Loose Threads group still sewing strong after four years together

Irene Brenneis works on some quilt units for a project the group is doing for the Alzheimer’s wing of Aspen House.

Morinville – It’s a Monday night and the program room of the Morinville Community Library is filled with the sounds of sewing machine motors whirring and women laughing. The mixture of mechanical and mirthful sounds is the result of a group of eight local women, all members of the Loose Threads Quilting Club, who have been enjoying the social and creative aspects of quilting for the past four years.

“We’re a little loopy and a little crazy about fabric,” said Loose Threads spokesperson Shelley Faganello, adding the club meets at the library on the first and third Monday of the month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. “It’s a group of ladies from all different ages and all different experiences, even some different cultures that are here, just enjoying the mutual enjoyment of fabric, putting things together and sharing patterns and experience.”
Faganello said the group consists of approximately 16 members with roughly eight coming out to participate on any given night.

Those members work on individual or group projects. Currently the Loose Threads are using donated and their own fabric stashes to make quilts for the Aspen House Alzheimer’s Unit in Morinville. Faganello said though there is no set amount of quilts targeted for the project, they are hoping to make as many as they can. Ideally they would like to make 24 for the project. “We’re trying to use fabrics with different textures because that seems to be something that stimulates and calms them as well,” Faganello said, adding every year the group has done a charitable project. Past Loose Threads donations have included place mats for Heritage Lodge residents last Christmas and quilts for both Sturgeon Victim Services and local foster parents. Additionally, the group makes a larger quilt each year to be used as a raffle at the library’s Summer Reading Program. The quilt is a thank you for use of the facility’s program room.

Kathrin Roethlisberger and Pearl Lavallée have a chat. Part of the appeal for club members is the social aspect of the pastime.

Social aspect important

Beyond using their creative quilting talents for local causes, members derive considerable pleasure from the social and creative side of quilting together.

Member Irene Brenneis has been with the group for some time and said she enjoys participating in the twice-monthly event. “I just like the creativity about it,” she said. “Even though you are following a pattern, you still have to do your fabric selection. it’s an addiction.” Additionally, Brenneis enjoys the social side of the group. “It’s nice to have the camaraderie, and to find a group of people you share a passion with,” she said. “It’s fun.”

Another long term member is Kathrin Roethlisberger, a woman who has been quilting for 17 years and has been involved with Loose Threads since its inception. Like Brenneis, she too enjoys the multifaceted aspects of the club. “It’s the social aspect, but also to exchange ideas with the group,” she said. “It’s not only cutting up perfectly good fabric and sewing it together again.”

cuttingNewcomers welcome

Although members like Roethlisberger have nearly two decades of quilting under their needle, there is always a welcome to new quilters and those interested in learning.

“It’s a great place for a new quilter to come,” Brenneis said. “Even if they don’t have a project or equipment. We’ve got lots of people who know how to help. Lots of times you don’t know if you want to get into it. The stuff’s here. Come give it a try.”

Group spokesperson Faganello said the group has some supplies and equipment that has been donates. It is recommended that interested parties bring their own sewing machine. “If people can bring a machine with them – that’s probably the big key thing,” she said. “sewing machine, threads, scissors, pins. Just your basic stuff.”

For those interested in joining or learning more about the Loose Threads Quilting Croup, please contact the Morinville Community Library at 780-939-3292 or drop by one of their meetings on the first and third Monday of the month between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Visit MorinvilleLibrary.ca for more info about this and other library groups.

Above left: A loose threads member cuts fabric for the line.