ladies said followers should not worry.
“We are still going to meet to make little Linus quilts,” Atchue said. “Nobody wants to quit but nobody (can do) a big quilt anymore.”
Raffle tickets for the quilt, which the team named “Plum Crazy,” are six for $5 or $1 each and may be purchased at either parish office or by calling 508-887-9933. Ticket holders do not need to be present to win.