In the cozy basement of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church I had the chance to sit-down with Pat Bernd, President of the Sagebrush Quilters. The guild’s open-house was just ending, but there was still abuzz as the members were gathering-up fabric to be put away until their next quilt-making session. Guild definition: An association of artisans and merchants who oversee the practice of their craft/trade.
With 25 members including Margarett Thiel, Treasurer, and Kathy Holthus, Secretary…Pat informed me that the Sagebrush Quilters was formed in the early 1980’s as a community based hobby consisting of local ladies such as herself, Gloria Wood, Debbie Norcross, and Linda Eldridge with Paula Nichols, and Yvonne Deforrest joining later…and that’s just to name a few. Some of those ladies have, unfortunately, passed away but Linda’s beautiful daughter, Alicia Hankins, a member of the guild, has picked up where her Mom left off. She possesses the same talent for quilting just as her mother Linda did. Some of these ladies have decades of stories, which can be shared all-the-while sewing quilts.
The guild’s MISSION STATEMENT, and purpose is “COMMUNITY PROJECTS” to include and help anyone wanting to learn how to sew. The guild’s oldest member, 85 year old Carol Gribble would love to teach anyone who shows an interest in learning. Some of their past projects have been sewing quilts and donating them to WBRH newborn babies, dialysis center patients, care center residents, and to the White Pine County Sheriff’s Office.
An on-going project, which is truly a labor of love and has kept the group busy for the past two years is sewing quilts and donating them to WPC Veterans. On November 11th, 2023, which is Veteran’s Day, you will find the Sagebrush Quilters at the VFW hall handing out their beautiful quilts to Veterans who have requested them prior. Note: Qualifying Vets will be notified by mail via the V.A. NOT by the Sagebrush Quilters.
Quilting is a centuries-old tradition dating back to the 12th century. “In the past, quilts were connected to nostalgia and domesticity, but in recent years they have caught the eye and attention of those in the art world. Critics at publications like the New York Times have lauded certain quilts as virtuosic works of art.” Please visit artsy.net to read the entire article. Also, visit appvoices.org to read how “Barn Quilts” have entered into the world of tourism.
The Sagebrush Quilters, each and every member, can definitely give any artisan a run-for-their money when it comes to crafting beautiful and unique quilts. These ladies have amazing talent, and it definitely shows in their workmanship. Each year during Arts-in-the-Park the guild displays their quilts in the middle school gym for all to admire. If you haven’t had the chance to view their works-of-art, mark your calendars for Nov. 11th and plan on attending the Veteran’s Day quilt donation at the VFW hall. The community’s attendance, and support would be of significant value.
Sagebrush Quilters meet every Thurs. 1-4 pm, and every 2nd Saturday 9am-3pm. If you don’t have a sewing machine don’t worry! The guild will lend a machine, and provide the quilt making materials. Membership is $7/month OR $75/year. The fees pay for St. Bartholomew’s utilities and church supplies. Pat Bernd, President, is quoted as saying “That is the least we could do as the Episcopal Church has allowed us to utilize their basement for years; power, water, and heat along with a kitchen and bathroom…we are blessed.”
If you or anyone you know is looking for a hobby where friendship and comradery meet, I highly suggest becoming a member of the Sagebrush Quilters Guild. Please contact Pat at 775-293-3600, and take a shot at sewing your very own quilt.