LA Piecemakers seek new members

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By The Staff

For over 32 years, the Los Alamos Piecemakers (LAP) Quilt Guild has provided inspiration and education for its members.
The enthusiastic and active group is now inviting community members to join the organization to learn to quilt, become a better quilter, learn new techniques, or to be inspired, and have a chance to give back to the community.
They are encouraging anyone with an interest in quilting to give the group a try and attend a meeting on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.
Meetings alternate between the United Church in Los Alamos and the White Rock Presbyterian Church.
Visit the group’s website for meeting information and membership forms with submission instructions: losalamos.com/lap.
The Los Alamos Piecemakers invites educational speakers to their meetings to give talks and workshops on their areas of expertise twice yearly. Recent past workshops have been Shannon Brinkley from Austin, Texas, teaching “Techniques for Raw Edge Applique” and Michelle Watts of Roswell, showing them “Triple Stitch Machine Embroidery with a Domestic Machine.”
Members also share their own techniques, such as how use paint sticks and stencils, color theory, and free motion quilting.
Upcoming workshops will be on thread painting, a technique that will “thread paint” parts of a preprinted panel to provide emphasis, definition and depth.
Another workshop will focus on trapunto to explore adding a dimensional element with the help of a wash-out thread to create dramatic effects on quilts, wall hangings or art quilts.  
Every year, about 500 people can attend either a quilt show or market. This years’ quilt show gives members a chance to show their handiwork in bed quilts, table runners, placements, wall hangings and wearable items. Quilt Market gives members an opportunity to sell their work and often includes gently used items such as books and fabric. Many items are holiday-themed.
Every year, members can learn a new technique, helping make the donation quilt. This years’ quilt is a Carol Doak pattern called “Spinning Stars.” More than 20 LAP members learned how to paper piece the blocks during a workshop and then worked on blocks individually. It was assembled by Donna Smith and quilted by Nicole Dunn. Raffle tickets are sold at the arts and crafts fairs as well as through LAP members.
Membership gives members access to an extensive library where over 170 books and DVDs can be checked out and returned at the next meeting.  
The guild has smaller groups called clusters that meet during the month to tackle special techniques such as quilt designs or getting fabrics ready for a sew-a-thon.
The guild has a community service sew-a-thon yearly where quilts are made and given back to the community where it would help someone best. Usually an organization has requested quilts.
Examples of these organizations are Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for foster children in our area who have frequent moves and few personal items and the quilts have been found to be especially helpful for them at night, which can be an especially scary time for them.   
Quilts have also been donated to the Ambulatory Treatment Unit (ATU) at the Los Alamos Medical Center where the quilts go to patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and other types of treatments. Sometimes, there is a one-time need for quilts such as for the people of Ruidoso, and Ft. McMurry in Canada who experienced displacement and disruption of their lives due to a terrible fire in their area. Members also contribute to Project Linus where a “warm hug” via a quilt can go to a needy child.  
At Valentine’s Day, guild members provide a luncheon of soup, salad, bread and dessert as well as a Show and Tell Quilt Cavalcade for the Los Alamos Volunteer Association (LAVA) Senior Quilters’. One of the organizations the LAVA Senior Quilters’ make quilts for is the Ronald McDonald House.