There are some angels up north of Payson who can really fly when it comes to making quilts.
Last week in the first three hours of a three-day quilt-a-thon, the Quilt Angels put together 40 quilts for the Pine Strawberry Food Bank to distribute this coming Christmas — or whenever there is a need.
The Quilt Angels has about 14 members, some seasonal, but 23 quilters volunteered their time the first day of the quilt-a-thon. That was a good thing; the group planned on making about 150 quilts and around 105 massive Christmas stockings too.
The quilt-a-thons have taken place once a year for several years. In addition to providing quilts to the food bank, the group also gives them to the Department of Public Safety and Gila County Sheriff’s Office, as well as fire departments, to provide comfort to victims of accidents or fires. Additionally, quilts are given to seniors who are alone, residents who are shut-in recovering from an illness or surgery. The group also makes pillowcases — 200 at one sitting awhile back — and uses the fabric scraps to make dog beds and cat toys for the Humane Society of Central Arizona.
“We’re busy people,” said Gloria Fohr who was the coordinator for this year’s event.
She said the Quilt Angels don’t have any officers or rules, but they get together about twice a month, or occasionally three times — if they have a big project under way — and they have lots of fun.
“If we get a call (for a quilt) we will respond,” she said.
At the meetings the members do a great deal of prep work on the quilts — cutting, piecing, sewing and stuffing. So, when they gather for the quilt-a-thon they are sewing the quilt layers together and then doing the tying, tacking, labeling and putting them in bags for distribution.
Members’ husbands help the women set up for the quilt-a-thon and then come back when all is said and done and help them clean up. The members bring all kinds of wonderful food to keep one another’s energy up. The first day there was fried chicken, a macaroni salad, a killer German potato salad (compliments of Fohr), all kinds of baked goods, snacks and more. The second day the group was going to feast on sub sandwiches.
Besides the comfort quilts, the group has made a queen-sized raffle quilt with the theme, “Woodland Wonders,” which the food bank will be selling tickets for at all the Pine-Strawberry arts festivals throughout the summer and at the Strawberry Festival.
The group’s generosity is possible because it gets all its fabric from its own quilt angel. The donor lives in the Valley and gives the group tons of fabric — much of it with cats on it, reflecting her love of felines. In return, the group gives her a quilt each year for her birthday and at Christmas.
The group has two outings a year, visiting quilt shops and shows in other communities.