Quilters from throughout The Villages come together for show at Savannah Center

Hurricane Matthew did not cause one hitch for the Creative Quilters’ Market held on Saturday at Savannah Center. Sponsored by the Quilting Guild of the Villages, participants set up on Thursday and were ready to go when Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day. Kris Loffler, Guild VP of Programs, said that on Friday like everyone else they just waited to see what would happen. When they knew the Savannah Center would be open it was a go.

“It almost had a black Friday feel, this morning,” said Loffler. “People were tired of being cooped up.”  Guild public relations committee member Patt Redd agreed, commenting on how busy the first two hours of the Market were. “It was hard to get down the aisles,” said Redd. “People don’t want to miss the good stuff,” said Redd.

There was an array of good stuff for people to choose from. “This is an opportunity for the quilters to show off their other talents,” said Loffler.  Items to choose from today included handmade jewelry, center pieces, fused glass, golf cart bags and handmade dolls. Some participants went the traditional route selling full-size quilts along with smaller lap and decorative quilts.

Nineteen chapters make up the Quilting Guild of the Villages, totaling over 1,000 members. Quilters participated in the market as individuals or as chapters. The participating chapters worked together to make items to sell; using the proceeds for materials for the many services projects the chapters support with quilts such as Honor Flight, nursing homes and infusion centers.

President of the newest Quilters Guild of the Villages, chapter, the Rohan Quilters, Beth Rothfuss.
President of the newest Quilters Guild of the Villages, chapter, the Rohan Quilters, Beth Rothfuss.

The newest quilt chapter in the Villages, the Rohan Quilters, sold golf cart bags. Formed in February 2016 the chapter already has 40 members. Beth Rothfuss, chapter president, is delighted to be with people who share the same passion.

“I was determined when I moved to The Villages to be part of a guild,” said Rothfuss.  In Georgia she was so far from the closest guild, it just wasn’t feasible.  This new chapter has jumped right into the service area of the guild, using proceeds for material and batting. A special project of the Rohan Quilters is the Linus Foundation, which provides quilts for abused children to have when they are removed from their homes.

One of the founders of the first quilting chapter, the Piecemkers, Ida Hoover, center, with current co-presidents of the Piecemakers, Diane Penci and Susan Davis.
One of the founders of the first quilting chapter, the Piecemkers, Ida Hoover, center, with current co-presidents of the Piecemakers, Diane Penci and Susan Davis.

Across the aisle from the newest chapter was the first chapter to form in the Villages, the Piecemakers. Started in 1993, one of the founders Ida Hoover was working alongside the current co-presidents: Diane Pence and Susan Davis. Hoover, a Villager since 1986, said they started even before Paradise was built. “I saw an ad in the paper, and 14 of us got together and started the group. That was back when the rec center was in two trailer houses.” The Piecemakers have the luxury of space, using two rooms, and are one of the few chapters that can accept new members.

Laurel Manor chapter member Linda Semon fashions make-up bags out of candy bags.
Laurel Manor chapter member Linda Semon fashions make-up bags out of candy bags.

Linda Semon, member of the Laurel Manor Chapter, had one of the more unusual items. Using large size candy bags, she makes them into school supply bags and make-up bags.

Village of Dunedin resident Sharon Roth admires the dolls made by Sandie Davries.
Village of Dunedin resident Sharon Roth admires the dolls made by Sandie Davries.

Another participant getting a lot of attention was doll maker Sandie Devries. Working in this art form for many years she developed a pattern when she moved to the Villages which she uses as her jumping off point.

Each doll is distinct. She feels personally connected to each doll and hates to see them go, but with her home filled with more than one hundred dolls she decided it was time to sell some.

A shopper, Sharon Roth, was really taken with the dolls. “These are museum quality,” said Roth, commenting on the intricacy and attention to detail.

The next big event for the Guild is the Showcase in January 2017.

For more information about the Quilters Guild of the Villages or the Showcase, go to the Guild’s website: www.qgotv.org.