It Takes a Village: The Piecemakers

At Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation, we believe in the power of our community, and are fortunate that our community believes in us, too. Our work doesn’t happen in a vacuum — we rely on the support and partnership of outside organizations, companies, groups, and individuals to achieve our mission. In our new It Takes a Village series, we’re highlighting some of those people and organizations who play a big role in the work we do, and for whom we are eternally grateful!

Since March is National Quilt Month, we are kicking off the series by recognizing the Saint Francis Cabrini Piecemakers Quilt Group. The Piecemakers have generously donated their time and energy to the Foundation for many years, creating quilts that we distribute to children in the hospital. We recently caught up with Donna Tidler, one of the wonderful quiltmakers behind these beautiful creations, and learned all about how this partnership came to be and what she’s looking forward to. Community, meet Donna:

Q: Let’s start with something fun. What is something you’re looking forward to this spring?

A: Having just completed treatments for breast cancer, this Spring I am looking forward to living a full and productive life no matter what the future brings. Just after being diagnosed, I saw a quote by inspirational speaker Sonia Ricotti and have made it my motto: “Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.”

Q: Tell us a little bit about your organization and what you do there.

A: Saint Frances Cabrini Piecemakers Quilt Group is an outreach ministry of quilters which began in 2004. This hands-on outreach group has a desire to bring comfort to those in need by using their craft and talents to blanket others with love. We produce quilts for infants, young children and families that live on the margins of society. All quilts that are produced are given to those in need; from infants of low income families, veterans, to the low income elderly.

We are a community of creative quilters who support each other as well as support those in the community who need help. Most of the sewing needs such as patterns and materials for the individual projects are obtained through donations or provided by the parish. We meet twice each month, usually one Friday and one Saturday, whereby we often have demonstrations of various methods related to sewing and quilting. We welcome new members, even those new to sewing. We believe that learning from others is a valuable asset and a fun way to make the most of one’s God given talents.

Q: What is your favorite thing about quilting?

A: My favorite thing about quilting is the fact that one can take pieces of fabric, cut them up into various shapes and sizes and then sew those pieces back together to create a beautiful and colorful work of art, which can be a source of warmth and comfort to someone less fortunate.

Q: What inspired you to get involved with the quiltmakers?

A: I started sewing at the age of nine and had sewn many items by the time I became an adult. I began quilting when my grandchildren were born. That’s when I decided to sew a baby quilt for each of them. During the summer and fall of 2011, I had seen notices in the St. Frances Cabrini Sunday bulletin about the Piecemakers Quilt group and decided that could be a group I might like to join, as well as helping me to meet new people. I attended one of their monthly meetings in September 2011 and was hooked!

Q: How do you engage with Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation?

A: One of our quilters was associated with Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation and had requested that we donate a quilt to them for a fundraiser. After learning of the work done by RMCHF, we invited Lee Shaughnessy to come to one of our quilting meetings and do a presentation of their mission. Our members were so moved by the work done by RMCHF that we decided to add them to our list of charities to which we donate baby and toddler quilts. We try to provide quilts 3 or 4 times each year, near Mother’s Day, during the summer and especially holiday themed quilts in the fall and winter.

Q: How has working with the Foundation impacted you and your quilt group?

A: Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation never fails to send a letter of thanks and appreciation to Cabrini Piecemakers. Knowing how treasured our quilt donations are has stimulated an enthusiastic desire, throughout our membership, to create something special for little ones in need.

Donna, thank you for sharing your story with us! And, huge shout-out to the entire Saint Francis Cabrini Piecemakers Quilt Group for the incredible work you do! We are so honored to be a part of it. On behalf of all the children who receive the beautiful quilts you make, thank you.