Carol Barber’s Memories

Even though the building was designed for the southwest so no consideration was taken to retrofit it to the Vermont climate for years, one redeeming feature is the way the winter sunlight pours into the foyer to make it a light and warm place on cold winter afternoons.   

One group that met there were knitters.  I joined the group with the goal of learning how to knit, something that had confounded me since childhood. I am left-handed but with patience and guidance these older knitters taught me to knit right-handed and I finally “got it.” A pressing goal of the group was to make an afghan to raffle at the Christmas Bazaar.  It was designed to be made of strips of about 10 inches wide and then sewn together.  There were maybe six strips in an Irish Fisherman pattern.  No challenge for experienced knitters but for a newbie a different story. With their guidance I did it. That year it was a big moneymaker for the bazaar.

A later group of women meeting in the foyer joined up with the title of “Stitch and Bitch.” This title came from Barbara Kingsolver’s book  The Bean Tree.  Basically, a means of getting together to chat, complain about life, have tea and work on “projects.”  Six of us decided to continue the tradition of making an item to be raffled at the Christmas Bazaar and I suggested we do a quilt based on Kipling’s Just So Stories.  We each chose two of the twelve stories to depict.  We worked out the panels based on Kipling’s illustrations, using applique quilting and embroidery techniques to create the panels.  The quilt drew a lot of interest. The winner was Priscilla Sherwood. 

Carol Barber, one of the crafters of the Kipling Quilt, along with Maisie Crowther, Christina Gibbons, Sarah Page, Marianne Buttner, and Ede Thomas

Priscilla offered to have the quilt stay at the church and it hung on the end wall in the chapel for many years.  When it came time to finally take it down, Priscilla suggested that we (the makers) decide what to do with it.  After mulling it over we offered it to Windham County Reads to raffle at their Christmas books sale since it had a literary theme.  The winner of that raffle was Nancy Miller who was a member of the Guilford Community Church.  Nancy had it for several years and then decided to offer it to her church to again be raffled at their Christmas Bazaar.  

Carol Barber and Christina Gibbons traced the hands of our congregants and appliquéd them into banners signifying the work our many hands can accomplish.

If you have a memory about the West Village Meeting House that you would like to share, please tell us about it in the “Reply” section below.

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