Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Argyle Quilters Club Enjoys Warmth of Helping Others

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Argyle Quilters Club Enjoys Warmth of Helping Others

Article excerpt

Byline: Mary Maraghy, Staff writer

A new quilter bravely held her half-finished purple quilt before the Friendship Quilters Guild, a 20-year-old group with 100 members that meets in Argyle.

"You used the wrong size pins!" one charter member shouted.

"You need extra border," another veteran told her.

A more reserved guild member Martha Crawford of Middleburg chuckled to herself.

"We're not afraid to give advice in this group," she said quietly with her eyes wide. "Whether you ask for it or not."

The group is also not afraid to give of its time and talents to those in need. For 20 years now, guild members -- mainly retirees of Clay County -- have been quilting for sick children, abuse victims, AIDS babies, veterans and burn victims.

They work together on quilts that are raffled for charity. At this year's QuiltFest in September, the guild will raffle a giant blue-and-white quilt to benefit Dreams Come True, a non-profit organization that serves critically ill children.

At a recent meeting, the guild presented 40 quilts to Project Linus, which supplies quilts to abused and terminally ill children at Wolfson Children's Hospital. (Linus is the blanket-toting little boy in the Peanuts comic strip.)

"These guys are wonderful, and they make some wonderful stuff," said Nancy Lynch, Florida chapter president of Project Linus. "I can't tell you how much the children love these blankets."

Last year, guild members sold a quilt for about $2,000, most of which was donated to help burn victims through the Morocco Shriners.

"Quilting is just something that gets in your blood. It's an art form," Crawford said. "You start with a blank canvas. You can get lost in your thoughts, use colors. It's very relaxing."

The guild started with about 30 members and first met in a room at the Orange Park Library but quickly outgrew the space and moved to the Wesconnett branch library in West Jacksonville. …

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