‘Sew and Sew’ quilters talk to Golden Agers

Published 12:19 am Saturday, September 27, 2014

Miss Fannie” Wells, as she is lovingly called around Climax, gave the program at the September Climax Golden Agers meeting. She said she decided to share her love of quilting, and how she came to be a member of the “Sew and Sew” quilting club.
With quilts of all types and patterns spread before her, she began her story. Wells said she especially cherished her friendship quilt because her friends gave it to her. Several of them got together to quilt one day and each made a square and embroidered their name on the square, and then it was quilted. Soon, everyone had a friendship quilt they enjoyed because they made it together.
Another special quilt for Wells is a white embroidered one. She said, one day a lady call asking her if she wanted some quilting material, she explained that she really didn’t need it but would take some of it. The lady told her to get what she wanted and return the rest. Wells chose the white quilt and today it remains one of her favorites.
Another favorite is called “The Chicken Scratch.”
Wells said she and Marge Jones made the top for the Chicken Scratch out of gingham-checked material and then they all quilted it for the Methodist minister and his wife, Rev. Tegler, and Billie Joe Greer as a special gift.
The quilting ladies have made all kinds of quilts, according to Wells, from T-shirt quilts, to tie quilts, to chicken scratch and regular quilts. There has also been all sizes from twin to king size.
Wells remembers some of the first ladies quilting along with her, including Ina Fewell, Ellie Phillips, Eldie Moore, Eula Grover, Jeanie Eakins, Jessie Nelson and Madge Gibson. Joining them later was Ruth Betts, Mildred Bishop, Lucille Fletcher, Eleanor Cloud, and Marge Jones.
”There may have been some more, but I can’t remember anyone else,” Wells said. “If I left someone out, I didn’t mean to.”
Today, all that is left of the original group is Wells and Betts. Quilters today are Wells, Lois Stuckey and Diane Gibson. Smiling, Wells said the ladies enjoy their time together, quilting, laughing, talking and having coffee and refreshments.
“We don’t gossip, we just give information out,” Wells said. “We love each other and try to help each other (while) enjoying a good atmosphere.”
She recalls fondly that one day, they decided they needed a name for their quilting club, and Marge Jones came up with the name, “Sew and Sew” Quilters, and that is what they became.
However, many call them the Climax Sew and Sew Quilters. Through the years, these ladies have done quilting demonstrations in many places. From Thomasville’s Patterson House and on the streets of Thomasville during a festival, to Bainbridge on the square, and in many other places including Turner’s furniture store, and of course during Swine Time at the depot.
“The men of Climax have been very good to help us ladies by putting the quilting frame up for us to demonstrate and quilt on,” Wells said.
Recalling events of yester-year, Wells said the quilters helped many charities and benefits by quilting a quilt for them and selling tickets on the quilts, including giving a quilt to Memorial Hospital, fund raiser in Climax to help move the depot and the united Methodist Children home. Of course, there is also Swine Time in Climax, where two quilts at one time were made, one to auction and one for a drawing.
She can’t recall how many years or how many quilts, but the quilts for Swine Time have made around $11,000. Of course, these quilts have all been donated and given out of love and no profit was made.
Today, Wells also quilts with a group in Whigham and enjoys it very much.
In other business, Golden Agers President Bonnie Maloy brought the devotional reading from Samuel and Job. Guests for this month were Billie Joe Greer of Cairo, Joyce Harrison and Wanda Johnson, both daughters of Evelyn Hutchens.
Remembered in prayer due to sickness or other circumstances were Beverly Little, Beverly Davis, Bob Jones, Evelyn Jones, Ed Harrell, Pat Avery, Bro Billy of the Light House Girls Home in Tallahassee, Jessie, granddaughter of Tommy and Nancy Josey, Jean Ann and Gene Ouzts.
Marguerite Plitnick was celebrating a birthday this month. President Bonnie Maloy won the door prize, a beautiful handmade apron by Wells of the chicken scratch quilt design.
The club voted to cancel the Climax Grand Ole Opry show this year due to no one being able to chair the committee. After discussion, President Maloy asked if she could contact someone she knew that she also thought might chair and head the committee.
She is to do so and notify the club as soon as possible.
Charles Hadsock is to finalize the November fish fry.
Diane Gibson suggested as a moneymaker for the club that a quilt be made and sell chances at Swine Time, provided the club approves it. She is to report back with that information.
The nominating committee of Rita Dodson, Marlene Free and Sandra Sirmons is to prepare the slate of officers for the coming year.
Reporters note: A special thank you to Alma Hart and Phillip Dodson for their contribution and assistance with this article.