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Quilters tie one on for charity

For 13 years, the Calvary Quilters have hosted a Quilts for Charity event.

Last year, 50 volunteers completed 60 quilts that were then donated to Project Linus, a nonprofit that provides children from birth to age 18 suffering physical or emotional trauma, a free blanket.

Things are on track this year to create more than 50 quilts again, according to Genie Corbin, a founding member of the group 13 years ago.

"We have repeat volunteers," Corbin said, with pride. "We welcome students. Over the years, different middle school and high school people come, often with a buddy."

She is not alone in feeling confident about enough volunteers showing up to help on Saturday, March 2, at Calvary United Methodist Church, 3939 Gamber Road.

"We get a pretty good turnout really," said Kitty Lane, a four-year member of the Quilters. "We're always surprised so many people turn up."

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., volunteers will help lay out a quilt's three layers – backing fabric, batting and front squares – and then tie them together with knots before passing it along to have its edges folded and stitched.

"It's a steady day of work and it's mostly standing," said Corbin, who is chairwoman of the event. "It's a big charity event open to the public to let people know what we do and help us."

In the past, the group would give volunteers the opportunity to select their own fabric and create a quilt on site. The volunteers would cut and sew together the squares and add the backing and batting. They soon decided that it was more efficient to have the quilts ready to be tied before asking for help.

"People were only able to make one quilt," Corbin said. "This is a more efficient use of people's time. People can come and just tie."

Members of Calvary Quilters will create the quilt tops for the event throughout the year.

Meeting twice a month, the Calvary Quilters work on a variety of other quilts, as well. In March, the group helps Manchester Elementary School students put together a Maryland quilt. In the fall, the group stitches together holiday quilts for Project Linus. During the summer, members get to try new patterns and pursue different ideas.

"Making quilts for giving is what we do most," Corbin said.

While the group makes quilts in all sorts of colors and styles, it also tries to reach a group that is often overlooked when it comes to creating something with fabric.

"We make quilt tops suitable for older boys," Corbin said. "So many [fabrics] are girlie. We try to feature some quilts suitable for boys. The average middle school or high school boy does not want a pink blanket."

Throughout the day Saturday, door prizes will be given away and all volunteers will be given a lunch, Corbin said.

Any amount of time one can give is appreciated, she said.

Students who bring the proper forms will also be able to receive service hours.

"All the people who come are happy to help," Lane said. "Once you learn the knot, anybody can do it. The day goes by so fast."

For information about the 13th annual Quilts for Charity event at Calvary United Methodist, call 410-795-9343.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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