By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Seated in a circle, focusing on the quilt they are hand stitching, the ladies of the Floyd Quilters group continue a 35-year tradition that has been the foundation upon which a strong and lasting circle of friendship and camaraderie have been built.
The group was started in 1971 by ladies in the Floyd community, said Mary Goff, Floyd resident and quilter. The group meets nearly every Thursday to enjoy a day of fellowship and quilting. Members of the group range in age from their 40s to the oldest member who is 91, said Goff.
“It sure is a good group of ladies, said Betty Gossett, Floyd Quilter. “We go beyond liking each other, we love each other.”
Dedicated to this weekly meeting, the group has made more quilts over the past years than they can count, says Goff.
Many of the group’s quilts have been used for community outreach. Called disaster quilts, the group will keep these on hand to donate to someone who has lost their home to a fire. Other quilts made by the group have been raffled off to raise money for a scholarship fund the group provides to a graduating Floyd senior, said Goff.
“People need to know we do something for others, not just ourselves,” said Gossett.
Not only has the group donated quilts to those in need, a good portion of the funds they’ve raised over the years have gone back into the Floyd Community Building where they meet. Over the past years, they have helped to supply the building with items that are needed, said Goff.
In 1983, the community building caught fire and burned. At the time, the group had already raised the funds to help replace the roof, said Goff.
Those funds were then used to help refurnish the building, she said.
At the time of the fire, there was a quilt in the building that the group was working on. The fireman went in and broke the boards on the quilt rack and rescued the quilt. Though the quilt sustained minor smoke damage, it was able to be saved, said Goff.
“They (the firemen) knew that it was important to the ladies,” said Goff.
Sharing with the community is just a part of the ladies’ personalities, according to Goff. The group has hosted various classes of children over the years. One year a class made the ladies a Thanksgiving feast and the children gave the ladies a quilt top with their handprints. The ladies then took the quilt top and quilted it. Today it hangs in a prominent place on the wall in the community center.
With a rich history, the group has enjoyed many activities together over the years.
In 1974, the group hosted a quilt demonstration and dinner for a crew from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. In 1975, the group also took part in a quilt show held at Cannon Air Force Base. Over the years, the group has traveled to quilt shows and other outings together, said Goff.
“It’s just a close knit family, like a sisterhood,”said Goff.