Pastoral: Quilting Bee
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We make bed-sized quilts for Progress Ranch boys (44 and counting); lap quilts and pillowcases for older members of our church community; small quilts and pillowcases for UUCD child dedication ceremonies; small quilts and pillowcases for nearby communities affected by fires; lap-quilts for YIIN fundraiser; a lap quilt for the Balazs scholar; small quilts, pillowcases, and preemie pads for children in challenging situations; quilted coasters/ornaments for ministers to give to church members in need of comfort; stoles for intern ministers; the new UUCD Banner for the UU General Assembly parade.
November 12, 2022, email: Quilting plans starting Jan. 2023 and recap of our Oct 23 quilting gathering
Our Oct. 23 reflections and brainstorming meeting was great! Sixteen of us gathered for a fun and productive meeting. Others wanted to come but had schedule conflicts or health concerns. Many thanks to folks who brought excellent snacks; helped with set-up and clean-up; brought quilt kits or bins of fabric so people could work on sewing projects at home; managed the note taking and so on.
I’m going to jump to an important outcome then go back to provide a more detailed summary of the meeting. Pre-pandemic we met at my house for more than 10 years. Prior to our Oct. 23 gathering I said I was no longer comfortable hosting a large group at my house and many of you are not comfortable at large inside gatherings. When we brainstormed about how we can meet in the future, Seanain Snow and Mary Ann Robinson volunteered to contact the office to see if quilters could meet in church space and have some storage. Great success! Mandy Dawn scheduled the Library for us Saturday 1-4 pm on January 21, March 18 and May 20. These dates are all the 3rd Saturday of the month. We can adjust as needed. Facilities manager Chris immediately set up some storage space for quilting supplies in the facilities closet in the library building. This is a great solution that was quickly implemented. Thank yous go to Mary Ann, Seanain, Mandy Dawn and Chris!
Back to the meeting:
We had three in-depth topics. Robin Datel talked with us about how her mother Dorie Datel started UUCD’s quilting ministry by organizing quilts for Progress Ranch and for our Transylvania partner church around 2005-08. Robin brought some quilts Dorie had made for Robin’s sons. Dorie had told me that her grandchildren cherished their personal made-for-them quilts; that inspired her to make personal quilts for the Progress Ranch boys. Thus began our quilting projects.
Alyssum Maguire, executive director at Progress Ranch Treatment Services, talked with us about the careful, loving, professional care the children at Progress Ranch receive. The care is focused on helping children who have experienced trauma and disruption gain emotional and cognitive insights and skills so that they can successfully transition to their natural supports and permanency as quickly as possible, frequently with a parent or relative. The bed quilts that the UUCD quilters make for each Progress Ranch boy contribute to a home-like setting that gives the children the space and structure they need to heal and grow. Since about 2005, 75 Progress Ranch boys have received personal quilts. To thank us and to help us understand the importance of the quilts, Alyssum made us a beautiful, framed fabric artwork. Towards the bottom of the artwork, are the words “Loveable” and “Worthy” and across the bottom of the frame it says: “This ‘Work of Heart’ was created with gratitude for the UUCD quilters whose art celebrates the individuality of each Progress Ranch child.” In coming months, we plan to display this new piece of art so that all can enjoy it.
Pat Moore-Pickett reflected on our first major project during the pandemic: making and distributing masks. It was a scary time and a time of frustration and uncertainty as we learned that the US was so unprepared that even hospitals did not have safety supplies such as masks. For most of us, our initial focus was on masks for friends and family but then commercial masks slowly became available. At that point, many sewers shifted their focus to masks for people who did not have access to commercial masks. Pat took the lead for our quilting group in delivering masks to some of those groups: farmworkers, employees in small grocery stores and mini marts around Yolo County, volunteers who handed out daily lunch bags at the school pick-up points, volunteers who made food bank deliveries to homes and so on. If you were dropping off masks at my front-porch inbox, you were participating in this social justice work. Thank you!
Moving on to celebration and brainstorming:
Pat Moore-Pickett set up a white board and recorded:
(1) Celebration: projects we did; skills we learned or skills we taught; what we enjoyed pre-pandemic and what we missed in the last 2.5 years.
Almost everyone chimed in and the celebration list was long, interesting, joyful and inspiring; if we had had another 15 minutes, the list would have been twice as long. The celebration portion ended with what we missed in the last 2.5 years: briefly, we missed getting to know each other, meeting in person, teamwork.
(2) Looking ahead:
Again, many people chimed in and if we had had more time, the lists would be longer.
- Important projects to continue: Progress Ranch quilts; Quilts for Kids (mostly for hospitalized children and youth) and for Yolo Crisis Nursery; variety of sewn items for church auction; sewn items (mostly coasters and lap quilts) for caring committee to distribute; special items such as stoles for ministers.
- How we can work alone and together:
- meet outside;
- sew individually at home;
- meet in small groups;
- be part of a team that works sequentially: someone designs, someone cuts blocks, someone sews blocks together; someone turns it into a quilt.
- meet in social hall or library
- Coordination needed for the coming period (we will deal with this at a later date):
- schedule, calendar, deadlines;
- fabric and equipment storage;
- broader church sewing events;
- budget, annual report
I’m excited about our future.
Best to you,
Annual Report 2021-22 (submitted May 2022)
- Group name: Quilting Bee
- Chair: Julie Saylor
- Members (Note: This is mostly the membership list from 2019-20. There has been little opportunity to join because we have not met since winter 2020.)
