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home : features : features April 28, 2016

2/20/2013 10:00:00 AM
Quilters share legacy of craft
Courtesy photoJoanne Fitterer with her student Miriam Alvarez in the afterschool quilting class at Territorial Elementary School that meets each Wednesday.
Courtesy photo

Joanne Fitterer with her student Miriam Alvarez in the afterschool quilting class at Territorial Elementary School that meets each Wednesday.
Diane DeHamer
Feature Writer

Quilting is very popular, even in modern society. In fact, it is so popular that kids are making them in school.

Territorial Elementary School in Chino Valley is one of the schools that has an afterschool quilt program for fourth- and fifth-grade students.

This program is coordinated by JoAnne Fitterer, who taught Home Economics and Culinary classes at Chino Valley High School for 17 years. She is helped by nine other quilters from the Chino Valley Quilt Guild, who have been doing this for the past three years. Together they teach the students to quilt and use a sewing machine.

"I have been sewing since I was seven. I pieced my first quilt when I was in junior high, and I still have it," JoAnne said.

"Teaching these students is a way for the ladies to give back to the community. The other volunteers and I have as much fun as the students, if not more," Joanne said, smiling.

The community has really helped support this after school program by donating material and sewing machines.

"Anyone who is cleaning out their closets and would like to donate fabric, batting, or machines, it is very much appreciated," JoAnne said.

"One of the special projects this year was for the students to make pillowcases so they could learn how to use the sewing machines. These pillowcases were all donated to the Sandy Hook School survivors," she said.

When the Chino Valley Quilters Guild had their quilt show last fall, two of the students displayed their quilts in the show.

"A quilt is a symbol of the love sewn into it.

Nothing compares with seeing the happiness on the students' faces of their success in learning sewing skills that they can apply to anything in their future," said JoAnne.

"I hope that this after school program continues for years, as it is a way of continuing the quilting tradition," she said.

Joanne can be reached at 928-642-8862.

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