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By LORRIE KINKADE
The Trimble Banner
Their club name – and the fabric stretched before the ladies who gather weekly at the Trimble County Extension Office – make it clear: The Trimble Thimbles is a quiliting group.
Sitting on the sidelines and listening to their easy banter may lead a visitor to believe this Trimble County Homemakers group is about more than just stitching together pieces of cloth.
Needles in hand, they compare canning recipes and discuss the qualifications of political candidates. They joke about their husbands, talk about their children and make plans for future quilting projects as they work their magic.
The Trimble Thimbles was formed about 22 years ago, when a visitor offerered to teach the local knitting circle a new craft. Not all the knitters ladies were interested, though a few of those original non-quilters remain active members.
“Not everyone wanted to quilt, and we didn’t make them,” Charlene Ellis said. “We have members still who don’t quilt.”
Since the group shifted direction, the members have taken it upon themselves to create quilted banners for both local elementary schools and the county's fire departments. They've also made vests for 4-H Club members.
But since 1994, their main project has been creating quilts that are raffled off during the Trimble County Apple Festival.
The group's first quilt was hung in the Thimbles' booth at the event that year. Members believe the creation helped them bring home a first-place prize for booth decoration.
The next year, the quilt was raffled for the benefit of the festival.
“We’ve been told it is the largest fund-raiser for the festival,” generating $1,200 to $1,500 each year, Ellis said. “We decide as a group what the design will be, and then take a group trip to pick out material. It takes just about all year to finish one.”
The Thimbles used a "galaxy star" design for this year’s quilt, and already have started to work on a tulip pattern for 2009.
Ellis said the goup is always looking for new members “who can quilt or want to learn.”
The group meets at 12:30 p.m. every Thursday at the Extension Office, 43 High Country Lane, Bedford.