Ladies of 9B Quilters share their passion for their craft
By Jillian Chandler
9B Quilters is a group of women in Boundary County who … love quilting. These women are a special class, utilizing their time, talents, skills and love to make beautiful stitched projects. There are no fees to join or participate in this nonprofit organization, and the best part is that anyone can be a part of this special group.
Once a month, women of all ages gather to sew, share ideas and have demonstrations. In addition, they are a group that strives to give back to the community. “I encourage quilters new and old to join the quilt group,” says Bonners Ferry resident Gini Woodward. “A group is a special way to develop friendships, learn from each other and contribute your time and efforts to benefit others.”
According to Carol Jean Hubbard, a longtime 9B Quilters committee member, there is a core group of ladies that make up the committee for 9B Quilters, with about eight women who plan and meet to see projects and the quilt shows through. “We have had several projects, and continue to have projects, working together, or working from our homes, that benefit the community,” she says.
They keep their 9B Quilters Facebook page up to date with announcements pertaining to projects they are currently working on and encourage anyone who wants to participate to sew from home or join them once a month to do so. Meetings are held at the Extension Office, with dates announced via Facebook. “Some of our current projects are local humanitarian quilts for children at risk,” shares Carol Jean. “Fabric is available to anyone who would like to participate in making quilts or quilt tops.”
Member Bev Hokanson is heading up a pillowcase project that has been underway for local distribution to children for Christmas, and a raffle basket has been donated to BoCo Backpacks. Carol Jean adds that there is always a need for bibs for residence at the Extended Care Facility wing at the hospital, and COVID masks have been made by many in the local community. Many in the group also work with Quilts Beyond Borders, a national organization for children in need. “If anyone is aware of a need, we welcome suggestions,” says Carol Jean.
Although Gini rarely finds herself quilting these days, she has known many of the 9B Quilters members either as customers in her retail store many years ago or through other community projects. “I respect and admire the women who take time from their own creative projects to welcome newcomers to our community to become acquainted, learn together and share a love for the tradition of quilting,” she says.
“Quilting is a timeless craft. Historically, quilts were pieced together from remnants of fabrics or the still good sections of old garments cut up and repurposed into functional bedding. There was always an element of the stitcher and her creativity in the project, some very primitive and some beautiful articles passed on to the next generation and used until completely worn out,” shares Gini. “The times and tools have changed, but what stays the same is friends gathering to share their accomplishments, like the 9B Quilters, a 21st century Quilting Bee.”
Since 2002, during the month of October, 9B Quilters puts on their annual Quilt Show. This year they were unable to hold their usual show, but instead used the power of social media and had a successful online Quilt Show for 2020 through their Facebook page—which featured posts for 175 quilts! During the show, a beautiful handmade quilt is raffled off to help cover the cost of the shows. Since they were unable to hold their show in person due to the current health pandemic, this year’s quilt has yet to be raffled off. Instead, you can find it on display at This Old Trunk store in Bonners Ferry, where you can purchase raffle tickets. “This year’s quilt is a beautiful Hawaiian applique quilt made and donated by Diane Stover,” says Carol Jean.
In addition to the raffle, a new sewing machine is given away at the show. A winner is chosen based on the essays they submit. This year’s deserving winner was Karlene Amoth. The chance to win the sewing machine is open to all Boundary County youth ages 8 to 16 years of age, with one lucky applicant awarded a beautiful sewing machine, donated by 9B Quilters.
For more information about 9B Quilters, you can follow them on Facebook (Facebook.com/9BQuilters) or contact Carol Jean Hubbard at 208.267.3206 or 208.255.6980 and she will direct you to the person you need to talk to about various projects.