The precise thud of a needle hitting cloth on a sewing machine and ladies chattering is a common sight and comforting sound for Linda Snyder. Her glasses sit low on the bridge of her nose as she concentrates on stitching a truck-patterned child’s quilt. Snyder is a self-taught sewer and has been sewing since she was in seventh grade. She made her first quilt in 1998 and stitched it by hand.
“I pieced it together and hand-sewed it. It took me a year and I said, ‘I’m not doing that again,’” Snyder says. “Everything else was machine sewed; it took too long.”
Since 1998, Snyder has made more than 50 quilts and given many of them as gifts. She gave one to a neighbor just for being a good neighbor, and another she gave to a friend who had just become a U.S. citizen.
“It was a surprise and I think it was symbolic to her of becoming an American,” Snyder says. She also donates quilts to the prenatal unit at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
Snyder opened her shop, A Quilter’s Stash, Nov. 11, 2011, as a place to turn to when she retires from her current day job as a registered nurse at Doctors Hospital. She comes to the shop to socialize and search for fabrics for her new projects.
“I don’t accomplish much sewing here; I get wrapped up seeing what my next project will be and helping people,” Snyder says.
She believes quilting is therapeutic and fun.
“There is nothing bad about quilting,” Snyder says. “You meet interesting people, and everyone has a different take on fabric.”
Snyder makes about one quilt a month depending on its size and sews every other day depending on her work schedule.
Today, women sew quilts as a hobby, but Snyder says they were once sewn out of necessity. Women used whatever scraps of fabric they had to make quilts for warmth. She says today’s fabric is much different than what it was 40 years ago.
“The pattern, texture and quality is unreal,” Snyder says.
She even uses dyed fabric, called batik, from as far as Indonesia and Africa for her quilts. She loves to share her hobby with her friends.
“You share hobbies with your friends, and if they enjoy it, it strengthens your bond and friendship and it gives you things to do together,” she says.
Friendship Knot Quilters Guild
Meets at the Bahia Vista Mennonite Church, 4041 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota
By the Numbers
1984 — year the guild was established
280 — amount of members
801 — small quilts donated to Sarasota Memorial Hospital in 2012
58 — amount of wheelchair lap quilts given to the James A. Haley VA Hospital in a joint project with the Venice Area Quilters Guild
22 — quilts made and shipped to victims of Hurricane Sandy
If You Go
2013 Quilt Show
What: Friendship Knot Quilters Guild presents its 14th biennial show.
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, March 8; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 9
Where: Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
Cost: Admission is $7