Sunday, 08 July 2012 by Colleen Cornelsion
The Belton Senior Center is the home of the new but quickly growing club, The Belton Bluebird Quilters, or the BBQ's as they call themselves.
The Senior Center hosted a class last Tuesday on the art of Creative Raw Edge quilting. The instructor, Jean B. Newell has been teaching classes on several different types of quilting at the Center, including that of the Seminole Indians, since March.
The club however, has nearly doubled in size since its beginnings.
Newell came to Belton wanting to do some volunteer work, in hopes that she would be able to teach quilting, and the program took off from there.
"She wanted to teach the art of hand-quilting. It's an art that's being lost," said Patsy Cofer, Activities Director of the Belton Senior Center.
The Tuesday quilting group has 7 to 8 regulars, but the Tuesday class saw about 14 eager learners.
"We do whatever the class wants to do," Newell said. "We choose what we are going to do the next time, and this next class we have decided we are going to do a Log Cabin quilt."
The class meets every Tuesday, but one would need to call and register if he or she is interested in taking part.
"The fees are very nominal," Newell said. "We have a supply fee of $3, and if you want to use the Center's fabrics, we have a small additional price for that as well."
Those interested would need to bring normal sewing supplies, such as scissors, rulers and a sewing machine. The Center also takes sewing equipment donations.
"As a matter of fact, our raffle quilt was made out of total donated material," said Newell.
The BBQ's meet every Thursday starting at 9 a.m. to hand quilt the "The Bluebirds of Texas Happiness" quilt, which will be raffled off in November and the proceeds will go to the Belton Senior Center.
The quilt is a beautiful and unifying thing, as each square is done by individuals within the group, but then are put together as a whole. Though one must be 60 years of age to be a part of the Center, there is no age limit for those who would like to work on the raffle quilt on Thursdays. The quilters are willing to help new learners as well; the group has everyone from elementary skills to veterans.
"They just need to be willing," said Newell, who has been quilting since 1983. "It's all individual; you're not pressured to do anything. You work at your own speed, and you finish at your own desire. We're a great group, very friendly, congenial. And quilting is the greatest therapy. You can just get lost in it."
The Belton Senior Center is located at 842 Mitchell St., phone number (254) 939-1170.