A group of women gather once a month in the sewing room at Springville High School. They all graduated several decades ago but their Piece Makers Quilting Bee meets together for fun and friendship at the high school.
"We are an association of people who like to get together and make quilts," said Cheryl Pfeifer, president of the group. "We all are at different levels in the craft and it is such an advantage to come together with other quilters. Some are younger or haven't done much piecing and quilting and others have many years of experience. Everyone has something to contribute and we learn from each other."
Piece Makers began in 1996 and met in another high school sewing room in Spanish Fork. When the school remodeled the room, the quilters relocated to Springville High School. Membership numbers vary but there are usually about 25 members in the bee.
After an hour of sewing and sharing tips, the group began their business meeting to discuss current projects the quilters support.
"Yesterday I went to the Utah Valley Quilt Guild humanitarian event where we made receiving blankets, burp cloths and preemie dolls for the Baby Your Baby program," Pfeifer announced. "We have other opportunities for service within our group and with other quilting organizations. Tonight we are looking for volunteers to work on the top of our past president Carlene's President Quilt. You come to work on your own quilts of course and participating with us on any of our many projects is always optional."
Deann Lundgreen asked members to bring leftover fabric to do a brown bag activity where they will sew a quilt top from the scraps. The quilt will hang on July 24 at the pioneer house quilt show sponsored by the Piece Makers in Spanish Fork.
Three of the women in the sewing room were attending their first meeting. During show-and-tell Kim Horlacher held up her first quilt top. Comments came from around the room as everyone was impressed with her Double Wedding Ring pattern from 1920.
"This is my first time," Horlacher told the group. "My mother-in-law kept talking about her quilting and I finally decided to try it. I've been sewing since I was 10, so about 30 years, but I have never tried putting a quilt top together. I love to do embroidery and hand work so I am going to hand quilt it."
Horlacher took advantage of the Internet for her quilt pattern and to order her vintage-style fabrics.
"It took me all day to pick my fabrics online," she said. "I spent nine hours choosing 15 fabrics because I wanted it to have an early Americana look. I wanted the floral fabrics to have a romantic retro feeling so I have different shades of pinks and a strong dark pink accent fabric. It's a combination of the floral and ornamental patterns for the rings and a white background to show them off."
LeeAnn MacKenzie brought a quilt top she had sewn from her grandmother's fabrics. She was taking the king size quilt apart and making it into four lap quilts for family members who now wanted a piece of the quilt.
"When my grandmother moved out of her home I took the brown paper bag out of the trailer that was going to the dump," MacKenzie said. "I saved scraps of fabric left over from clothing she had made for all of us through the years.
"No one was interested in the fabric until they saw it on the quilt top. When they saw it they started pointing at fabric and saying it was from a blouse or a dress or an apron or shorts grandma made for them. It took a couple of weeks to cut out all the squares and put them together. I'm taking it apart so everyone can have some of it because it's important for our family to have these connections and memories of her. It's a piece of all of us growing up."
The Piece Makers Quilting Bee always welcomes new members. It meets on the third Thursday of every month at Springville High School, Room C-13 inside the northeast doors during the school year. During the summer they have monthly quilting activities at other locations. For more information, call bee president Cheryl Pfeifer at (801) 489-7631.