Quilting group: Ann-Catrin Van, Anya Clasen, Barbara Clutter, Cathy Smart, Claire Bradley, Dawn Casteel, Donna Sachs, Eileen Allen, Emma Luna, Jan Smyth, Jane McKendry, Jeannette Hogan, Jeri Ohmart, Judy Moores, Julie Saylor, Karen Friis, Leanne Friedman, Leslie Snow, Louanne Horsfield, Mair Winger, Mary Ann Robinson, Pat Moore-Pickett, Peg Swain, Peggy Watterson, Phoebe Ford, Seanain Snow, Susan Jellema, Ximena Jackson.
- List of major accomplishments:
Until the March 2020 pandemic shutdown, we gathered about once a month but we did not meet in 2020-21 or 2021-22 due to pandemic physical distancing. Only a few people were sewing but they were productive. Our top priority was making a quilt for each Progress Ranch boy. Here is our sewing:
- For Progress Ranch boys: 12 bed-sized quilts (over the years, about 75 boys have received quilts). For each boy’s quilt, Rev. McLean recorded a beautiful personal blessing on you tube;
- For our UUCD community: several lap-size quilts for new grandchildren, several quilts for various members, one special-focus quilt and one special focus collection of items;
- For local community: two quilts for charitable fundraising auctions, 8 quilts for children at Yolo Crisis Nursery, 8 quilts for refugee resettlement,
- For children in hospital care: 20 quilts
- For UUCD religious education children: 35 small marble mazes for the autumn welcome baskets.
- Are you looking for new members/volunteers? If so, whom, for what?
Since we have not been meeting, it has been hard to engage new members. We will see what the future holds.
- Chair for coming year: Julie Saylor
- Submitted by Julie Saylor, 5/10/2022
COVID-19 Response: Welcome to Mask Making A UUCD Quilting Bee Project
Who received masks? (added May 20, 2020)
2,100+ masks sewn by about 35 people were donated in the last two months. Most mask makers donated directly to the individuals or organizations.
(partial list in no particular order)
STEAC, SPCA, Yolo Food Bank, school lunch distribution programs, Hope’s Anchor (foster families), day laborers in Bay Area, Navajo Nation, farm workers in NJ, family and friends near and far including many family members working in healthcare, co-workers, occupational therapists, UUCD church members, non-medical staff at Woodland Hospital, Davis Spanish speaking families,Davis Farmer’s Market vendors, CASA child’s foster parents, UPS, Door Dash and Instacart drivers,UCDMC ICU nurse, Davis Food Co-op workers, asylum seekers at Texas/Mexico border, children of domestic workers in Brooklyn, NY, Veteran’s Hospital,Davis Methodist church members, Communicare Clinics, WeCare Yolo, Yolo Hospice, pediatric masks to a pediatrician, mail carriers, elderly & immunocompromised individuals, UCD Student Farm, UUCD landscape crew volunteers, nurses attending patients in their homes and nursing homes, Progress Ranch boys and staff, Yolo County migrant workers and farm workers and families, Turning Point, Meals on Wheels, Woodland Food Closet, Yolo Delivers Hope, Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance, URC residents (mostly made by people living at URC), non-medical staff at Stollwood Convalescent Hospital at St. John’s Woodland, small local essential businesses, caregivers in the Families Together Project, asylum seekers, Native Americans in South Dakota.
Why wear a mask?
Cloth face masks reduce the possibility that you will transmit the COVID-19 virus but they do not keep you from getting COVID-19 the way physical distancing does. Consider yourself an asymptomatic person who can shed virus. When you go out wearing a mask, you are taking care of those around you because the masks help catch the wearers’ sneezes and coughs and the droplets expelled when breathing. Homemade face masks are NOT medical grade and NOT N95.
When you see someone else wearing a homemade cloth mask, know that they are taking care of you. Together we can do this.
Who makes masks and why?
You can make masks even if you can’t sew. Many UUCD quilters are busy sewing masks, mostly for organizations (esp. Yolo Food Bank, Communicare, Yolo Hospice) and for volunteers such as those handing out school lunches and driving people to chemo appointments. We encourage you to make masks because the demand is growing much faster than the supply and it’s very satisfying to do something hands-on. See this PDF for a video and directions for one sewn mask pattern that many of our mask makers use.
Join the Facebook group Yolo County Mask-Making for COVID-19 for more patterns and directions including directions for making a mask even if you don’t sew (to join the group, answer a few simple questions.)
The quilting group has some mask making supplies and can help you get started. Please contact Julie Saylor if you want fabric or if you have questions.
Sewing or making masks is a great way to manage the gnawing anxiety that staying in place can cause. Focus on the making and giving rather than on the need.
What can you do if you need a cloth mask and can’t make one?
Ask us. We look forward to helping our church community and will strive to provide masks in a timely fashion. To request masks, please email Julie Saylor with the number of masks needed and whether any of the masks are for small children requiring a smaller mask. We don’t have a stash because, as noted earlier, we have been helping fill many large requests and the masks go out quickly. If we receive many mask requests from church members, we will work to find what is needed.
—Submitted by Julie Saylor with great assistance from Pat Moore-Pickett
Donate to Support UU Quilters’ Mask-Making Projects: Give via our website, choose “Quilting Mask Donation.”