Sharon Space-Bamberger | Democrat
Peggy Morgans and Sue Stackhouse admire a whimsical baby quilt top.
Baby Quilt Marathon benefits tiniest of needy
By Sharon Space-Bamberger
LIBERTY April 19, 2013 Last month, the Calico Geese quilting group held its 11th annual Baby Quilt Marathon to benefit Sullivan’s underprivileged babies. A quilt-making assembly line was set up in the S.C. Cornell Cooperative Extension’s meeting room, turning out 66 quilt “sandwiches.”
The marathon began in 1992, when Connie Stangel of Neversink and the late Marie Kramer decided the quilt guild should give something to charity. Previously, the guild’s pieced and quilted masterpieces had been made for loved ones.
In 11 years, the group has made close to 2,000 baby quilts, which are always in demand. Stangel gave credit to Susan Koenig, coordinator of the Baby Quilt project.
“I give them away, but Susan’s the one who organizes the whole thing,” Stangel said. “When members give me completed quilts, I sew a label in them, ‘Made for you by the Calico Geese Quilters’ so people will know what we do.”
Groups receiving the quilts include the Pregnancy Support Group, Teen Parenting, Safe Passage, WIC, and the S.C. Department of Health.
This year, 10 Head Start kids received comfy quilts for their naps. Mothers pick quilts for their children and send thank you notes to the Calico Geese. Quilts with adult themed fabric are given to Veterans at local nursing homes for wheel chair comforters and bed toe-warmers.
The quilt tops are pieced at home, some by members using their own fabric and design. Other quilts are made from “Block of the Month” blocks and put together by Susan Koenig and other members. Backings are often donated fabric all cotton, of course; no self-respecting quilter uses polyester!
Home-schooled Taylor Warner, 10, contributed a quilt top she had pieced under the tutelage of her neighbor, Anna. Quilting Hall of Fame member Sally Abrams gave advice to the youngster: “Next time you might want to add a contrasting strip of material on the ends and sides. That makes a nice border.”
Quilters are a dedicated group. Leslie Henneberg of Callicoon had volunteered to bring her sewing machine to the marathon. But Leslie had the flu and didn’t want to share her germs. She took four quilt tops home to finish.
Calico Geese newcomers Carolyn Brucker and Susan Straus sought instruction in the logistics of quilting in a group. Carolyn said they learned the basics of quilting from You Tube tutorials and books and also took a course at a local shop.
Carolyn continued, “I gave all the quilts I made to relatives for Christmas. They weren’t that big, I don’t know how to do a big one yet.”
It sounds like Carolyn has the quilting bug.