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Club gives warmly to community

Twice every month, the Unaka Piecemaker’s Quilt Club gathers at Grace United Methodist Church in Erwin.
There, approximately 25-30 women sew a wide variety of quilts in doing their part to share compassion with the community.
“These ladies give so much to see that others receive a warm hug of love from their lovely masterpieces,” said Susan Bokemeier in a press release. “This year, over 80 quilts have been created with donated fabric from many different sources. Once a month, three quilts are donated to the hospice organization, CARIS. CARIS then distributes the quilts to where they are needed in Unicoi County.”
Members of the quilt club have also been sewing quilts that will go to serve “Cap the Gap,” an organization that sponsors foster children. The quilts will give them something special to hold onto this Christmas season.
“These items are something made especially for a child to keep as their very own,” said Bokemeier.
In addition, the Unaka Piecemakers have sewn quilts for the Unicoi County Rotary Club banner.
“Members of the club created a pattern representing Unicoi County for the Unicoi County Rotary Club banner,” said Bokemeier. “These banners are shared and exchanged with clubs throughout the world. A little piece of Northeast Tennessee may currently be found in several states and Europe.”
Throughout the year, the club has been showing off their handiwork. During the May Strawberry Festival in Unicoi, the quilts filled the Unicoi Tourist Information Center. Each quilt was designed to be a work of art and also to portray a story.
Additionally, “The Underground Railroad” quilt that is on display at the Zane Whitson Visitors Center, off of I-26, has caught the eye of passing tourists says Bokemeier.
“The quilts keep history alive as it tells the dangerous story of the slave’s movement from the South and the North in their effort to be free,” said Bokemeier. “Each quilt club member contributed a square for this magnificent quilt.”
Christmas is the time of year that the club is passionate about distributing the quilts to nursing homes in Erwin.
“No one can deny the joy in the residents’ eyes as they receive their own quilt,” said Bokemeier.
The club is open to receiving donations to continue their work and tradition. Those interested in donating should call Brenda Wilkins at 220-6905.