During the month of February, Marietta’s Quilt & Sew will be selling raffle tickets to customers who could win a beautiful eclipse quilt for a good cause. The creative quilt blocks were made by local quilt makers and sewn together by the Marietta’s Quilt & Sew family. Only 100 tickets are available and will be sold for $20 each at Marietta’s in Simpsonville. All the proceeds will benefit Simpsonville’s Habitat for Humanity and a local family who needs help building a new life in a new home.
As a new resident to the area, Becky Erdman felt she had to get involved in our community with a fundraiser, “This is a way for me to become a part of this community. I have a strong passion for causes,” she says. Though she’s semi-retired, Erdman found a new work home at Marietta’s and has been an employee for about six months. She has adjusted to the weather quickly and happily. In July, she moved to escape the harsh winters of New England, “Just moved here this past year from Vermont. Last year, there were 40 days of subzero temperatures.” Those low temperatures are enough to make anyone flock south. When she moved here in the summer, she got involved with several guilds including Nimbles Thimbles. Nimbles Thimbles works with Habitat for Humanity in Simpsonville and brings relief whenever possible. In August, Erdman noticed everyone was buzzing about the eclipse, so she got an idea. She thought it would be a great fundraiser idea to highlight the momentous moment with an eclipse quilt.
With the help of storeowner, Marietta Louk, Erdman created a contest for customers to create an eclipse quilt block. The block had to include certain colors, but could reflect each person’s interpretation of the natural total eclipse wonder. Once the squares were submitted, Marietta’s held a competition and customers could vote on their favorite square. Exciting prizes were provided by Marietta’s and given to three individual winners. There were 30 entries and 25 are sewn on the quilt. Not a single block mirrors the other: there are beautiful bursts of sunlight, a constellation sewn in space, and a swinging moon across the sun. Colors are a beautiful mix of sunshine hues, blacks, and blues. It’s a warm reminder of what locals got to experience on August 21st, 2017 and each individual had a unique spin on the orbital event, “Every block was amazing. There’s little stories within every block,” Erdman describes. After receiving all the blocks, Erdman and the Marietta’s family turned the eclipse blocks into a full quilt, “I sewed the front together, Marietta put the backing on, and Karen quilted it. We worked as a team to create the quilt,” Erdman says.
The fundraiser goal is to earn $2,000 from the tickets sold. Then, Marietta’s employees will give the money to Habitat for Humanity. This really was a joint effort by the entire community to create a piece of history and help a local family build a home. Store owner, Louk was overjoyed by the idea, “It’s helping the community and raising awareness. Sometimes we all need a helping hand from time-to-time.” Since pictures couldn’t quite capture the true beauty of eclipse day, the quilt serves as a special reminder, “This is a collector’s item. And, someone is going to go home with a quilt that is priceless, memorable, and historic. It’s part of the South Carolina story,” Erdman says. Families can share the story behind it with relatives for years to come, “That’s such a wonderful way for someone to have something to pass down to generations and contribute to a wonderful cause,” Erdman adds.
Thanks to the community and Marietta’s Quilt & Sew, the eclipse quilt winner will always remember the precious moments spent underneath the sky. And, a lucky Habitat for Humanity family will never forget the kind community that helped build them a new home. Marietta’s owner and her employees deeply appreciate those who contributed, “We’re so proud of the customers who came together,” Erdman shares.
Strong communities are ones where everyone pitches in and builds something together. Whether its memories, homes, or positive efforts, local Simpsonville residents have graciously added to our city’s hope. Stop by Marietta’s Quilt & Sew at 3421 North Industrial Drive, Simpsonville, SC 29681 for tickets throughout the month of February. Store hours are Mon – Fri 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Or call 864-962-5353 for more information. ♦