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Mount Airy sewing group helps seniors design and sew quilt


BLOCK BY BLOCK, a unique quilt is being designed and sewn by a group of seniors from Mount Airy Senior Center. Under the guidance of the Mount Airy Bobbinettes, the group began work on the quilt in September, and plans are to hang the finished piece in a place of honor in the center's lunchroom.

The Mount Airy Bobbinettes, a neighborhood sewing group of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the American Sewing Guild, is donating its time in exchange for a room at the center for its monthly meetings.

Teaching beginning sewers the basics of quilting, as well as helping the more experienced sewers with new techniques, the Bobbinettes also spend part of their time at the senior center demonstrating sewing methods, tools and sewing machines.

The time that the Bobbinettes spend with the seniors is not only an opportunity for the seniors to polish their sewing skills, it has a social atmosphere reminiscent of an old-fashioned quilting bee.

Jenny Osborn, one of the organizers of the Bobbinettes and chapter administrator for the Chesapeake Bay chapter, says of the group, "We all visit together. The seniors would love for us to stay all day. Sometimes it's hard for us to get away."

The design for the quilt is based on a center block featuring a painting of the senior center. The rest of the blocks are being sewn by the seniors using quilting techniques, including hand applique, paper piecing and traditional quilt patterns.

The seniors are enthusiastic about the project and are taking great pains to make the quilt personal, according to center manager Debbie Shindle. They are quilting their blocks in favorite themes and have chosen colors that will go with the decor in the senior center. Evaleen Leon, for instance, has chosen to sew her quilt block as a newspaper, in honor of her writing career.

"We have a lot of talent that I was not aware of," Ms. Shindle said. "They each have their own special way of doing things. Each group is learning a lot from one another."

Anticipating that the quilt will be completed by June, the seniors are planning a second project with the Bobbinettes. The group will next begin designing and sewing seasonal banners to decorate the center year-round.

A nonprofit, educational organization, the Mount Airy Bobbinettes was organized by Ms. Osborn, Martha Dean and Isabella Hiortdahl for those who love the art of sewing, quilting, crafting and cross-stitch.

The purpose of the neighborhood sewing group is to provide up-to-date information to members of all skill levels through demonstrations, classes, seminars, fashion and craft shows. The group provides an opportunity for sewing experiences, and a way to share sewing ideas and information.

Ms. Osborn's first attempt at sewing was a Girl Scout project at age 12. "It was really awful," she said. Her sewing skills have come a long way from that project.

In addition to her involvement with the Bobbinettes, Ms. Osborn teaches sewing classes at the Sew-Vac store in Mount Airy, and specializes in creative sewing methods, such as embellishments and heirloom sewing.

Ms. Dean offers sewing lessons to children at her home.

In addition to its work with the seniors, the Bobbinettes group is involved with chapter projects. The members are sewing baby blankets to be donated to an area hospital in conjunction with the CARE WARE volunteer program.

For more information concerning the Mount Airy Bobbinettes, or the Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the American Sewing Guild, call Ms. Osborn at (301) 391-6656.

Portrait fund-raiser

The Ladies Auxiliary of Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department is sponsoring a Family Portrait Project this spring.

During the next several weeks, Diamond Portrait Studio representatives will go door to door selling family portrait tickets for $10. The ticket entitles buyers to an 11- by 14-inch color family photograph.

Additional portraits may be purchased.

The photos will be taken the weekend of April 20 at Winfield fire station.

The studio representative must show proper identification and a letter of introduction to perspective purchasers before selling a portrait ticket.

Call Barbara Zepp at (410) 795-2830 for additional information.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Carroll Neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County Edition of The Sun.

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