By Pat Brown
Members of the Quilting Party quilt guild in Blacksburg are sponsoring “A Day for Quilts” on Tuesday, June 2, to show their support for all essential workers as well as those complying with stay-at-home recommendations.
“We want to celebrate everybody,” said Paula Golden, president of the guild.
The idea is for quilt makers and quilt owners throughout the New River Valley to display their quilts in a front window, over a porch rail or on a line strung between two trees on June 2.
“We want to honor all essential workers,” said Golden. “Medical workers, trash collectors, grocery store workers, and those staying at home, including teachers and parents who are trying to help children learn.”
Quilting Party usually sponsors an auction, their major fundraiser, and a pot luck in June, so the display project is a departure for them.
“We like to touch and create” with textiles, Golden said of the guild members. But in the era of social isolation, they have redirected their energy. “We are doing something for the community,” she said.
With nearly 50 members, Quilting Party is inviting quilters from other local quilting guilds to join them. Both Radford and Floyd have their own guilds. Some people who don’t quilt may own family heirlooms quilts or quilts found at auctions, and they are welcome to participate.
Quilt owners who bought their treasures at stores are urged to participate, too. “Your quilt does not have to be homemade,” Golden said.
“We want the community to show that we are covering everybody with love,” she said.
The show will begin at 9 a.m. on June 2 and will continue until 7 p.m. “If it’s rainy, we want people to use inside sheltered places,” Golden said, suggesting front windows. “No harm should come to any quilt.” Participants should remember to pick a shady place to display their quilts if the day is particularly sunny, she said.
Golden said her club is hoping people will drive or walk around neighborhoods to view and appreciate the quilts. “No touching,” she said.
“There’s a sort of Zen to stitching,” said Golden. The quilter is constantly sending the needle in and out of the cloth. “It calms you. It’s a lot like breathing in and out, so it can be soothing.”
Perhaps viewing beautiful quilts can be soothing, too.