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Chambersburg guild displays its quilts

July 18, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Quilting has hooked 84 women in Franklin County and surrounding areas, who together form the Chambersburg Quilt Guild.

Some say they quilt because it's relaxing, it relieves tension and stress, and it fulfills their creative urges, but they warn it can be habit forming.

"I took a class and became addicted to it," said Lois Young.

Some members of the quilting group say they spend nearly every waking moment with needle and thread in hand, stitching piece after piece together until an intricate design forms.

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"I've got all of my beds covered. Now I'm working on quilts for the children," Young said.

Proud of their finished products, guild members are showing more than 140 quilts of all sizes, pillows, wall hangings and other items at the Festival of Quilts today from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Eugene C. Clark Jr. Community Center, 235 S. Third St. in Chambersburg.

Admission is free and raffle tickets will be sold for a quilt made by guild members. Part of the proceeds from the raffle will be donated to a local nonprofit organization.

In its 15th year, the quilting guild is made up of women ages 20 to 85 with quilting skills ranging from novice to expert.

Their common thread is love of quilting.

"It's just a good group of ladies. We share our ideas and help each other out," Young said.

In addition to holding quilt shows, guild members make about 70 doll quilts for the Chambersburg Toy Mission each year.

A member of the National Quilters Association, the Chambersburg Guild holds workshops, provides a monthly newsletter, schedules speakers for their meetings and holds monthly quilting bees at members' homes.

They work together making big quilts and most members have their own quilting projects at home.

Guild member Andrea Finch admits that quilting sometimes comes before house cleaning.

"My son is used to Mommy finishing a few stitches" before she can devote her attention to something else, Finch said.

Another member, Betty Byers, said quilting has almost turned into a full-time job for her.

She recently finished a quilt with a soccer theme made in part from her granddaughter's different team shirts.

Several members said they dropped other hobbies like knitting, crocheting and painting after they were introduced to quilting.

"A lot of people come into it from other crafts," Finch said.

Anyone interested in joining the guild can do so by attending the meeting, held the second Saturday of each month from September to May at 1 p.m. at St. John's United Church of Christ, 1811 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg.

Membership dues are $15 a year.

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