Church ladies fashion handmade works of art

Published 7:10 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

CHOCOWINITY — A year’s worth of cutting, basting and quilting will be unveiled to the public Saturday during the annual fall bazaar hosted by Hodges Chapel Pentecostal Church.

The event, which runs from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. is a fundraising project planned and executed by the ladies of the church, according to Judy McRoy.

“I expect we’ve been doing this for 10 years now,” McRoy said of the event. “It started out really small but it kept growing and growing.”

McRoy, along with Mary Squibbs and Delores Mayo, have spent the last year creating quilts for the bazaar. Immediately after last year’s sale, the three quilters began working independently on quilt squares in all patterns and color combinations. After Christmas, they came together as a group to begin the quilting process, gathering around a quilting frame set up at McRoy’s home in Chocowinity.

The result is a collection of eight intricate quilts that will be a centerpiece for the bazaar.

“We come up with different patterns,” Squibbs noted. “I have a book with 500 patterns and we do what we call a ‘scrappy pattern’ in all different colors.”

The ladies have been quilting together for several years. McRoy picked up the hobby when she retired from teaching school, while Squibbs was inspired at an early age by an aunt who quilted. Mayo has sewn most of her life and learned the art of quilting from McRoy and Squibbs.

Along with the quilts, this weekend’s sale will include a selection of other arts and crafts. Tables will be piled high with handcrafted aprons, Bible covers, potholders and dish towels, flower arrangements, decorative wreaths, potato bags, food carriers and bumblebee traps.

The Hodges Chapel ladies urge everyone to come hungry. Breakfast and lunch will be served, and shoppers may take home baked goods, canned vegetables, preserves and freshly-made chicken salad.

Proceeds from the bazaar help fund special projects at the church. For example, last year’s profits allowed the ladies to meet several needs, including the purchased of two stoves for the church kitchen. This year’s proceeds are earmarked for repairs to the church steeple and chimes, according to McRoy.

Not to be outdone, the men of the Hodges Chapel congregation are planning their annual auction, to be held in early November. Antiques, collectibles and assorted donated items, along with peanut brittle homemade by Squibbs, will go to the highest bidders. Monies generated by the auction will be used to assist needy families in the community.

Hodges Chapel Pentecostal Holiness Church is located at 549 Carrow Road, just off N.C. Highway 33 west of Chocowinity.