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PVRC Raffle Quilt

pvrc-quilt-on-the-wallIt has been my great honor to take part in this project. I hope raffle ticket sales will make all our work and inspiration worthwhile!

From Dec 1-4, USRowing will hold its annual convention in Springfield. In celebration of that event, the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club (PVRC) has now completed a commemorative tee-shirt quilt that showcases the group’s history. It will be on display at PVRC until New Year’s Day.

In deciding to make and raffle off this quilt, Make-It Springfield was a contributing factor.  “I knew that Elizabeth Daniels would give us the support and advice we needed,” says Barbara Jean Walsh, PVRC member and frequent instructor at Make-it.

pvrc-quilt-elizabeth-sewing“With Elizabeth’s skill and expertise to guide us, we knew we would have a great result,” says Walsh. “Elizabeth was as tough as any rowing or paddling coach I’ve ever encountered.” Daniels offers a weekly “Celebrity Sewing” class every Thursday from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., and she quickly sized up the PVRC project as an ambitious one.

“Then she sent me videos to watch, patterns to consider, and a timeline to follow,” says Walsh. “As a result, we have an incredible artwork, completed ahead of schedule, and we are ready to start selling raffle tickets.”

The quilt itself is made of tee-shirts donated by PVRC members. Each shirt has been cut up, stabilized with interfacing, inserted into a 15 x 15 inch fabric block, and then sewn into rows. The overall effect is called an “illusion quilt” that makes the tee-shirt images pop out.  Walsh and Daniels were joined in assembling the blocks by PVRC member Cheri Haimowitz during a Make-It Friday night event, “B.Y.O.B. Art Club,” regularly hosted by Matt Livermore.

“B.Y.O.B. is a great time to work on big projects like this,” says Walsh, “We needed a lot of space to see how we were doing with the final layout, and Matt was a great cheerleader, too.”

The finish work on the quilt was completed by Ginny Guistina who does “longarm quilting” at Parson’s Sewing Connections in West Springfield. “We had not originally planned to do this detailed work,” says Walsh, “but once I saw Elizabeth’s design come together, I knew we had to finish it right. Ginny was the perfect choice. She pointed out what we needed to correct to get the best results, and she immediately understood what we wanted to do.”

pvrc-rainbow-2During the USRowing convention, visitors from around the country will be visiting Springfield’s riverfront at PVRC and will have the opportunity to view the quilt. “We are looking forward to sharing our facility with these rowers, coaches, and family members,” says Ben Quick, PVRC Executive Director.

Raffle tickets for the quilt, as well as tickets to the “Springfield’s Bash” reception on Dec. 2, are being sold online at www.pvriverfront.org and by individual members. “We are pricing tickets at $50.00 each with the belief that people will see this as a good way to donate to the club,” says Quick. “Ideally, the winner will want us to keep the quilt on our wall, with his or her name next to it. Raffle proceeds will be used to support PVRC’s mission of providing riverfront access to all residents of greater Springfield.”

macy07What happened to the tee-shirts that were left over from the original quilt? “I’ve made those into an additional raffle prize,” says Walsh. “I call it the ‘Out-Takes Quilt’ and I’m looking forward to presenting it to the winner. I hope this project makes a lot more people aware of both of these great organizations, PVRC and Make-It Springfield.”

To buy—or sell—raffle tickets, send email to marketing@pvriverfront.org  or call 413-736-1322.

Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit which operates a recreational facility in the North End of Springfield with the mission to promote river-based sporting activities, to develop river access, and to encourage recreation in the Greater Springfield metropolitan area. Find out more at www.pvriverfront.org.

Make-It Springfield provides a space where anyone can learn a new craft or skill from one of the many talented artists, entrepreneurs, and non-profits in Greater Springfield. “Make-It Springfield” offers public workshops and events and is co-hosted by MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative [TDI], the UMASS Design Center in Springfield, and the Springfield BID. Check out the website at www.makeitspringfield.org.