When I visited the Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto last month, I saw they had many activities I was interested in, but Palo Alto is quite a distance from where I live, so I decided to choose one activity that only meets once a month. I chose to attend their quilting group today.
My GPS was able to get me to the church, but I wasn’t sure how I’d find the group once I got there. God took care of that for me. There was a woman with a walker just crossing the parking lot about the same time I was, so I walked over to her and asked if she knew where the quilting group was, and it just so happened she was headed there herself! She introduced herself to me, and when we got to the room she introduced me to the woman in charge, who then took me around and introduced me to everyone else there.
The room was set up in different sections. There was a table where women were sorting through fabric squares and trying to design the quilts. They would lay the squares out and arrange them, label the different rows, and then put them into plastic bags as kits. There was a table where women with sewing machines took those kits and sewed the tops together. There was another table where a woman had a long roll of batting and she would pin the front and back of the quilt to the batting and cut it. I sat at a sewing machine where I would take the pinned quilts and sew around the edges, leaving a hole so that I could turn the batting inside and hand-stitch the opening together. Then I’d take the quilt to a table where women were tying the quilt.
These quilts were small, the size of a crib blanket or a lap robe. The fabric was donated. This group buys the batting, but only when they can find it on sale for 50% off. They then give these quilts to organizations that work with foster children, the VA hospital, and anyone else who needs something warm and cosy. They are particularly in need of fabric for boys because they have so many flowery prints donated to them. I’m thinking about checking my storage unit next time we go to Oregon to see what fabrics I might have that they can use.
I hadn’t taken a lunch and figured I’d head home when I got hungry, but someone in the group provides lunch every month. Today we had a Chinese chicken salad, homemade corn bread, cactus honey from Arizona, a sort of apple crisp dessert, and fortune cookies! I got a fortune that said I will soon be taking a vacation near the mountains. It occurred to me that the Portland area is kind of near the mountains, and we are planning a trip up there during the week of Thanksgiving, so that was fortuitous!
One of the women in the group had made a bunch of heavy-duty mesh and fabric bags, and she said we could each take one. I chose a cheerful looking bag with lady bugs on a sunny yellow background. She says it’s strong enough to hold gallons of milk if you use it at the store. I may use it for my day planner! (Anyone who has ever lifted my day planner knows it probably weighs 5 lbs!)
I had ample opportunity to visit with the women, both at lunch and while I worked. It was a friendly group and they all invited me to come back. By the end of the time, we had 9 finished quilts, I had put a couple more on the table that hadn’t been tied yet, and there were 3 that I hadn’t been able to sew together yet. That’s a lot to accomplish in a 4 hour period of time. I could have stayed and done that all day. I had a really good time, and I plan to go back again every month if I can.