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Delicate Stitchers

Delicate Stitchers demonstrate craft
at Western Stars event

By Carrie Switzer

Moab’s Delicate Stitchers need no excuse to practice their craft – winter or summer. This group of 30 women is probably one of the more active clubs in town.

Unlike traditional and old-fashioned quilting bees, the Delicate Stitchers use their monthly meetings to exchange ideas, information and brainstorm their next project. Work parties (or workshops) are scheduled for another time, and classes are conducted regularly on top of that. With such a routine, these talented crafts women are likely to get together several times in a month.

“Over the last eight years some of the people have changed, but the number of people who meet has remained constant,” said this year’s club president, Bonnie Crysdale. “We have quite a sense of community.”

The Delicate Stitchers are a non-profit in the purist sense. The group is not large enough to have official non-profit status, their dues are minimal and many of their projects are for the benefit of community organizations. Last month the group raffled a quilt that earned about $500 each for the Infant Through Youth Foundation and the Humane Society. Annually, the group makes and donates quilted book bags for the Grand County Library to give to newborns at Allen Memorial Hospital. They hang a show every year at the Dan O'Laurie Museum of Moab, and they make quilts for kids in crisis. In February, the Delicate Stitchers will do a demonstration during the Western Stars Cowboys and Poets event at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, February 18th - 21st.

The Delicate Stitchers began about eight years ago at the fabric store owned by Marian Holyoak. Sandra Starley, still an active member, was the group’s first president. Bonnie points out that quilting encompasses “so much more” than making a quilt with colored squares. To many, it’s an art.

“Quilting is a multi-billion dollar industry,” she said. “At last year’s quilting convention in Houston there were 25,000 people present. Our group approaches it as an art.”

During each regular meeting a member or visitor usually conducts a program, introducing a new technique or challenging the group to bring in its own material and “UFOs,” or UnFinished Projects. There, the project is discussed and a workshop date set. Someone else may offer to do a class on a particular skill.

“Tonight we’ve been asked to bring a Ziploc bag of squares. We will trade bags and make a 20x20-inch quilt. We don’t know who we are making it for,” Bonnie said.

Bonnie moved to Moab from Denver three years ago. In Denver she participated in a couple of quilting clubs, she said. Although she has sewn most of her life, Bonnie is relatively new to quilting. Her interest was sparked by a book titled, “Quilting for people who don’t have time to quilt,” which ultimately set Bonnie on a course to find the time.

In Moab, and as the new president of Delicate Stitchers, Bonnie wants to build a library of quilting books and magazines and continue to offer classes to members and others. The Delicate Stitchers publishes a newsletter every month and invites visitors and newcomers to its regular monthly meetings.

Meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 7 p.m. Workshops are held at the Senior Center.

More information is available by attending the meeting or this month’s demonstration at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, where Delicate Stitcher Tommy Maddock will display her exquisite Cowboy Boot quilt.

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