Over the past year, the 25 members of the Pacific Flyway Quilters have been busy making pet beds, teddy bears, quilts of various sizes, and drawstring bags, all in the name of community service.
“I joined the quilt guild to meet new people, then I said I could help with community service projects,” said guild member Emma Thompson. “They said, ‘OK, it’s yours.’ And it has been very rewarding.”
A representative from each of the community service organizations were in attendance to receive the projects made just for them. These organizations included Colusa County Health and Human Services, the Williams Police Department, the Colusa Police Department, and the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control.
“I appreciate all of the efforts everyone put into the projects and helping out,” said Thompson to the guild members. “Tonight we are here to share with our community what we have accomplished throughout the year.”
Thompson commented that it was special to mention that quilt guild member Alice Brown has made over 20 quilts this year and donated them to the Arbuckle Fire Department.
“She has taken it on as her project and personally delivers each quilt she makes,” said Thompson.
The community service projects are done from a variety of materials, some donated and some purchased.
“Most of the community sewing is done with donated fabric,” said Thompson. “We get all kinds of material. Sometimes it is big stiff heavy pieces of canvas, small pieces, as well as unfinished quilt blocks. We collect these pieces and try to figure out what to do with them.”
Thompson commented that some of the projects are made from quilted blocks made at the fair.
“We have several 3-inch pieces of fabric that we ask people to put together, and then we assemble them later into a larger piece,” said Thompson.
“Some of the quilts are not all made by one person,” said quilt guild member Arlene Arnold. “It is amazing how beautiful they turn out based on how many hands touched them.”
Over 22 mini quilts were made and presented to the Colusa County Health and Human Services to distribute to families and children in need.
“In the past, we’ve donated our children quilts to the hospital, so I had to find another source and we decided to go with the Health and Human Services,” said Thompson.
In addition to the quilts, about 24 drawstring bags were donated to Health and Human Services for the foster care program.
“The intentions for these are for the foster children to have something to put their items in,” said Thompson.
The Williams Police Department and Colusa City Police Department each received 12 care packages with bears and blankets to be given to children in distress.
“This year, I applied for a grant through the Community Advocates for Parents and Children (CAPC) to make the animals,” said Thompson.
“On behalf of the Williams Police Department, we thank you for all of your hard work, it is greatly appreciated,” said Sgt. Ed Anderson.
Anderson commented that currently, the police department is utilizing several of the bears and blankets that were donated in a previous year
“We have been using them as needed, and the kids love them. The parents appreciate the extra effort. Thank you very much,” said Sgt. Anderson.
A guild member asked if the officers have seen an increase in need during the holiday season for the Bears.
“It varies from time to time,” said Sgt. Jarrod Hughes. Sgt. Anderson reiterated Hughes statement.
The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control was presented with an abundance of pet beds. Each made with care for the animals at the shelter.
“This is where we use a lot of the heavy duty fabrics or fabrics that may have been stained or discolored,” said Thompson.
The dog beds are also stuffed with quilting scraps. “They are a true by-product of quilting,” said Thompson.
In addition to the dog beds, rice bags were donated to the guild to create shade sheets for the animals.
“We appreciate all that you’ve done,” said Colusa County Animal Control Officer, Pam DaGrossa.”The pet beds are wonderful! We don’t use them so much in the shelter unless we have a special needs animal, like an injured animal or maybe an older arthritic animal. For our foster animals, they are wonderful. We can let the foster animals use them so when they transfer to a new home they can take their bed with them. It’s something familiar and comforting to them.”
DaGrossa commented that the Guild’s responsiveness for their request for shade was amazing.
“It’s going to make a huge difference to our animals, most particularly in the summertime,” said DaGrossa. “We’ve rigged up some sheets in the past, but we found that the rice bags would make better shade and thought that the quilters could do something with it.”
DaGrossa said that the public would see the shade sheets wrapping the outdoor kennels creating shade for the animals.
The Guild also presented a quilt to Jonathan Howard for the Colusa County Fair Foundation to benefit the Fairgrounds through a raffle.
The quilt will be on display during the guild’s quilt show held on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Community Center at the Colusa County Fairgrounds.
The Pacific Flyway Quilt Guild will host their monthly meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7:00 PM located in the Colusa Masonic Hall, 311 5th Street in Colusa.