By Jimmy Fisher
WYOMING — The Wyoming Free Library is host to an adult quilting club.
The adult quilting club was started back in May by West Pittston resident Sharon Griffin, 58, who she pitched the idea to library officials.
“I was down here renting a book,” said Griffin.” They were looking for people to do summer projects and I’ve been quilting since I was 8 years old. My grandparents taught me and I thought it was something we could do in the area.”
Griffin was told that if she could get at least five people to register, the library would let her host a quilting club. Eleven people signed up.
Griffin serves as the quilting club instructor on a volunteer basis and everyone brings in their own sewing materials from fabric to needles to sewing machines.
Rather than just have everyone work on their own projects, Griffin said everybody does the same thing so that it’s easier for her to instruct and club participants to learn.
“We decided to all do the same quilts so we could learn the same technique,” Griffin said. “We all are working the same pattern.”
Quilting, or even sewing, experience is not necessary to be part of the club and, although Griffin is he instructor, everyone plays a role in helping others.
“All of us help each other,” she said. “All of us are teachers and all of us are learners. We’re all students.”
Exeter resident Cheryl Gelso, 56, didn’t know the first thing about sewing, but that didn’t prevent her from joining the quilting club.
“I wanted to try to make a quilt and meet people,” Gelso said. “I’ve never sewn before I started the class. Sharon is wonderful; she’s a great teacher and leader. She spends a lot of time with us and has a lot of great ideas.”
Griffin credits her grandparents with teaching her everything she knows about sewing.
“My grandfather and my grandmother taught me how to quilt,” she said. “I wanted to learn and for my 30th birthday my grandfather made me a quilting frame. These are techniques that he showed me and I’m passing them along.”
The quilting club participants are putting the finishing touches on their current quilts after which they will tackle another quilting project together.
What the quilters decide to do with their finished projects is completely up to them. Gelso already knows what to do with her quilt.
“It’s going to the first baby that’s born in the family; that’s a boy,” she said. “I figure I want to make a quilt because I have a lot of nieces and nephews having babies and I thought it’d be a great gift.”
With no experience in sewing prior to joining the quilting club, Gelso is amazed at what she and everyone else has been able to accomplish in the two months they’ve been working together.
With a her current quilt nearly complete and a new project on the horizon, Gelso said the feeling of being able to say she has sewn a quilt is a terrific one.
“It’s rewarding,” she said. “When you’re done, you see that you can do it and I’m already looking forward to the next one.”
The sewing club will conclude at the end of September, but, according to Griffin, it will return in 2016.
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher