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Meet our volunteers: Mary Ann McCammon

Mary Ann McCammonMary Ann McCammon teaches quilting to women in three countries.

She’s taught in the CCQ Thursday class for the past eleven years. Her impressive quilting skills and gentle humor have empowered dozens of women incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.

Mary Ann also makes an annual trip to Yelapa, Mexico where she teaches local women to make small landscape art quilts that they sell to tourists. One student, Evelia, has been so successful that she’s sending her kids to college with the proceeds of her quilting business. Her daughter will start college this fall and her son will complete his senior year in engineering.

Last year Mary Ann began teaching quilting to women recovering from obstetric fistula surgery in Eldoret, Kenya. She works with a small non-profit, Beyond Fistula that supports women after surgery to reintegrate with their families and gain financial independence. The goal is for women to earn an income with their quilting. Mary Ann’s own art quilts and quilts made by her students in Kenya are featured in an on-line art show about obstetric fistula.

Longarm quilters support prison quilting program

Longarm quilt detailEleven longarm quilters support the Coffee Creek Quilters program by quilting our students’ third quilts. Some of them are professionals while others are hobbyists.

The detail shown here is from a quilt that was quilted by Kathy Morrison. “One of my greatest joys is quilting for CCQ, making the quilts even more beautiful or whimsical or traditional. I enjoy choosing quilting designs that will enhance the quilt when a student doesn’t have any requests and try to accommodate the few requests I get,” she says. Kathy has been a professional for five years. Her website is www.quiltrocker.com.

Gloria Richardson is an instructor in our Wednesday class in addition to providing longarm quilting. “What I get out of the program is a full heart from being able to give a gift to someone who is in need.  Hard to put this into words but it makes me cry to see how appreciative the inmates are to have someone do something nice for them.  Seems like I get more out of it than even they do,” Gloria says. You can see samples of her work on her website, MorningGloryQuilting.com.

Wendy Viohl lives a fair distance away, so we’ve only been able to use her services once. “I loved quilting that one quilt, seeing how far the new quilter had come and trying to make her quilt very special for her,” Wendy says. “Just knowing that this was the one quilt she made for herself makes me so proud for her. These students have had an uphill battle just to make it to the class, so yes, I’m indeed very proud of her. The quilt was a cowgirl theme and I chose a pattern in keeping with that theme. I wish I could do more!” Wendy provides information about her professional longarm quilting services on a Facebook page for her business, Green Mountain Quilting.

Linda Burrell is primarily a hobbyist, but occasionally quilts for others. “What I get out of participating in this program is knowing this completed quilt will be very special to the person who pieced and completed the project,” she says.

Others who provide longarm quilting are Mary Craft, Nancy Geddis, Doreen Hickman, Pat Ogle, Lisa Potter, Gerri Thompson, and Sherri Wadley. We hope to highlight the others in a future post on our website.

 

CCQ prison quilting program donates 136 quilts

Quilt donationsStudents in the Coffee Creek Quilters prison quilting program made 136 quilts for donation in 2015. We polled our students and learned that they were particularly interested that the quilts should go to children’s bereavement programs and foster kids programs. Here’s the breakdown showing how many quilts each organization on our list received last year.

Kinship House – 40
Casa, Jackson County – 20
Meridian Park Hospital – 21
Providence Elder Place – 20
VA Assisted Living, Medford – 15
Emmanuel House – 20

Each student in the CCQ program makes two quilts for donation and a third quilt that they either keep or give to a loved one.