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An Exceptional Quilting Bee

An Exceptional	Quilting Bee

By Carol Metzker

A unique quilted wall hanging—made by local survivors of human trafficking and a volunteer friendship group—goes on exhibit at The Quilt Sampler’s show in Kennett Square on Sept. 24, 2011.

THERE’S A FASCINATING STORY behind every quilt, says Donna Bacon, owner of The Quilt Sampler. Its pieces might come from special cloth or designs depict beloved items. There’s more to a coverlet or wall hanging than the material that meets the eye.

One such quilt, ready for display at the shop’s upcoming show, is no exception to that rule. But the story behind it is as rare and astonishing as the extraordinary circle of friends who joined hands, hearts and fabric shapes to create the quilt face.

Extending the Hand of Friendship

Last winter, coordinators of Dawn’s Place, a nearby non-profit program for female survivors of trafficking, responded to a question: What do you need to help the women you serve?

Their list included funds for heating bills, new mattresses, and special medical and psychological treatment. They needed support for people rescued from slavery, trafficking and exploitation… people restored to a society unaware that slavery still exists locally.
One request was of a different nature—companionship for women in the program. They needed regular activities for practicing English, learning American customs and helping friendships blossom.

A group of volunteers formed a friendship group. They sought an activity to engage women of a range of ages and able to be accomplished without a common language, skill or talent. They designed a plan. And they set a date to gather around a sewing machine.

Beyond Hanging by a Thread

Only one woman had ever quilted. One was under the impression a thread was something to hang by.

The women hailed from five countries and spoke even more languages. They represented three different faiths, three Rotary clubs and had birthdates spanning three decades.

They also had no budget. They salvaged fabric scraps from damaged dresses left from Dress for a Good Cause—an event that sells gently worn prom dresses to benefit rescued slaves. A college student helped create pictorial instructions for a beginner’s project.

Despite challenges, the quilting bee was a roaring success. The group emerged with two pretty quilt faces of stunning colors. Ultimately, the women began a special friendship connected by threads of laughter and a common purpose.

Please join us!

The Quilt Sampler Outdoor Quilt Show and Sale

Sept. 24, 2011, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Rain date Sept. 25)

Free parking and admission
The Quilt Sampler 719 West Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square
Questions about the show? Call (610) 444-1887. Questions about this article? Contact Carol Metzker at 610-793-4387 or
To make a donation to Dawn’s Place, send your check to: Dawn’s Place, P.O. Box 48253, Philadelphia, PA 19144. Make a difference!

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