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Pineneedlers of Shingletown Display Their Handiwork

08/21/2015 09:46AM ● By Sandie Tillery

Needle Work

September 2015
By Sandie Tillery
Photos: Jeannine Hendrickson

Celebrating "the call of the wild,” 100 quilters from throughout the North State will display their handiwork at a biennial quilt show put on by the Pineneedlers of Shingletown on Sept. 19.

It’s a congenial group of quilters, needlework artists, crocheters and knitters. The Pineneedlers of Shingletown bring their handwork (anything that involves some kind of needle) every Wednesday to Black Butte Elementary School, where they share ideas, techniques, life stories and inspiration. It all started with two quilters who met at a Quilters’ Sew-ciety of Redding meeting.

Karen Flynn owned The Quilt Barn in Shingletown. Lynn Wilen and Flynn put an ad in the local mountain newspaper, and thus began the Pineneedlers of Shingletown in 2002. They met first at Flynn’s shop until DeeDee Holt retired as executive secretary for Black Butte School District and made a connection between the school and the quilt group, establishing the Pineneedlers as an interface between the crafters, the school and the community.

With a decidedly philanthropic purpose, the group has become an integral part of the Shingletown community and a fixture at Black Butte School, where they have been given their own room. Donated sewing machines and needlecraft supplies await crafters and students. The ladies teach quilting and sewing skills to students in the afterschool program. Each year, they help some of the fourthand fifth-graders create their own quilted wall hangings and help fifth-graders make a quilt that is raffled to raise money for camp. Teachers, parents and students have been known to pop in with mending projects. The crafters gladly lend a hand.

The quilters bring a spectrum of experience and personal style to their needlework confab every week. Holt likes to create scrappy quilts from odd little fabric pieces. “It keeps me sane,” she says of her retirement hobby. With a closet full of quilt tops, Joann Weaks admits she is not fond of putting quilts together, but loves creating tops using the finest pieces of fabric. Pineneedlers of Shingletown attracted her because she appreciates the philanthropic nature of the group. Cindy Ross says “it’s in my blood” as she continues to create quilts for every family member. Diane Bare loves the whole process, choosing just the right colors and patterns for each project. She is also one of few who still hand quilts all of her pieces.

Lynn Wilen and some others agree that their creative bent has been inspired by grandmothers and grandfathers, mothers and others who have passed on skills and passion for creating with fabric, thread and yarn. Rag quilts, embroidered quilts, art quilts, traditional and homespun quilts…all tell a story, paint a picture with fabric, needle and thread. They all agree that they want to inspire kids, parents and grandparents, boys and girls, men and women to continue passing on their creative passions to future generations.

Over the years, the 15 to 25 regular and intermittent members have made and distributed quilts and other handmade items, as well as monies raised from fundraisers. Recipients include residents of local rehabilitation and long-term care facilities, veterans groups, sailors aboard the USS Carl Vincent and local groups including Black Butte Elementary School’s garden and library, Shingletown Public Library and Grass Roots, an organization that supplies jackets, shoes and food to those in need. Mary Bruun, this year’s quilt show chairperson, says
when they see a need, they meet it.

This year’s quilt show features several works made by Flynn, who has designed and created more than 100 quilts and has taught innumerable others how to quilt. The local quilters have each contributed to a custom-designed “Opportunity Quilt” depicting a mountain scene that will be raffled along with gift baskets provided by each vendor. Proceeds benefit Shingletown Public Library and the Black Butte Elementary School library. Visitors can vote for their favorite “Challenge Quilt” from among those following the theme “Call Me Wild.” The event will also feature food and craft vendors and local musicians. Admission is free but donations are welcome.

2015 Biennial Shingletown Quilt Show • “Call of the Wild”
Black Butte Elementary School, Shingletown
September 19, 10 am-4 pm