Thursday, May 17, 2007

Farewell, Quilts from Cornerstone

I left behind my quilt guild and its’ active community service group in 1995, moving from New Jersey to metro Kansas City. Settled into my new home, I searched for a quilt guild with evening meetings. I only found daytime meetings or guilds in distant, unfamiliar areas.

I finally found a small quilt group meeting near me two evenings a month. I had new quilting buddies, but no group to share community service work. In June 1997, I discovered the brand-new Kansas City chapter of Project Linus, an organization that makes security blankets for children. I could quilt, crochet and create a website for the chapter. But everyone volunteered on their own; there were no group activities then.

Then Quilts from Cornerstone found me! Jeanine, the leader, contacted me in October 1999 about donating quilts to Project Linus. I read the group’s web page, went to the November meeting to visit and kept coming back the second Saturday of every month. They couldn't get rid of me and, fortunately, didn't want to most of the time. I’m the guest that stayed until I was family.

A group of generous quilters, we shared our love of quilting and our love of giving to others. Quilting abilities varied among our members. Everyone learned, improved and helped each other. Ages are pre-teen to senior citizen. We shared divorce, marriage, death, cancer, teenagers growing up and moving out, new babies, new jobs and retirement. We made many quilts for those needing comfort and cheer.

In the early days, another quilter asked how I would quilt a top she was finishing. I described how I would do the quilting. Unfortunately, the quilter tried to do it my way and had problems. I learned that sometimes the best answer was “Ask Jeanine.” Our fearless leader would give suggestions that avoided most potential problems.

I was the rogue, drawing on my experience and using methods I preferred, not necessarily the instructions Jeanine prepared for the group. This inspired others to try new things. Several ventured beyond quilting in the ditch to quilt across blocks diagonally without marking lines. Traci tried free-motion quilting. Jodie ventured off to buy fabric and make a variety of colorful quilt tops.

What has Quilts from Cornerstone meant to me? Friendship. Support. A sense of community. The opportunity to share my love of quilting and help make quilts for deserving people I will never meet.

Jeanine resigned as leader of Quilts from Cornerstone, effective May 12, 2007, two years after moving to Iowa. We said farewell, sharing memories and a few tears. The group is in limbo, looking for a new leader and potentially a new location. I will miss our second Saturdays together, but hopefully most of us will evolve into a new group. Farewell, Quilts from Cornerstone.

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