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Let's quilt!
2   Evelyn Travis 2
Margaret Hobbs photos Longtime quilter Evelyn Travis, at left, shares info about one of her favorite quilts with Dot Morgan. She purchased the top and had it quilted by the late Josie Boyd.

The word quilt is a Latin word, culcita, meaning a stuffed sack, but it came to us from the French word cuilte. The stitching together of layers of padding and fabric may date back as far as ancient Egypt.

The ladies in the East End Quilters are not overly concerned with its origin, just the fact they find great enjoyment and fulfillment in the activity. There’s a rich history surrounding quilts, the art and the women who make them.

Many of us have memories of our mothers or grandmothers making a quilt, or telling us about one they treasure.

East End quilter Jeanette Rogers shares that emotion, as she feels comfort when she is wrapped in a quilt made by her late mother. 

“I treasure a quilt made by my mother, because she passed away when I was quite young,” said Rogers. “It means so much to me, and when I have it around me, it’s almost like I’m getting a hug from my mother.”

Rogers and about six avid quilters meet each Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the East End Church of Christ annex. There has been a quilting group there for close to 30 years, turning out hundreds of creative quilts. Many of them have been donated to families experiencing house fires.

“We have given numerous quilts to families that have lost their homes,” said Rogers. “We always give them a quilt and a Bible. If they have a large family, we have given them more than one quilt.”

The group makes special presentations to couples of the congregation when they get married, as a keepsake memento. They recently presented newlyweds Andrew and Candace Redmon with a quilt at their shower.

For most of the quilters, the activity serves as a pastime for them, and an opportunity to socialize with friends, with some stopping by to visit.

Evelyn Travis is unable to quilt with the group due to back problems, but she enjoys the fellowship provided by the group. She estimates quilting at the church since 1997, and has fond memories.

“I used to piece the quilt tops for some other ladies to quilt,” said Travis. “Those ladies were fast quilters, with them quilting faster than I could piece them.”

Travis passed the baton to Rogers in 2009 upon her retirement from teaching. Even though Rogers says she had never quilted it was a challenge she wanted to accept.

“I used to sew, so I thought I could do this,” said Rogers. “I just wanted to be part of this good work and fellowship. Because, as we know, quilting is a dying art that I would love to see revived.”

The East End Quilters invite any and all who are interested in quilting to attend one of their sessions. They encourage everyone, no matter the skill level, because there are many steps to completing a quilt.

There may be other quilting groups in the area, but the Hearth and Home Quilters meet each second Monday of the month at Centertown Methodist at 9:30 a.m. and also welcome visitors.