NARROWSBURG, NY — Every Wednesday for the past three or four years, Barbara Elco, Judy Mohn, Pat Hawker and Mary Wehr have gotten together at Elco’s house for what our grandmothers called …
NARROWSBURG, NY — Every Wednesday for the past three or four years, Barbara Elco, Judy Mohn, Pat Hawker and Mary Wehr have gotten together at Elco’s house for what our grandmothers called a “sewing circle.” From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., they quilt. They do it because they enjoy quilting, they enjoy each other’s company, and they enjoy gifting their quilts to loved ones and those in need.
“The club has no name,” said Elco, who co-founded it with friend Mohn. Hawker joined soon thereafter. Then Wehr dropped in. Asked if the club was seeking to increase its membership, Elco said, “No, but only because there’s not enough space at my house for the people, the sewing machines, the fabric and all the other quilting paraphernalia.”
“We used to make quilts for the homebound, the elderly, those chronically ill and for nursing home inhabitants,” said Elco. “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March, we wanted to help everyone who might be struggling because of it. We decided to help those we knew were already struggling with food insecurity and who were probably facing other hardships as well.”
They made one 45-by-60-inch (throw-sized) quilt for each of the 60 households registered with the Narrowsburg Ecumenical Food Pantry. To finish the task in six months, they figured each quilter would have to make two quilts per week, one on Wednesday and another during the other six days. “Whenever we didn’t finish our Wednesday quilt before the end of the day, we knew we’d have to make it up during the rest of the week,” said Elco.
They did it. The quilts, completed in time for Thanksgiving, were distributed by the food pantry along with Thanksgiving food baskets and gift cards.
But how did they do it? “We used three yards of fabric with lots of patterns on the front and flannel squares for the backing,” said Elco, as if that could explain their accomplishment of such a monumental project.
What’s the next project? Quilts for our troops overseas? “No, we’re going to take care of our own families now.”
Some lucky children and grandchildren will be getting quilts for Christmas.