The Needles and Pins Quilters from First Reformed Church at 76 S. Third St. in Hamburg have been a busy group. The group formed about a year ago and in that time has hand-stitched five quilts. They have become a pretty talented group and are quilting as a fundraiser for the church.

The group members were novices except for their “ring leader” Martha Bertolet. Martha is very active in the community and an avid quilter having made more than 100 quilts herself. She is a member at First Church who obviously loves to quilt so suggested the church start a quilting group.

A few ladies got together with Martha and learned the skill beginning with a practice quilt – a T-shirt quilt. Martha put the top together by cutting the shirts and sewing the “patches” together with a contrasting fabric. The novices then went to work hand-stitching the quilt top under Martha’s direction.

The group did a fine job on their first project together. They donated the money earned for quilting the top to the church’s Connecting Our Church and Community (3C’s) committee.

That successful start was all that was needed to have them continue their fundraising effort. They also found an appreciated by-product just like the ladies from the old-time sewing bees. They got to know each other better and do some side shopping trips and attend quilt shows.

Thanks to Martha’s patience and the friendships made, the group has quilted four additional quilts since their first start just over a year ago.

Two of the quilts were raffled last year at the church’s Holiday Craft and Vendor Bazaar. Those quilt tops were donated by Darlene Berstler and Jean Weller, church members. The quilting group is very grateful to Jean for the two additional tops she donated which will be raffled at the church’s holiday bazaar this year on Nov. 23.

It seems the Needles and Pins Quilters are fortunate to know some church members who like to make the tops but not quilt, and others who like to quilt but not sew the tops!

The ladies are eager to hand-stitch a quilt for anyone, for a fee that will be donated to the 3C’s committee. If you have a family heirloom quilt top that you would like to have hand-stitched, please contact the Needles and Pins Quilters (Martha Bertolet, Nancy Englehart, Gailette Green, Ruth Werner, and Ruth Zerr) by speaking to one of the ladies or calling the First Church office on Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon at 610-562-2593. The quilters will treat your treasure with respect and lovingly hand-stitch it for you.

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