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Guild presents quilts to Smith children

By Staff | Dec 22, 2015

As new homeowners Brad and Charyse Smith continued to settle into their Cape Coral home over the weekend, the family was surprised with another gift from the local community.

The Cape Coral Quilters’ Guild presented each of the couple’s children – Logan, 11, and Kayla, 9 – with handmade quilts. Over the last eight years, the group has handed out more than 2,000 quilts.

“Our mission statement is to further the art of quilting and to teach younger people how to quilt,” Brenda Perry, guild president, said. “Our main objective is giving quilts and smiles to those in need.”

The Smiths were recently selected by Builders Care, the charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association, to have a three-bedroom, three-bathroom handicap-accessible home constructed for them. Kayla has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy and relies on her mother, an Air Force veteran, for care.

Perry explained that the guild learned about the family’s situation through local media reports.

“It was such a wonderful thing that the city of Cape Coral, the builders, all of those people working together did for the family,” she said. “We, as a group, wanted to get involved, too.”

Some of the members visited the Smiths over the weekend, meeting with the mother and daughter.

“We gave Kayla her quilt,” Perry said. “We also took them cookies and a Christmas tree.”

“I think Kayla was really excited about the quilt,” she added.

The quilt for Kayla had owls on it, while her brother’s quilt was “totally for a boy.”

“It was made from a fabric that had tools all over it,” Perry said.

Around for 23 years, the Cape Coral Quilters’ Guild has 116 members.

“From novice members to – our oldest member is 92 years old and she’s still quilting,” she said.

“Over the years, we’ve gotten more and more members,” Perry added.

For the last 20 years or so, the group has donated quilts every year to Cape organizations.

“We do not go outside of Cape Coral,” she said.

Quilts are made for the Santa Claus Society to go to children, as well as made for children in foster care. They are donated to the Cape Police Department to be given to accident and abuse victims.

“We always give a blanket to the first babies born in the New Year,” Perry said.

Nursing homes and hospice facilities are also recipients of the quilts, as well as veterans.

Each year, the guild makes 20-by-20 blankets for Luvybear Quilts 4 Tots.

“They give the bear and the quilts to the children’s hospital, and they also do some for the Cape Coral Hospital,” she said. “This is our form of art, and we share it with those who are less fortunate.”

It typically takes approximately 12 or 13 blocks to make a quilt.

“It probably takes two weeks to go from start to finish,” Perry said, adding that it also depends on the time spent working on the piece, the piece’s size and the complexity of the design.

“There are beautiful patterns, beautiful designs,” she said.

The Cape Coral Quilters’ Guild meets Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Epiphany Episcopal Church, at 2507 Del Prado Blvd., S. Those interested in joining are welcome to attend a meeting.

“Every month we try to teach a class,” Perry said.

She encouraged those new to the Cape or those wanting to learn to quilt to check them out.

“Through this group I have formed so many wonderful friendships,” she said.

For more information, email ccqgfl@gmail.com or contact Dianne Zinszer at (239) 220-4555 or Brenda Perry at (239) 558-8380. Also visit online at: www.capecoralquiltguild.com.