BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With more than 100 quilters losing their machines and supplies in the August 2016 flooding, Saturday will be like quilt heaven. Area quilt groups who were not flooded have organized a massive distribution slated for Saturday, April 1.
Saying they have a lot of goodies for quilters would be an understatement, says WAFB's Donna Britt.
"We have three completely full storage units, two full rooms of our houses of 8,000 plus yards of quilt shop quality fabric, bunches of kits, 1,200 plus books, 2,000 patterns, rulers, notions, and sewing machines! And I picked up an SUV full just yesterday. Amazing," says Jo Paula Lantier, one of the organizers of the event.
Renee Hoeprich, another event organizer, says the army putting together the relief effort, organized under the tax-exempt status of The Giving Quilt, is a group previously honored by WAFB 9News with a Power of 9 volunteer award. Hoeprich said the shoe is on the other foot in that, "Quilters are the people who make quilts when people are in crisis, and now they are the ones needing help. We used that approach when talking with vendors at the Houston Quilt Show and almost every vendor donated something!"
Quilter, Robert Wilson, with The Giving Quilt says, "I think they came home in 12 minivans from the Houston Quilt Show, and in Missouri, we got a quilt shop sent us all kinds of notions and fabric."
Organizers have tried to keep the distribution to invitation-only because their donations were sought for quilters specifically. A local church will be the distribution point, and some donors have given such beautifully restored sewing machines and Italian sewing scissors, among other things, that the sponsoring team will hold a lottery for.
"We don't want someone who attends early in the day or late in the day to miss out on a moment when we might hold a drawing, so it will be a lottery that's all-inclusive and we'll contact the winning quilters," says Hoeprich.
The grand-scale giveaway is generating much excitement among quilters who might've thought they would never get to quilt again.