The origin of Piecemakers harkens back to a time before sewing machines when women gathered at a quilting bee to socialize and to express their creativity on a piece of fabric stretched on a frame and quilted by hand. Today those fine quilts are treasured as heirlooms, just like the ladies of Piecemakers.
There is some debate about the group's founding, but the consensus is that it was more that 20 years ago.
"We started in my basement on a table my husband made from sawhorses and scrap lumber," said founding member Gerry Jensen.
T-R PHOTO BY CRAIG MOON
Piecemakers Gerry Jensen, Patty Moon, Pat Wiese, Carolyn Salasek and La Verna Warden are shown recently with their fall baby quilt, which is auctioned. The proceeds support Methodist missions.
Some of the friendships are even longer, "a lifetime," said La Verna Warden. A relative newcomer, Pat Wiese joined the group in 2004.
"I liked the looks of this group," she said.
Specializing in counted cross stitch quilting, the ladies developed a reputation for quality work. For many years the group has been recognized for their special baby quilt. Each fall that quilt goes to auction with the proceeds going to support Methodist missions. Always busy, the ladies also accept private commissions for hand quilting, and repair heirloom quilts. Proceeds from these activities support charities like the House of Compassion, Emergency Food Box and Bidwell House.
The history of Piecemakers is kept in a scrapbook filled with pictures of beautiful quilts, each with its own story.
"While quilting is a very popular hobby, it's very hard to find people who hand quilt," said Carolyn Salasek.
Anxious to share their skill, and keep the tradition alive, the ladies of Piecemakers welcome all interested parties regardless of skill.
Piecemakers meet from 1:30 to 5 p.m. each Wednesday in the quilting room at Hope United Methodist Church, 2203 S. Third Ave. The ladies promise lively conversation, fellowship, and tea precisely at 3 p.m.