Carole Spahn established the Village Quilters in the fall of 1996 with a charter membership of approximately 10 members. We’ve grown tremendously from those early days in numbers as well as skills. At present, our membership of over 300 hails from many nearby communities, including Knoxville, Tellico Plains, Madisonville, Maryville, Friendsville and Pain Rock. We have a wealth of knowledge to share and welcome quilters of all levels to join our guild.
The purpose of this Guild is to preserve and continue the traditions, culture and history of quilting. We strive to promote fellowship among all members and increase members’ awareness and appreciation of fine quilts. The Village Quilters sponsor, support and encourage many quilting activities including our Community Service Committee, which originated in 2004 to help organizations in Loudon and Monroe Counties through donations.
Our goal is to enjoy the love of quilting while making worthwhile contributions to the community. Since 2004, more than 3,000 quilts have been distributed to people in need. The quilts are made from donations of material, batting, blocks and quilt tops from members.
To make the quilts, the committee holds a “sweatshop” on the first and third Mondays of each month at Chota Rec Center from 9 am – noon to assemble the quilts so they’re ready for the guild meeting, where members can pick them up to complete. On a regular basis, committee members then distribute the finished quilts to more than 15 different local organizations in need. Sometimes we even send quilts to disaster areas and the troops.
Our association between The Village Quilters and Quilts of Valor (QOV) began by holding a challenge – our usual guild challenge. In June 2009, the guild contest was to create a patriotic Quilt of Valor, which is a special, tangible way to say “Thank You for your Service.” After the competition, all the quilts were to be distributed to wounded or returning veterans. We had our best response ever and 85 quilts were made and distributed. From that time on, a large number of quilters were hooked and wanted to continue donating to the cause. Our QOV group was formed that year and, since then, meets once a month to create the special “Thank You” quilts. The QOV group is a certified chapter of QOV and to date we have distributed more than 251 Quilts of Valor in the east Tennessee area and beyond.
We invite you to visit our website at VillageQulters.com and learn more about our guild and what opportunities we offer that may interest you. Also, we invite you to attend our 8th VQ Quilt Show and Market Place Boutique to be held at the TV Chota Recreation Center on October 11th and 12th. We plan to have more than 300 quilts on display (all created by guild members). Over 1,000 items will be offered for sale in our Boutique, everything is hand made by our very talented quilters. This two-day event supports our community service outreach program so we can continue share some comfort, warmth and love that we hope our quilts bring to those who may need it the most.
Submitted by: Rose Hunt, President of the Village Quilters
June 12, 2004