Quilting guild a community staple
By Whitley Trusler
At 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month, the Heart of Ohio Quilters Guild gathers at St. Leonard Catholic Church in Heath.
It all started 27 years ago when a teacher at Licking Valley High School, Denise Edmunds, moved to the area. Out of boredom, she decided to buy a cross-stitch duck project.
Judy Kirby, former English teacher at LVHS, saw Edmunds’ crossstitching one day in the teacher’s work room and it sparked a conversation.
“She taught me how to quilt and we decided to start the guild,” Edmunds said. Kirby acted as the first president and Edmunds acted as the first treasurer. Starting with a mere 30 members, the guild has grown to more than 150. However, the members do more than quilt.
“We have various philanthropic groups we do,” Edmunds said. “One is ‘Quilts of Valor’ where we make quilts for active and retired servicemen and women that have been wounded.”
Other charitable acts include Hugs from the Heart, Quilts for Kids, Goodwill Angel and working with hospice.
The guild members also make time for fun.
Each year, the guild hosts a retreat to Coshocton. About 73 women attended the retreat this year.
“During our retreats, we quilt, shop and eat for three days,” Edmunds said. “We also have a theme. This year’s was ‘South of the Border.’” The guild also hosts a quilt show every two years. The next show will be the weekend of Oct. 4 in Granville.
In addition to the philanthropic events, retreats and shows, the guild puts together a banquet on the third Saturday of March in honor of National Quilt Day. “Our theme this year was ‘Nuts about Quilting,’” Edmunds said. “It was held at (Licking Valley) and catered by the cafeteria staff.”
Amy Butler was the guest speaker at the banquet.
“Amy is a well-known fabric designer in the quilt industry,” said Mallory Theiss, assistant to Butler. “She has been around for many years and therefore has a large fan base.”
Butler’s presentation was centered on creating unique and personal color palettes.
“We were thrilled to have her speak to our guild,” Edmunds said. “It was an honor to have a nationally known artist share her wealth and knowledge with us.”
The love of quilting created the Heart of Ohio Quilters Guild years ago, and it still goes on today.
“The creativity there is just awesome,” Edmunds said. “It is where I can share a common love of needle and thread with other women.”
Whitley Trusler is a Licking Valley High School student.