Written by Nan Mahon
A fusion of colors, a fabric with texture, and the art of design. These are the elements that draw the creators of quilts and bring them together to form the Elk Grove Quilt Guild (EGQG).
In the spacious home of the group’s current president, Kathy Sansone, some 20 of her quilts hang on the walls, are spread on the beds, and lay across the arms of chairs. This is true, she says, of many of the quilters’ homes.
These are not the quilts of old, made from material scraps or discarded work clothes. They are not quilts just for warmth, but things of beauty to be shown to the world.
Organized in 1998, the EGQG currently has 90 members and meets monthly in the Sunshine Event Center. They gather ideas, host a speaker, and discuss community service projects. Their speakers are Master Quilters who bring trunk shows and hold workshops. Every other year, the Guild sponsors the Harvest of Quilts Show to display their art.
“We are not a sewing circle,” said Sansone. “But we do have a mentor meeting to encourage beginners, to share knowledge and techniques.”
While their mission is to preserve the heritage of quilting, exchange ideas, and promote the education and skill levels of their members; the focus is also on community projects that contribute to the welfare of those in need of the kind of comfort a handmade gift can bring.
“Twice a year,” said Sansone, “we have a sewing day and potluck for networking. There are also Quilt Retreats that host a weekend of quilting and relaxing at the Mercy Center Retreat in Auburn.”
Debbie Jean Hopkins says she loves interacting with other quilters while Sylivia McCutcheon loves learning new things.’
Friends and family of quilters often receive personal gifts of quilt artwork.
“I love giving my quilts away,” said Linda Brown.
There is much more than a bed quilt or wall hanging in the service projects produced by the EGQG. In addition to adult and children quilts, there are pillowcases and Christmas stockings donated every year. Those who receive the warm, personal gifts are people in hard times. Included is Sutter Child Life, Shriners’ Hospital, Ronald Mc Donald House, Kiwanis Family House, U.C. Davis Palliative Care, Kaiser South Sacramento Oncology, and Chicks in Crisis. Each year the donation averages 80-100 items.
During the Holidays, an average of 400 Christmas Stockings are given to River Oak for Children Center. The most prolific quilter, Sylvia Porter has donated more than 100 quilts in the past year alone.
The Guild is especially proud to award Quilts of Valor to currently serving and discharged veterans. They have given 38 quilts since 2015.
“It is a moving experience to give someone in need a special quilt,” said Sansone.
Sue Damron adds that “It’s good to know they will feel appreciated and that someone cares about them.”
“It’s the creativity and sharing I love,” echoes Karen Cannon.
For their community service, the EGQG was presented with the 2015 City of Elk Grove Mayor’s Volunteer Award in the category of Arts, Culture & Heritage.
The City also shows appreciation with an Event Sponsorship Grant for the annual Harvest of Quilts Show that takes place at the S.E.S Hall, September 14-15, 2019. The Guild members invite the public to come and marvel at the current as well as the heritage patterns, new as today and as old as history.
Nan Mahon is an author and journalist. She is a member City of Elk Grove Committee for the Arts and received the Elk Grove 2011 Mayor’s Award for volunteerism in the Arts.
This story first appeared in Ardent
for Life Summer 2019 issue.