Homeless Quilters Continue Good Works


By Lynda Duplissea


Despite being left ‘homeless’ while the Methodist Homes Rec Center undergoes extensive renovations, the St. Croix International Quilters continue to serve both sides of the border with their good works.

After learning that their meeting and workshop site would be unavailable for at least two months, the quilters were uncertain as to where they would gather for meetings, workshops, and special events. As a not for profit group, their treasury usually funds charitable works; however, the quilters have had to use some of their funds for ‘rent.’

In December, the membership approved using some of its treasury to rent the St. Croix Country Club for their December meeting and pot-luck. In the spirit of the season, a paper towel collection to benefit Sarah’s House outside of Bangor acted as ‘admission’ to the last meeting of the year.

Special Events Chair Mary Ann O’Brien delivered 403 rolls of packaged towels to Sarah’s House earlier this month. “The director of Sarah’s House was amazed. She said that she expects they won’t have to purchase paper towels for quite some time.” At the suggestion of Bonnie Brown-Hunter, the paper towel collection became a ‘challenge’ with a prize of a collection of Connecting Threads quilting thread to be awarded to the member who contributed the greatest amount. Jerry Reynolds took home the collection having brought in 63 rolls.

January’s Hospice Lap Quilt Workshop and business meeting might have been cancelled had it not been for member Jane Eaton arranging for the quilters to rent the First Congregational Church of Calais for a modest fee.

Peggy Brownlee and Wanda Pollock, the Hospice Lap Quilt Program’s coordinators, were happy that a well-lit and pleasant location could be found. Approximately a dozen members took advantage of the sunny day to sit and sew with their quilting sisters. “We had quite a bit of fabric donated to this project thanks to Connecting Threads and Quilt Essentials,” explained Brownlee. 

She said that member Julia Brady visited Connecting Threads headquarters last year and when she toured their fabric warehouse, she asked where the scraps went. Learning that it was considered ‘waste’, she said her friends back home could make a lot of quilts for Hospice clients out of that waste. She was allowed to take whatever amount she could fit in four industrial sized trash bags and transport them back to Maine. Brownlee and Pollock took the better part of the year cutting the ‘scraps’ into usable strips. “It was a lot of cutting,” mused Pollock, “and I’m glad we’re finally getting to use all of this fabric up.”

Besty Dorr, owner of Quilt Essentials of Auburn Maine, has been a longtime supporter of SCIQ’s Hospice Lap Quilt Program. Every year she donates several bolts of fabric for the backings. Member Marlene Wilbur of Perry is a long arm quilter who finishes the quilt tops for a much discounted fee.

Sadly, the quilters have had to cancel a Valentine Tea scheduled for February. “It has always been a much anticipated event for the residents of the Methodist Homes. It was one of many ways we expressed our thanks to the residents for sharing their Rec Hall with us,” reflected O’Brien. The Special Events Chair is hoping that the Rec Center will be completed by April and that the quilters can plan a tea for the residents around a Welcome Spring theme; however, that idea will have to be discussed at an executive meeting.


Until further notice, anyone interested in attending a meeting or workshop with the St. Croix quilters should first check the web site ( www.stcroixquilters.org ) and see if, when, and where the quilters will meet. Email: stcroixquilters@gmail.com