Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Bethany Helwig
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

The Seam Sisters built a community piece by piece with love and joy

 

Provided Photo

All pictures are examples of work produced by the Seam Sisters Quilt Club using various methods and creativity. More can be viewed online at www.facebook.com/SeamSistersQuiltClub/

At Joe Jitters, four very upbeat and friendly women gathered over coffee to talk shop about their upcoming Seam Sisters Quilt Show. They represent the planning committee but there are over twenty women that make up their group. While they seem like an ordinary group of friends getting together, their accomplishments and goals are anything but.

The group came about at the Seams Like Home store that used to operate in Sturgeon Lake. According to the planning committee, the owner of the store, Melissa, was a warm and compassionate soul with a knack for bringing people together. It was at her store that the original members formed their group.

"It was amazing how this quilt shop could bring people together who didn't know each other," said Marge who has been a part of the group since the beginning.

When the store closed in 2010, the women decided to continue on their sisterhood, calling themselves the Seam Sisters. While they come from all sorts of backgrounds, they have a rule about no politics or religion. They're there because of their shared passion not only for quilt making, but spreading joy to others.

One way that passion takes form is in care quilts. Usually 40x50 inches large, care quilts began as donations for oncology patients but eventually began being given to others in need as well. They've given quilts to patients in Mora, Cloquet, Moose Lake, and Silver Bay. Small quilts were provided to the Pine County Fire and Police Departments so blankets are always on hand for children in emergency situations.

They also make "fidget quilts" for dementia patients, those in assisted living, and the like. Fidget quilts come with zippers, different textured fabrics, and so on to give their owners something hands-on they can fiddle with.

After the major flood in 2012, the Seam Sisters worked hard on raffling off one of their quilts to raise money for relief aid. Their efforts secured $1,700 for locals affected by the flood. They've also made quilts for other fundraisers, benefits, and families in crisis.

Most of the materials for their projects are donated since the monthly due for members is only $1 and goes towards batting.

"We strictly do it because we enjoy it," said Marge.

Not only is their generosity impressive, but the quilts themselves are a wonder. According to the planning committee, each member of the group brings something different skill wise and creatively. Techniques such as paper piecing (in which paper and fabric are stitched together for very detailed, sharp angled, and precise works) have been shared amongst the group.

During their bi-annual retreat, the group gathers together at Bay Lake for several days of quilt making and companionship. Cheri, a newer member of the group, said she's gotten stomach aches from laughing so hard at these retreats. It's during this time that they create their special group quilts. Each member makes their own block for the quilt, which usually has some kind of theme, and then the blocks are assembled to complete the quilt.

They've decided to take the next step and share what they've learned with the greater community. At the Seam Sisters Quilt Show on April 13, they'll have demonstrations on four techniques: appliqué, hexis, beginner projects, and cathedral window.

The Seam Sisters Quilt Show will be at the Moose Lake Depot on April 13 from 10 am-4pm. Admission is $3. Proceeds from the show will be used to purchase materials to make care quilts. The theme is "quilting through the seasons" and quilts entered will be sorted into each of the four seasons.

The women I met with said that the soul and passion of what they do can be summed up by a poem written by the mother of the owner of Seams Like Home (SBH):

I lay it in the rays of the warm healing sun,

Blessing it with strength and courage,

As the sun can do,

It is with hope and love

That we pass it on to you.

 

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