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Country Patchwork Quilt Guild hopes donated quilts will help comfort area cancer sufferers

Thursday, June 12, 2008

From left, Norma Jeane Ferguson and Marilyn Martin, of the Country Patchwork Quilt Guild, display one of the quilts that will be donated to the Fitzgibbon Community Cancer Center when it is built to provide comfort to area patients undergoing cancer treatment there. The two organized a quilt-a-thon held Tuesday, June 10, at Bloomfield's Family Restaurant. Sixty-seven quilts from the event will be donated.
(Eric Crump/Democrat-News)
The money being raised by the Community Cancer Center campaign is essential in order to create a cancer treatment facility, but providing money isn't the only way the community can help area cancer sufferers.

Volunteers are raising something else Tuesday, June 10: quilts.

After prolific quilters created enough quilts to fill the walls of the banquet room at Bloomfield's Tuesday, June 10, quilts were drapped over tables and chairs.
(Eric Crump/Democrat-News)
A quilt-a-thon sponsored by the Country Patchwork Quilt Guild began at 6 a.m. Tuesday and continued until 10 p.m. Actually, the day was a bit longer for organizers and a few volunteers.

Norma Jeane Ferguson said the preparations began at 5:30 a.m. And cleanup ended about 10:30 p.m.

As of about 2:30 p.m. 32 quilters had helped sew nearly 40 quilts -- well on the way to their goal of 61, according to guild member Michael Marsh.

Norma Jeane Ferguson watches as her husband, Charles, works on his first quilt during the Country Patchwork Quilt Guild quilt-a-thon Tuesday, June 10. The guild, with help from numerous volunteers who provided materials and labor, will donate 67 quilts to the future Fitzgibbon Community Cancer Center for the comfort of those undergoing treatment in the proposed facility.
(Eric Crump/Democrat-News)
The stitchers eventually exceeded their goal, creating 67 quilts by the time the event ended, according to Ferguson.

Ferguson and Marilyn Martin, the guild's charity committee, said they had been overwhelmed by the generosity of quilters, not only by the time and skill they provided but the donations of quilting materials.

The quilts made and donated for the quilt-a-thon will be given to the new Fitzgibbon Community Cancer Center to be used by patients being treated there, Marsh said.

The idea of providing quilts was to give the community a way to support patients struggling through a difficult time. Marsh said people often don't know what to say or what they can do to help others who are in that situation.

But a gift of a quilt is both a tangible and symbolic gesture.

"The main idea is to provide comfort for people undergoing treatment. Quilts are a symbol of love and support and comfort," he said. Giving quilts "is a way to show we love and care" for cancer suffers.

Marsh said the guild wanted to get the idea out into the community that there are ways to help in addition to making donations to help make the cancer center a reality.

Ferguson said members of the Stitch-by-Stitch quilting club in Marshall participated, as did individual quilters from around the county and from Carrollton.

Contact Eric Crump at marshalleditor@socket.net

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I second Muffin's comment. I joined in the quilt-a-thon and sewed my very first quilt top on Tuesday. It was a very satisfying feeling. But I got the mailer from the hospital's capital campaign committee that day saying $300,000 is needed by July 11. We need to do all we can. I'm writing a check, too.

-- Posted by Pragmatist on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 6:24 PM

Nothing says "I care" like something you make. Very giving of the quilters to do this. Hope folks will step up and pledge/give so the goal will be reached.

-- Posted by Muffin on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 3:12 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Something I failed to note in the story: Country Patchwork Quilt Guild invites people to continue to donate quilts for the cancer center. The purpose of the quilt-a-thon was mainly to introduce the idea and try to get the community involved.

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