Friday, April 20, 2012

Forrest General Honors Volunteers

Forrest General Hospital honored its volunteers at a luncheon at Southern Oaks and Gardens on April 19. Several PBQ members attended to help celebrate the spirit of volunteerism and hear how important this activity is to the patients as well as staff. 
Millie Swan, Ruth Byrd, Joan Stevens
 Ruth Byrd was honored with a 20-year pin; Betty Allen received a 2-year pin, and Carolyn Daley (an 11-year volunteer) was recognized as the Heart of Hospice Award winner in Mississippi for 2011. Another PBQ member (and Ruth Byrd's sister), Louise Cubley, had previously received her 40-year pin.  
Jane Kingsafer with her mother, Ruth Byrd

Betty Allen
Guest speaker Kym Garraway-Braley described how important volunteers are and how the volunteer is rewarded by an outpouring of love and appreciation. She said she often receives a greater blessing than the object of the efforts. We watched as she completed a painting of Jesus holding a little lamb, which was later used as a door prize. The table floral centerpieces and many gift baskets were given as door prizes. Kym's demonstrated her generosity by placing packets of her note cards as gifts on all the tables.
Kym Garraway-Braley
Ruth Byrd, Sandra Davis, Josette Bonfanti, Carolyn Daley
 PBQ enjoys working all year making children's quilts, pillows, and walker totes; in addition, many members work individually by donating their time and talents in the hospital, offices, or the hospice program.

Ollie Jean Lane Trunk Show

Ollie Jean with Whig Rose

Ollie Jean Lane, quilter extraordinaire, and a faithful Pine Belt Quilter member, shared her quilt story at our April meeting. She began quilting seriously in 1986 after retiring from the Mississippi Extension Service. She related that she made a conscious decision that quilting would be her hobby and main activity and began to organize her schedule by making quilting a priority. She had many responsibilities caring for family members but planned her time so that she could use all waiting and sitting times to full advantage to further her quilting passion. 
Ollie Jean with "Simply Delicious" (Piece 'O Cake Design)
 Her first entry in a quilt show was in the 1987 PBQ show at Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center and was rewarded with a Viewers' Choice ribbon. She said her quilts never looked as good anywhere as they did displayed at our shows, and she became a regular entrant (and ribbon winner) even though she lived in Yazoo City. She served as president of Mississippi Quilt Association in 1993-1994. Since she relocated to Hattiesburg in 2001, she has been an active participant in our guild activities.
Ollie Jean Lane and Susie Jackson
 Although her quilts are "show quality,"  she and her family use them constantly on their beds, couches, and as art for the walls. She decorates for holidays and changes them out regularly. She brought about 50 pieces to show, and her daughter, Bettie Norwood, who was present for her program, said that each time she sees the quilts she decides on a different "favorite."

Seeing Ollie Jean's work was an inspiration to all, and she encouraged us to give our passion a higher priority and let our other responsibilities fit around our quilting, rather than making quilting wait for that elusive "free time." She described how she keeps about four projects going at all times so that she has a (1) carry-around hand project, (2) a sewing machine project at home, (3) a quilt on the frame, and (4) idea/plan/materials for the next quilt. She not only uses her time wisely in making beautiful quilts, she is cultivating deep friendships that she and many others treasure.