A lot more than fabric and thread goes into every piece the Calico Cutups Quilt Guild puts together — there is a lot of love.
The group, which meets monthly in the basement of the Forsyth Community Presbyterian Church, has been gathering to swap secrets, share ideas and stitch colorful pieces of fabric together since 1987. Every project they create as a group provides more than a chance to bond with one another, it is another way they can support the community.
Last year, the group gave away nearly 100 quilts. This year, the one quilt the group has worked on together that won’t be handed out will be raffled off with the proceeds going into a scholarship fund.
“It is a labor of love,” said Deb Wallace, who joined the guild three years ago after retiring. “You have to enjoy it to be willing to give it away to someone else. You have to love that.”
There is nothing else, Wallace said, like quilting for someone else.
“A quilt is very special,” Wallace said. “There are no two alike. Hopefully, it will make someone’s day a little brighter.”
Dottie Enke, who owns a longarm quilting machine and does the finishing work for many of the projects, said the majority of the quilts are given to the Missouri Department of Social Services. In the past, quilts from the Calico Cutups Quilt Guild have been given to the sheriff’s department, local paramedics, police, family services and a local ministry.
“We learn a lot from each other,” said member Nina Avery.
Although Avery has been quilting for more than two decades, she said, she is always getting ideas and tricks from others in the guild.
“You are always learning something new,” she said.
In September, the group will host a quilt show at the Branson-Hollister Lion’s Club building on Missouri 76. The show will be held Sept. 13-14 and give people a chance to see a sample of the members’ work, purchase items and buy raffle tickets to win a handmade quilt the group worked together to make. Avery said the quilt will be appraised, but estimated its value to be at least $1,500. Money raised from the raffle will go into a scholarship fund for a Taney County student studying textiles.