Appliqué, Blind stitch, Calico…and so it goes. The Tel Hai Quilters meet one day a week to do what it is they do so well, and they know the A, B, Cs of quilting and so very much more.
The Tel Hai Quilters love to gather in friendship and commitment. The friendship they share is their love of quilting. The commitment they share is quilting to spread love to others. This group loves to quilt, which, to them means quilting the right way…the old-fashioned way…the painstaking time-consuming way of push down, rock, push up, rock and push down until four or five stitches are gathered on the needle to end up with no fewer than 7 tiny stitches to every inch of fabric! This, to the experienced quilters, is the regular rocking stitch, but they also know all about the hide-and-seek, stitches in the ditch and so many others.
Hand quilting is a true labor of love, and the Tel Hai quilters love the work they do. Meeting almost since the very first days of Tel Hai—way back in the ‘70s or possibly even earlier—the Tel Hai quilters have always worked for charity. No one kept a journal or log book, so much of their work in the past is lost to history; however, we honor this dedicated group of ladies for the ongoing work they do today.
Originally, the groups that benefited from their work were neighboring charities outside our community; however, as Tel Hai grew, they started focusing their efforts to benefit the Care Assurance Fund. To this end, they accept quilt tops and hand quilt an heirloom-quality finished quilt for anyone who seeks them out. Each quilt requires hours of finger-bending, knuckle-stiffening, back-aching work, but these ladies gather every week for three hours to enjoy their fellowship and the work they love compounded by the gratification they are benefiting the Care Assurance Fund.
When asked about their most ambitious quilt, Joanne Belson recalled the king-sized hand-quilted piece they did for one of the Fallowfield Township schools. She believes they raffled the quilt and made over $2,500 for their fundraiser. Our quilting group no longer works on king-size quilts because their room and quilting rack cannot accommodate that size. At one time, this group purchased their quilt tops and worked their magic to make pieces sold in the Garden Boutique gift shop on campus. Since the renovation of the Garret Community Center they accept new projects in a different way—by request only. Their work can be done for anyone who has a quilt top and a willingness to donate $150-$300 to the Tel Hai Care Assurance Fund.
Who are these quilters? Mildred Yoder, Joanne Belson, Jane Kerr, Gladys Mosteller, Pat Purdy, Sue Stauffer, Chris Tabb, and Waneta Zimmerman.
For their Adoring, Big-heated, Concern and for spreading care and love to others through their love of quilting, we thank the Tel Hai Quilters and we highlight them in the Volunteer Spotlight.
PHOTO: Tel Hai’s Quilting Group—standing from left: Sue Stauffer, Chris Tabb, Pat Purdy, Jane Kerr & Waneta Zimmerman. Seated: Joanne Belson, Gladys Mosteller and Mildred Yoder