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Meet the most wholesome quilting group in North Carolina

Quilters Guild
Patti Postage (left), the president of the Durham-Orange Quilters Guild (DOQ), and Gwen Konsler (right), the advertising chair of the DOQ, hold two handmade quilts. The DOQ will be holding a pop-up quilt show at 109 E Franklin Street during the week of March 3.

Grab a cup of tea and settle in to quilt with the 200 members of the Durham Orange Quilter’s Guild. For 40 years, this guild has serviced the community through quilts: big, small, artsy and traditional. On March 8 they’ll end their 40th Anniversary celebration during a 2nd Friday ArtWalk pop-up sale in Downtown Chapel Hill.

What began as a group of six women in the late 1970s has turned into a multi-generational organization of quilters who’ve donated quilts to veterans, hospitals and charity. Patti Postage has served as president of the guild for three years, but she’s been quilting for almost 50.

“I did it with my grandmother and my aunts and cousins,” Postage said. “... I enjoyed the social time with all the family.”

Postage said she loves quilting, but the best part is being able to give back through her quilts.

“Those are special quilts, so when you’re making those, you really feel privileged to be able to present them,” Postage said.

The group hosts outreach projects to donate quilts to UNC Hospitals, animal rescues and to children who have lost their parents to AIDS in South Africa. 

Among other projects, the guild is working with the North Carolina Museum of History on a new interactive quilting exhibit called “QuiltSpeak," set to debut in May.

During their weekly meetings at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill, the group usually hosts programs on quilting where people can share quilting tips or their journey into quilting, as guild Advertising Chairperson Gwen Konsler said.

“People will tell their journey,” Konsler said. “You know, how they went from a biologist to a quilter.”

Konsler was a nurse before retiring; Postage was an engineer. However, both said they have found a certain relaxation and pride in quilting, especially for a cause. A year and a half ago, some guild members traveled to Fort Bragg to donate quilts to soldiers preparing for deployment.

“We want to wrap them with warmth and wrap them with thanks, and we’re honored to be able to do that for them,” Postage said. 

The quilts created by guild members range from modern designs to more traditional quilting squares. Konsler said the beauty of the guild is that the group has a wide variety of talent. 

Suzan deSerres is a guild member and the owner of Singing Stitches, a local, custom quilt shop. To deSerres, quilting serves as a creative outlet.

“Choosing just the right pattern and thread to complement the quilt top, meeting new quilters and helping them hone their skills, working with experienced quilters to complete their projects, rescuing vintage tops and turning them into works of art,” deSerres said. “It’s the icing on the cake.”

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