June 22, 2018
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Quilters group softens preschool nap time with donated pillows, quilts

By Ardeana Hamlin, BDN Staff

A special donation of homemade quilts and pillows will be presented to representatives of Watch Me Shine preschool at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, at A Straight Stitch quilt shop in Brewer.

The quilt and pillows are the handwork of The Backroom Stitchers, established in 2006 as the Brewer chapter of The Pine Tree Quilt Guild of Maine.

The Backroom Stitchers became aware of the need for pillows and quilts at Watch Me Shine, Norton said, when an employee of the preschool, on her own initiative, inquired at Norton’s business, A Straight Stitch, about purchasing several pillows for the school. Norton and her fellow members of the quilt group agreed that the request was an opportunity to use their skills to benefit a local organization.

“I looked at the women and all our eyebrows raised at the same time. We all just had the same idea — this would be a great local charity,” Norton said.

Since then the quilt group’s gift has grown to include 24 pillows, 30 pillowcases and 16 quilts specially crafted for the children of Watch Me Shine.

“We knew that it was local kids we’d be helping. We made ‘raggy’ quilts from flannel,” said Norton. Members worked as a group and at home individually to make the quilts. Raggy quilts have unfinished edges on the quilt squares.

Norton said The Backroom Stitchers currently has six members and is accepting new members. For information about joining the group, call Norton at 989-1234.

According to information at its website, Watch Me Shine began in the Ellsworth home of its founder Tiffany Petronis several years ago and has expanded to three locations in Bangor, Ellsworth and Dover-Foxcroft. The preschool provides individualized learning to meet the needs of children on all points of the developmental spectrum, including autism. The school’s main focus is on social, emotional, academic, cognitive and behavioral growth, with a primary mission to enhance children’s interests in each other and the world around them.

The donation of homemade quilts and pillows will be used to promote a secure setting and sense of ownership for each child during designated rest and nap times, according to a press release.

Refreshments will be provided before and after and the presentation of the quilts and pillows.

For information about Watch Me Shine, call 990-0162 in Bangor, 564-0333 in Dover-Foxcroft or 664-6175 in Ellsworth.


Go to http://www.canadianliving.com/crafts/crochet/plastic_bag_craft_two_crocheted_tote_bags.php for crochet patterns that use plastic bags as “yarn,” also known as “plarn,” for making totebags and other items.

During downtown Bangor’s New Year’s Eve countdown event, the University of Maine Museum of Art sponsored All Decked Out, organized by Eva Wagner, the museum’s education coordinator. Children and their parents stopped by the museum to make festive paper crowns and tiaras to wear to venues during the celebration, including the Bangor Public Library, City Hall Council Chambers, Bagel Central, the Bangor Opera House, Union Street Brick Church, Pickering Square, West Market Square, the Hammond Street Senior Center, the Maine Discovery Museum and Mass Mutual. The children “decked out” their holiday headgear with feathers, “jewels,” their own drawings, torn tissue paper and glitzy pipe cleaners. Their creativity and the delight they took in making wearable pieces of art was a joy to see. As a volunteer at the event, I got to explain the use of “glue dots,” fit finished crowns to the children’s heads and wield a stapler to fix the ends in place.

The Maine Crafts Association Midcoast Regional meeting will be held 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at Belfast Free Library. It will feature Belfast artist Patricia Shea speaking on “Social Media: How to Make it Fun, Interesting and Easy.” One does not need to be a member of the association to attend the meeting. A $5 donation will be requested at the door. For information, contact midcoast regional coordinator Sara Hotchkiss at 832-8133 or sararugweaver@gmail.com.

Coastal Quilters will meet 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Camden Lions Club, Lion’s Lane in Camden. The program feature local “green” business entrepreneurs Bill Huntington of Hope Spinnery and Kate Chandler of Orange Iron Fabrications. Refreshments, “Show and Tell” and a short business meeting follow. The meeting is free and open to all. For information, call Sarah Smith, 763-3565, or Prudy Netzorg, 354-0983.

Knitters and needleworkers, if you use digital devices such as iPad, cellphones or ereaders to download emagazines, ebooks or apps, I’d like to hear from you. Call me at 990-8153 or email ahamlin@bangordailynews.com.

Correction: An early version of this story requires correction. Watch Me Shine is not a nonprofit organization.

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