Group gives hearts through quilts

Santa was checking the Christmas wish list of the Evening Star Quilt Guild members at their December meeting.

A shopping spree at Bromberg’s was requested, as well as a $12,000 Bernina sewing machine and a ’55 T¬–bird convertible. One member boldly suggested Santa might bring her a ’67 Olds 442, which happens to be the very model Santa himself has been seen in when not on sleigh duty!

The guild, some 70–plus members strong in its 10th year, also believes in giving year–round. The group donates some 250 quilts each year to the Birmingham chapter of Project Linus.

Project Linus, a non-profit organization named after the Charles Schultz character, provides handmade blankets and afghans to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need. Some guild members also create patriotic-themed ‘Quilts of Valor,’ for wounded soldiers.

At the December meeting, non-perishable items were also collected and taken to Jessie’s Place. Mary Lane also donated Christmas cards aplenty for members to mail to soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Saturday workshops feature guest speakers or members willing to share a particular technique. ESQG president Lura Campbell recently taught the group how to make quilted Christmas Stockings. The inside joke, says Lura, is that no more than two quilters can ever go anywhere together, as their accoutrements and quilting paraphernalia take up so much room. And, noticeably, none of them drives a compact!

Mariah West, Sandy Wood, Mary Lane and Sara Adlman were set up at Helena United Methodist Church with rotary cutters, mats and machines to assemble the 80–plus colorful fabric strips that compose the Braided Stocking design. Lura opted for the Sudoku Stocking design, in which, as in the puzzle, none of the nine squares (of each fabric motif) is repeated.

The guild’s annual fundraiser is The Opportunity Quilt, a beautiful, multi-design block creation that is given away in an April drawing. Tickets, available from guild members now, are $1 each or 6 for $5.

The ESQG meets monthly on the first Thursday at the North Shelby County Library. Members may participate in Show and Tell about their personal projects and also enjoy the privilege of borrowing quilting-themed books from the guild’s private collection. In January, ESQG will hold a weekend retreat in Moody and come summer, a five-day retreat will be held in Cullman at Smith Lake.

Visitors are welcome at meetings. For information, visit www.esquilters.com.