By Joyce Bliss

The last thing most people in Florida’s July heat would be thinking about are quilts for warmth. But not the Piecemakers Quilt Guild of Brandon who are hard at work making quilts.

Candance Klein, President of the Piecemakers Quilt Guild of Brandon, said, “From the very beginning the guild has had a tradition of charitable donations, beginning with quilted ornaments for the Festival of Trees.”

The Guild was founded in September 1989 by Claudia Ingram with only 25 ladies. The Guild is now 130 members strong.

“The first donation of quilts was in 1992 to the victims of Hurricane Andrew”, explained Klein. Since then, every year the members of the Guild decide on what charities to donate to for the year. Past recipients have been A Kid’s Place, Joshua House, Brandon Regional Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Quilts of Valor.

Members from smaller groups within the Guild, called “Bee” groups, craft and donate quilts to the local dialysis center. They also give “Fidget Quilts” to Alzheimer’s and autism patients.

Last year the ladies decided it was time to go outside the borders of America and donated quilts to an orphanage in Kenya.

Humbly, Klein noted, “Those quilts were made with fabrics from Africa with original patterns designed by members.”

“The Audrey Gantous Christmas Stocking Project donates over 100 filled stockings each year to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department”, explained Klein. They are handed out by the officers to children whom may otherwise not receive anything or very little for Christmas.

This wonderful group of ladies are always ever ready, graciously willing and with big hearts able to share quilting information and skill to those who are willing to learn and then in turn pass their knowledge on. This is steeped in their guild’s mission, along with promoting interest, appreciation and education in quilting. They also carry out high standards of design and technique in each quilt that is crafted.

The Guild meets on the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, located at 120 Knights Ave. in Brandon.