Lake Monticello Piecemakers celebrate 30 years

By Page H. Gifford, Correspondent

The Lake Monticello Piecemakers have been around 30 years, proving that quilting never goes out of style. A centuries-old craft, quilting has its roots in necessity and frugality. Today’s quilters do it for a variety of reasons, mostly for the artistry and joy of quilting.

“The art of quilting has changed quite a bit over time. At first, quilts were made entirely by hand, and were strictly utilitarian though quite beautiful, as they were a patchwork of colors and shapes harvested from worn-out clothing and leftover fabric scraps,” said Sosh Samuel-Siegel, a member of the Piecemakers.

“Over time, and with the introduction of the sewing machine, quilts more commonly were pieced by machine, while quilting continued to be done by hand. While quilts continued to be made primarily for warmth, quilters were more deliberate with their designs and color choices,” she said, adding that nowadays most, but not all, quilters piece by machine. Using a sewing machine makes quilting faster and can also help a quilt become a work of art through varied types of stitching.

While many quilts are bed or lap quilts, the art form expanded to include wall hangings, table runners, art quilts, pillows, quilted articles of clothing, bags, and more.

“As quilters we are engaged in an art form,” Samuel-Siegel said. “Quilt designers as well as textile designers for quilting fabrics abound. Many quilters enjoy creating their own designs, and choosing just the right fabrics is an artistic expression all its own.”

These quilts extol the individual’s craftsmanship and the choice of fabric – the colors and patterns – is key to the overall look.
Some members display their work for artistic purposes, while others exhibit their quilts in juried quilt shows, and have earned ribbons, including a few first place wins. Some of the group’s quilts will be on display at the Cunningham Creek Winery from now until mid-January, and will be followed by another array to be shown from mid-January until mid-March.

During the Piecemakers’ 30 years together, the membership has grown to over 50 with approximately 35 in attendance at most of the weekly meetings. But more than getting together and creating beautiful quilts, these quilters have an ongoing mission: the Piecemakers share their talents and use their skills to promote charity by helping others.

“Both as individuals and as a group, we are very civic-oriented,” said Samuel-Siegel.

Proceeds from quilts made to sell at Lake Monticello craft fairs benefit the Lake Monticello Fire and Rescue. “This year we raised $840,” she said. They also donate annually a quilt to be raffled off to support the Lake Monticello Beautification Corps.

Individually they make quilts and together they create one large one, which is auctioned off to raise money for Meals on Wheels. Twice a year they present a new homeowner with a housewarming quilt for Habitat for Humanity.

“Many members have consistently made quilts for the Bright Stars program in Charlottesville. This year we are committing to make and donate quilts to the Fluvanna Head Start program,” said Samuel-Siegel. Several quilts and fleece blankets have been donated by one member to The Alyssa House. “We intend to continue helping out with more donations as the need arises.”

In addition, members have made and provided lap quilts for elderly residents of Envoy at the Village, children’s quilts for Project Linus, bereavement quilts, goodie bags for patients at University of Virginia (U.Va.) Medical Center; Pillowcases 4 Cancer Kids at U.Va., items for the Lions Club auction, and more.

“Several other ‘sew-in’ events occur throughout the year, during which we make quilts and items for various charities,” she said. She explained that a sew-in event is where members bring their equipment and materials to the meeting and work together on brainstorming and creating their projects. This creative teamwork benefits the community many times over.

In addition, many of the members also knit, crochet, embroider, cross stitch, and sew items unrelated to quilting.

With all that they already do, one wonders where they found the time for two other successful projects. During the summer they developed and implemented a children’s program about quilting at the Fluvanna County Public Library. Children were given an age-appropriate introduction to the history of quilting, types of quilting projects, and quilting equipment and techniques. This was followed by an age-appropriate quilting project, which each child got to design, execute, and take home.

At the end of September, they offered two adult classes at the library. Participants ranged from people who had some experience with sewing to those who have never done any sewing. “Nonetheless, by the end of each session, all attendees left with a completed, colorful, and useful mug rug. Lots of happy smiles all around,” she said.

It boggles the mind that with all the work these members complete, they still find time for more community projects, and their passion for quilting is evident. Samuel-Siegel summed it up best by stating, “Lots of artistic creativity and busy hands.”

Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138