Another week, another inside look at the goings on at the Shawnee Senior Center. As I’m sure you all remember the Center is home to many types of activities. Singing, Dancing, Coloring, Crafting things, Playing Pool and Dominoes, the list just goes on and on. But you also should know that the Center is available to a lot of groups who make their home inside the Center’s walls. And that brings me right to our next “Shawnee Center Happenings”.

Another week, another inside look at the goings on at the Shawnee Senior Center. As I’m sure you all remember the Center is home to many types of activities. Singing, Dancing, Coloring, Crafting things, Playing Pool and Dominoes, the list just goes on and on. But you also should know that the Center is available to a lot of groups who make their home inside the Center’s walls. And that brings me right to our next “Shawnee Center Happenings”.

The Spinning Spools Quilt Guild is one of those groups. Daryl McVey, the current President, knows quite a bit about this organization since he has been a long term member for 10+ years. But, according to Daryl, we have to go back almost 30 years and start with the beginnings of the group and in doing that, he went back to Sara Epley for her story.

Sara and several of her friends were quilters. They decided that there were hopefully at least several other quilters in Shawnee so they decided to put a small ad in the paper for a get together and they wanted anyone who enjoyed quilting to come. Expecting at most a group of 10 – 12, Sara decided to have it at her house and she and her friends set up some places to sit and some refreshments and waited for those few other quilters to join them. The several people they hoped would come turned out to be a crowd of about 50 people, and according to Daryl, the house was full and seating was on anything flat including the stairs.

That was the beginning of the Spinning Spools saga. They will be celebrating their 30th anniversary on October 5th at the Shawnee Senior Center from 7 to 9pm and they would like to see anyone interested in quilting, including some of those original quilters at their celebration. There are now 80 members of the organization and mission statement is “to open a quilting guild that has fun, makes lots of donations to the surrounding communities and is always open to learning new things”.

But that’s not all the group does. Each Wednesday, at the Senior Center, from 9am to 2pm with time out for lunch, they hold a “helping hands” session for anyone who has a quilting problem they need help with, or would like to quilt but don’t know how to start or those who just want more information. The quilters say this group is for “just Quilters”. You do not have to belong to the Spinning Spools group, there are no fees to pay. All you do, if you’re interested, is come to the craft room in the Center and visit with the quilters who are there. (I understand that on any given Wednesday you can find at least several experienced quilters in the group who would love to help you with your quilting needs.) Daryl says they have a closet full of quilt squares in different colors, sizes, materials and machines that “just quilters” can use to start their project and, if needed, get help so they can continue their work at home. You just need to show up on Wednesday. You don’t need to stay for the 5 hours either, you can get the help you need or get some new materials to work with or just have your questions answered and leave. The group tries to support the downtown area at lunch so you can join them in a local restaurant or the Senior Center for lunch if you’d like.

Members of the Guild and the “just Quilters” group make and give away from 80 to 100 baby quilts per year. They have three “Quilting Camps” per year where they spend three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) quilting and generally having fun while they sew, piece together and make new friends. The cost for these sessions is $10 per day and you can attend 1, 2 or all 3 sessions. Get more details from any quilters at the Spinning Spool meetings (the first Thursday of each month) or at a “Just Quilters” session on Wednesdays.

The Spinning Spools group also makes and raffles quilts to raise money to donate to non-profit groups in need. They donate quilts to the community for people who have had a disaster in their lives live a fire, tornado or flood. In the past every Habitat for Humanity home received a new quilt for their new home. They have had Quilt Shows where they have had on display up to 200 of their handmade quilts. They have a library of over 1000 books on quilting that their members can check out. They have speakers or information sessions at their meetings and (just as a comment from an outsider who is at their meetings) great munchies to enjoy.

Daryl McVey will be on KGFF Radio (FM 100.9 or AM 1450) on Wednesday morning, July 19, at 8:35am talking to “Mike in the Morning” about the Spinning Spools Quilt Guild and the “Just Quilters” group. Check it out!!

And remember at the Shawnee Senior Center “Age is just a number”. The website is www.SHAWNEESENIORS.ORG and our Facebook page is “Shawnee Senior Center”. July 29th is our annual “50’s Dance featuring good old rock ‘n roll music. We’ll have more info next week in our “Happenings” column but check out the signs and information around town and at the Senior Center. See you at the Center!!!