On the second Saturday of every month, dozens of people gather in the Church of the Holy Apostles to work on and show off their intricate quilts.
The Empire Quilters Guild was formed in 1982 to promote the tradition and history of quilt making. Michael Greenberg, the chief financial officer at Children’s Aid, joined the guild in 2002.
He learned the skill from his grandmother and made his first quilt at 13. Though he stopped the practice for a long time, he decided to join the guild when he moved to New York.
When the pandemic hit, the guild was forced to pause in-person meetings and go virtual. But the group’s commitment to charity did not stop.
“Part of the guild’s mission is to do charitable work and so several times a year we make quilts and we donate them onwards to charity,” Michael said. “For many years, we’ve been giving quilts to homeless shelters, children’s charities, children’s hospitals and NICU wards, so we’ve always done this.”
Several months ago, guild members decided that families at Children’s Aid would benefit from these handmade gifts. They got to work and created 26 children’s quilts to give to our families during the holidays.
Ann Morrell, a guild member for six years, volunteered to create one of the quilts. She learned how to sew from her grandmother when she was 11 and turned her hobby into a career making theatrical costumes. Ann made her first quilt 10 years ago when her nephew and his wife were expecting a baby.
“I get pleasure seeing a bunch of small pieces of fabric come together in a pretty block, and it is thrilling when a pile of blocks turns into a beautiful, original quilt,” she said. “When I give one of my quilts away, I hope the owner will enjoy using it and will feel the affection I felt for it while I was making it.”
Moria Cappio, vice president of early childhood programs, said families were thrilled to receive these handmade gifts.
“We can’t thank the guild enough for their warm generosity,” she said. “They brought smiles and snuggles to our families at the end of a very difficult year. By stitching together moments of comfort and happiness, the group ensured that our babies born in 2020 were swaddled in love.”