Stitching together support for Camp Fire’s displaced

By: Kathryn Palmer Of The Lincoln News Messenger
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Surrounded by bolts of vibrant fabric and sustained by homemade cookies, a half-dozen women spent last Saturday at Angel Quilter’s Studio in Lincoln sewing pillowcases for those displaced by the recent Camp Fire. The studio will host the public event again this Saturday.


“This is a small thing,” said co-organizer Katie McCollum. “But we donate to these people that we will never meet because we want them to know that there are people who care.”


The Camp Fire, which began Nov. 8, is the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history. It killed 86 people, according to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, and destroyed close to 19,000 structures.


Last Saturday was not the first time that Angel Quilter's Studio owner Debbie Whittaker spearheaded an effort to donate bedding and blankets to those in need. Since opening her shop in 2010, Whittaker has donated more than 50 quilts, which often require days of labor to complete. Recipients range from strangers impacted by natural disasters, such as the devastating Camp Fire, to neighbors and friends going through a hard time.


Asked by The Lincoln News Messenger why she spends time making and donating quilts, Whittaker walked over to a plush quilt hanging on a wall, unfurled it and touched its velvety-soft backing. “You’re having a bad day, you have a cup of tea and you wrap yourself in something like this,” Whittaker said, “and then it feels like it’s going to be OK.”


The group of women last Saturday at Whittaker’s quilting studio on Nicolaus Road included Lincoln, Carmichael and Yuba City residents. Although geographically apart, they share a love for sewing, quilting and giving back to the less-fortunate. “I’ve been wanting to visit the shop and learn how to quilt for a while,” said Lincoln resident Susan Hamel. “I heard about the event and I thought, what better way to spend a Saturday?”


Group members completed 46 pillowcases by the end of the day Saturday and aim to reach a goal of 100 completed pillowcases during the event’s second meeting this Saturday. Once completed, co-organizer Katie McCollum will distribute the pillowcases to evacuation centers housing those displaced by the Camp Fire.


Know and Go:

What: The Angel Quilter’s Studio hosts pillowcase-making event for Camp Fire victims

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Address: 6011 Nicolaus Road, Lincoln

Info or to R.S.V.P.: Katie McCollum at 916-320-3351