Quilters put together a tour to support Bridge to Hope

STAR POWER. Sandy Frigo shows her star quilt designed by Judy Niemeyer. (submitted photo)

Local quilting groups hoping to resume in-person quilting shows have had their wish granted this year as the Bridge to Hope Benefit Quilt Tour closes on Saturday, November 5 from 9:30am-3:30pm four Menomonie churches will return.

Included are:

  • First Congregational Church, 420 Wilson Ave., Common Thread Quilters and Sellers A Little Piece of Mind, New Richmond, and Woodland Ridge Retreat Center, Downing.
  • Cedarbrook Church, N6714 470th St., Over the Edge Quilt Guild and Piece Works Quilters with vendor Heart Blossom of Sand Creek.
  • Our Savior Lutheran Church, 920 Ninth St., Quilting Queens and Grain Bin Quilters with sale at the Grain Bin.
  • Christ Lutheran Church, 1306 Wilcox St., St. Joe’s Quilters and Independent Quilters, with vending machines from Blueberry Line, Ridgeland, and Thread Lab, Menomonie.

Quilts made by group members are on display, quilted gift items are for sale, and vendors have a variety of fabrics and kits for sale. Quilts and gift baskets made by the groups will be raffled, and demonstrations are scheduled during the tour.

Commercial sponsors of the tour are WESTconsin Credit Union, Conagra and 3M. Admission, good for all four sites, is $15, and kids and students are free. Funds raised will go to The Bridge to Hope for their work serving victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
Carol Johnson, Deer Park, will be displaying her poinsettia, Bargello, at Christ Lutheran Church during the tour. It’s the first big quilt she’s made on her new longarm machine. While many quilt group members sew their quilts together on their home sewing machines and send them off to be quilted—along with the batting and backing from a long-arm quilter—Johnson does both the assembly and the long-arm quilting himself.

Carol Johnson with the Christmas quilt she made on her new long arm machine.  (submitted photo)

Carol Johnson with the Christmas quilt she made on her new long arm machine. (submitted photo)

“I didn’t have a home for it,” she noted, donating it to the Greater Chippewa Valley League of Women Voters for a fundraiser.

She started quilting after a friend introduced her to the hobby. “It’s meditative for me,” says Johnson.
She gets her ideas from Pinterest or books. Her next project, she says, will come from Tante Em Quilts, a book called Crumb Quilts that outlines ways you can use your scraps.

Johnson grew up in Menomonie and attended the University of Minnesota and Metro State, where he earned degrees in psychology and later in human services. She practiced in real estate and then worked on securing rights of way. She has worked with wind farms in Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.
Sandy Frigo, Dunn County Pretrial Service Coordinator since 2017, will display her Judy Niemeyer-designed quilt at Cedarbrook Church. Sandy studied criminal justice and psychology in college and worked as a police officer in Milwaukee, then as a probation and parole officer for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

She started quilting in 1996 but started sewing at the age of 5 to make cushions with her mother who was very interested in sewing garments. She is a member of the Over the Edge Guild, which meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm at the Menomonie Recreation Center. Dues are $24 per year and there are 30-40 members.

She gives away quilts for graduation, weddings, family births, veterans’ quilts of Valor, charities, holiday gifts, and “just because”. She has made 150 quilts since she started quilting. “I rush to go where I’m not productive,” she says, as she and her husband build a new sewing room, complete with bookshelves, custom-designed fabric cabinets, larger windows for better lighting, ceiling lights, and a design wall, a height-adjustable cutting table and an ironing station complete a list that only a fellow quilter can fully appreciate.

Most of their quilts are two to full size. “I get inspiration from all kinds of patterns and fabrics,” says Sandy. “I love colors, like Kaffe Fassett fabrics, tie-dyes and reproductions from the 1930s. In addition to machine piecing, I also enjoy English paper piecing.”

Independent quilters may submit up to two quilts for display at Christ Lutheran Church during the tour. Submission is Friday, November 4, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The quilt must be accompanied by an index card giving the name of the person who assembled the quilt, the person who quilted it and a contact phone number.

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