Quilt makers serve the community as they preserve the art of quilting

Photo by L. Parsons This queen sized quilt is being raffled by the Material Girls and the winner will be announced during their upcoming show, scheduled on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7, at the Elks Lodge in Winslow.

By L. Parsons

The Material Girls is a guild of quilt makers from Winslow, Joseph City and Holbrook. They are well known in the region for making beautiful works of art in the form of quilts, but they are also a force in the charity world.

The Material Girls donate quilts to be raffled or auctioned for charities throughout the year. Most recently, the Joseph City Fire Department received one, as did Winslow Chamber of Commerce for its fundraiser, The Taste of Winslow. “We always do something for the Festival of Trees, as well,” added quilter Terri Miller.

Notably, the group participates in Quilts of Valor, a program that provides handmade quilts to combat veterans. “We’ve donated quilts to Veterans from Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, everywhere,” Miller said.

Currently, the Arizona chapter of Quilts of Valor is making 15 quilts for Navajo Code Talkers. Three members of The Material Girls are sewing to contribute to that project. A ceremony to present the quilts and to honor the Code Talkers is set for December, with the location and date yet to be determined.

Each year, a quilt show is held by The Material Girls in Winslow and the funds raised are contributed to charity efforts by the group throughout the year. Also as a fundraiser, the group raffles a quilt annually during the show. In years past, the show has been held on two weekends, this year there will be only one. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Elks Lodge, located at 315 W. Third St. in Winslow.

Admission to the show is $2. Tickets for the raffle are available now by contacting any member of the group, or at the door for $1 each or six for $5. The drawing will be held at 4 p.m. on Oct. 7 at the Elks Lodge and you need not be present to win.

In addition to the show and the charities, the Material Girls also offer great opportunities to learn the art of quilting and to socialize with like minded people.    Miller made it clear that younger generations and people interested in learning to quilt are more than welcome. “Part of what we do is education,” she explained.

Classes are offered on a quarterly basis at varying cost to the student, but Miller assured, “The cost is nominal, as the guild is responsible for paying the instructors.” Classes for members are free, which could be an incentive to join. Miller emphasized the desire to pass on the culturally important art of quilting. “Quilting is an art, and needs to be preserved as such. It has been for generations and we would like to see it continued,” she concluded.

Membership is open to anyone, from beginning quilters to the very experienced, and dues are $20 a year.  Those interested in more information should attend the meetings held at 5:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, located at 101 E. Hillview St. in Winslow, or call Elaine Larsen at (928) 289-5032 or Terri Miller at (928) 289-0581.