Stitching friendships


John Freitag

Patchin’ People of Pullman raffle off quilts at Banyans Restaurant, Thursday, Oct. 3. 2013. The Patchin’ People each year make quilts to raise money for a local charity, Friends of Hospice.

Alex Madison Evergreen reporter

Charlotte Worthy, Patchin’ People of Pullman president, said with every stitch a little bit of the soul is put into a quilt.

“There is no better way to share your love than by giving a quilt,” she said.

Quilters from across the state filled the Palouse Ridge Golf Club’s Banyans pavilion room over the weekend for the 26th annual Fall Festival hosted by Patchin’ People of Pullman. The group is a 40-member Palouse quilting guild.

“It’s a wonderful community filled with sharing and caring people,” quilting instructor Peggy Gelbrich said.

As a renowned quilter of 30 years, Gelbrich was chosen by the Patchin’ People to share her techniques and experiences with the crowd of Palouse patch workers.

“Tonight’s been an inspiration,” said Marilyn Eichner, a quilter from the city of Kendrick. “I want to go home and finish everything I haven’t started.”

The Fall Festival is hosted every year by Patchin’ People of Pullman to bring together the quilting community for a night dedicated to charity and reminiscing with old friends, Worthy said.

“We love getting together because we learn so much from each other,” she said.

A brightly colored, disappearing nine-patch quilt, which took more than a year to complete, was raffled off to raise money for the Pullman charity, Friends of Hospice. Last year the guild raised more than $1,300 for Friends of Hospice, and estimated that amount would be surpassed this year, Fall Festival Chair Joan Budd said.

As a part of the festival, Gelbrich shared her knowledge of quilting with the Palouse through the weekend. She hosted two quilting classes instructing amateurs and experts.

“My favorite part is seeing students exchanging numbers at the end of my class because it means they’ve made a friend,” Gelbrich said.

For one Fall Festival attendee, friendship is the reason she quilts.

“I rank myself as a crappy quilter, but the comradery keeps me doing it,” said Jodi Cook, a quilter from Palouse.

The Patchin’ People of Pullman meet the second Monday of every month at the Concordia Lutheran Church to further the education and enjoyment of the quilting arts, Worthy said.

“It’s very important for the community to have a place where quilters can gather and create because it enables us to learn and really grow,” Worthy said.

The guild welcomes quilters of all skill levels. Quilting is something anyone can do and find enjoyment from, Worthy said.

“Quilting is very forgiving,” Worthy said. “You might make a mistake, but you can always fix it.”

For Worthy, the best part about quilting is having a completed piece of art you can keep.

“A lot of life happens while you’re making a quilt,” she said. “When you’re done, the quilt is a remembrance of all that happened in your life at that time.”