Article from Connections Newsletter.
Etz Chayim Handworkers started the year off with a philanthropy project. The Jewish chaplain at the Veterans’ Administration Hospital, Rabbi Valerie Joseph, put out a request for quilts for Jewish veterans at the VA hospital. So on Sunday January 16, the Etz Chayim Women’s Group and Handworkers, including Amy Berson, Kalli Smith, Carla Kirschenbaum, Trudy Eiron, Jan Pepper, Preeva Tramiel, Tatiana Granoff, Andrea Temkin, Carolyn Siegel, Janet Chaikind, Judy Bergwerk and Jessica Bernhardt, got together and held a quilt-a-thon.
There was no religious school that day, so we spread out in the Doubletree room and at the Handworkers’ usual location around the founders’ table. The goal was to make three to five lap/throw size quilts, about 44 x 60 inches in size, in patriotic themes with Jewish motifs. Fueled by chocolate, four quilts were begun and nearly completed that day. Three of the uncompleted quilts were finished by the Handworkers after the event. There is one quilt left to be tied.
During Sunday’s event, Rabbi Joseph dropped by and told the gathered
quilters about her clients at the VA and the programs she supports
and where she will use our quilts. No experience was necessary to participate. There were many types of tasks that did not involve sewing, such as cutting fabric, layering quilt tops, pressing (ironing), and tying the quilts. Some participants were skilled quilters; others were neophytes.
Jessica Bernhardt brought a sample quilt top and the attendees split into three groups— each group making a quilt. Participants brought cutting mats, cutters and clear rulers, scissors, curved needles for tying, sewing machines, irons and boards, thread, batting, cotton embroidery floss and cotton crochet yarn or tying the quilts. Ruth Perkins and others donated woven cotton fabric in red, white, and blue solids and prints and Jewish print fabric. Wendy Lash and others donated batting.