Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Whacky Ladies Quilt Bee

The other day I mentioned that I belonged to a local quilt bee, The Whacky Ladies. I have been in this group about twelve years. Our membership has changed greatly over the years, as members have moved or developed other interests. We meet in each other's homes one night per month. I try to never miss these meetings. There is something so comforting about being with other women who share my passion and "get it" when it comes to love of quilting. My group is very supportive of each other, no matter the skill level or preferred technique. Some of these ladies have brought me tops to quilt for them, but many are skilled hand or machine quilters as well.

We do not have many group swaps or projects, but two years ago we outdid ourselves with the quilt pictured above. The Capital Quilters Guild in Raleigh asked for bees to make a project that could be raffled for Safe Child. This Raleigh organization's mission is to stop child abuse. This cause is rather dear to my heart, since as a special education teacher for sixteen years, I worked with a population that was exceptionally vulnerable to abuse. Anyway, we decided to do this quilt that was featured in Quilters Newsletter magazine. We each brought in four or five fat quarters of batiks to a meeting. Then we had a cutting party. We piled all the batiks on my kitchen table and set up cutting stations. Everyone went home with a kit including the instructions for their chosen blocks. Two months later, we had a sew-in day to assemble the completed blocks. I had made a trip to Mecca, also known as Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Gastonia, NC. Never been there? Plan to stop next time you are on I-85 between Virginia and Atlanta. It is just past Charlotte, NC, and is a former grocery store turned fabric/thread/notions paradise. And at great discount prices! Anyway, I bought some fabric there for the sashings, borders, and backing. The machines were humming. We found that some of us preferred to piece, one LOVED to iron, and one was a former engineer for GM who was in charge of figuring out the math. When we got it assembled, I quilted it on my Gammill with variegated thread. I used a leaf stencil for the sashing, and some Nichole Webb ferny designs for blocks and borders. Carolyn volunteered to do the binding. Our quilt won first place in the Viewers' Choice at the guild meeting. I never heard exactly how much money it made at the raffle, but I hope that our contribution made a difference.

At the bee meeting, Janice related a tale about finding a frightened, lost, standard poodle who had run away from a trip to the animal clinic. She found him in her back yard, and spent hours trying to lure him close enough to eat some food, and managed to contact the owners to come get him. She refused the offer of a $1,000 reward- and the owner told her to name her charity. Sure enough, the one that popped into her head was Safe Child. The owner loved the idea and sent the check in her name. Isn't that fabulous! She also got a nice gift certificate in the mail as a thank you.

Speaking of rescuing animals, my husband astonished me this morning as I was pouring my cup of coffee by coming in the house with a baby bunny about six inches long! He had found his way into our garage. Well, we have had many incidents of wildlife in our garage over the years, but this is the first little rabbit. I prefer him to the various rodents and reptiles who have sought warmth and bird seed in my garage! And every summer, we have to rescue hummingbirds who find their way in, but can't figure out how to get back out. Their little hummingbird brains can't figure out how to dip down under the garage doors to the opening. They circle the ceiling, endlessly poking their little beaks up in search of the way out. Sometimes we can scoop them up in a fishing net on a pole when they get tired. Sometimes they get so exhausted that they fall to the floor, or go into a state of torpor. When that happens, I do hummingbird CPR by wrapping them in a dishtowel and sticking their beaks into the hummingbird feeder. Twice I have done this and watched the little dimwit birds happily fly off after revival, twittering like mad to their mates who are waiting in a nearby tree. Ah, Mother Nature!

1 comment:

Cathie said...

It's amazing how quickly hummingbirds can get depleted but more amazing how they can be brought back from the brink of death with a slurp or two of sugar water. Sal and I did that once - very heartwarming.