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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Calico Geese hold 26th Annual Baby Quilt Marathon

By Sharon Space-Bamberger - reporter/photographer

By: Sharon Space-Bamberger | Democrat
Volunteers who turned the quilt sandwiches and hand sewed the openings together included, from the left, Carol Ann Abplanalp, Janet Leroy and Mary Abplanalp.
The Calico Geese Quilters recently held their Annual Baby Quilt Marathon at the Sullivan County Cornell Cooperative Extension in Ferndale. The project benefits Sullivan's neediest infants and is supported by the proceeds of the Calico Geese's annual raffle quilt recently highlighted at the Liberty Public Library's Annual Quilt Show.
Long term member Connie Stangel, 93, of Neversink said the Baby Quilt Marathon began in 1992 when she and the late Marie Kramer suggested the Calico Geese should donate to charity. The group decided to make baby quilts for Sullivan's underprivileged babies. Stangel was unable to attend this year's marathon due to a fall; but promises she and her Singer Featherweight sewing machine will return.
According to Peggy Morgans, who collects and distributes the quilts to groups who serve the needy, the Calico Geese have donated 2,239 baby quilts and veteran's quilts since 1992.
The baby quilts are distributed to agencies serving Sullivan's mothers and babies including the Pregnancy Support Group, Teen Parenting, St. Peter's Children's Shop, WIC, S.C. Dept of Health, S.C. Head Start, S.C. Healthy Beginnings and the First Way of Life Center. Recently, 30 baby quilts were given to a “Baby Fest” event at C.R.M.C.
Quilts with adult themed fabric and colors are donated to veterans and to men and women in local health care facilities to be used as comfort quilts, wheel chair robes and bed toe-warmers. The oncology departments at Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Harris and Crystal Run often ask for comfort quilts. Nursing facilities including S.C. Adult Care, Achieve, and Roscoe Nursing home also benefit from the Geese's artistry.
The number of volunteers at the 2018 marathon awed Calico Geese President Sally Abrams, “I counted twenty women and a Liberty Junior High School student Chelsea Morgan who was doing community service.”
On March 24, Calico Geese members worked for hours to sandwich and finish 84 quilts. A quilt sandwich, which includes the top, the batting and the backing, needs to be trimmed, pinned, sewn together, unpinned, turned, the opening hand stitched, then ironed, hand tied or machine tacked to keep the layers together and finished with a neat quarter- inch edge. Guild members took quilt sandwiches not completed home for finishing.
Using their own designs and fabrics, members piece the quilt tops at home. Other quilts tops are made from “Block-of-the-Month” blocks sewn together by Calico Geese volunteers. The fabrics are all washable cotton; no self-respecting quilter uses polyester!
The Calico Geese support their charitable efforts with an annual raffle quilt. Their 2018 queen size “Victorian Ladies” quilt is a blend of rich harvest colors and professionally machine quilted by Cindy Curcio.
When you see the quilt at Bethel Woods, street fairs and other local venues, please buy a book or two of raffles. You are helping Sullivan's neediest babies, men and women in health crises and veterans who fought for our freedom.

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