Quilt stitched by hand to benefit Presbyterian Church projects

Joanne Thomas donated a Rose Garden Star quilt to Greencastle Presbyterian Church for a fundraiser. She spent many hours with needle in hand to put the finishing touches on the large quilt.

A handworked quilt, not made as often now in the face of modern sewing appliances, is being raffled off by the Special Events Committee of Greencastle Presbyterian Church. Proceeds will benefit the organ fund and Work Camp Missions. The 1917 Moller pipe organ was rebuilt in 2008 by Mark Cooley of Shippensburg. “We still owe money,” said committee chair Jan Eppelman with a smile.

Joanne Thomas, a member of the congregation, donated her creation. "It's my way of contributing to the church," she said.

The Rose Garden Star was pieced by machine but the quilting was done one stitch at a time by hand, something not many of Thomas' crafty friends do these days. She has seen that part of the art lose popularity even in her LeTort Quilt Guild in Carlisle.

The 93x79 finished quilt took Thomas 168 hours to stitch, with the decorative patterns blending into the colorful squares with matching thread.

"That doesn't include the cutting, piecing, basting and sewing," she said.

She became interested in the pastime after watching her grandmother and great-grandmother make quilts. In 1989, after her mother died, she found cloth pieces and squares in the attic.

"That got me started," she said.

Since then Thomas has made 37 baby quilts and 40 bedsize ones. Her fundraising quilt came about after her sister gave her lots of fabric. She worked on the large cover in 2008 and 2009.

The quilt will be on display at various places until the drawing August 7. It will be in the church basement on Sidewalk Days July 9 and 10 during the congregation's yard sale. After that the committee hopes to find other locations in town to show it off, especially during Old Home Week.

Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. People may also call the church office 597-8333 for information on how to obtain them.