A new 2,500 square foot building officially became the new home of the Springhouse Quilters Guild on Tuesday, June 9, with a ribbon cutting. The Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce sponsored the ribbon cutting event which was held at 10 a.m.
The 28 year old quilter’s guild is located at 8580 SW 55th Avenue, Trenton or between Trenton and Fanning Springs off Highway 26. The eighty or so Springhouse members have been raising money for quite a few years and saving to purchase a new building for the guild’s home.
The new home was ordered back in January and with set-up, ramps and all the other work that needed to be done along with the virus delays, the Springhouse membership is very happy to finally move into their new building. The first official meeting was held on June 9. The double wide home was customized for the needs of the group. Lois Scott, longtime member of the guild, and several other ladies, including Guild President Melva Leynes, have worked tirelessly on the new guild building project. This new building should serve the ladies of the guild well for many years.
The guild has two groups that meet. The day group meets the second Tuesday of each month and on the fourth Tuesday they hold workshops to learn new quilting techniques. The night group, known as the Night Owls, meet every Tuesday from 6 p.m. until.
“The purpose of Springhouse Quilt Guild is to teach quilting and develop new ideas and share our quilting talents.” Lois Scott said. Beginner quilting classes will be scheduled soon for this year’s new members.
Springhouse members have done a lot of good community service projects. Over the years, members have made lap quilts for the area nursing home, children’s quilts for those in need, quilts for those with Alzheimers, receiving blankets for area pregnancy centers, as well as hand made port pads for those taking cancer treatments. For the past several months many members have put their quilt making on hold to make over 1,000 face masks. Some were donated to medical facilities and other face masks were made and donated to the citizens in this community. Making the masks involved hours and hours of work, donated in a time of need, by ladies who used their sewing skills to help out during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Springhouse Quilters Guild was organized as a quilting group on February 8, 1992. The quilters in attendance and officers established in the very beginning for the quilting group were, Mary Jo Hefner, President, Lois Schroeter, Vice President, Onnie Mae Colson, Secretary, and Betty King, Treasurer. In the next few months following the organizational meeting establishing the quilting group, there were 12 additional members who joined as their Charter Members. Some of those quilters were Teddy Pruitt, who now resides in Lake City, Alice Blalock Gilbert, still a current member, Mittie Rodgers, deceased, Gloria Sutton, now living in North Carolina but still joins the group each year, Kay Fales, deceased, and Peggy Wyman, also living out of state.
The first bylaws for this new group of quilters stated that the name of the group would be “Springhouse Quilters of Otter Springs.” Their bylaws also stated, “Springhouse would be located at Otter Springs and be open to all campers”, since there were numerous seasonal campers at Otter Springs, and the camper’s dues were automatically paid in full. Dues for others were $5.00, prorated for new members joining later in the year.
Sometime between 1992 and 1995, Otter Springs went through a dramatic change. The quilters had to find another home, so they were fortunate enough to be able to use the Shrine building at Fanning Springs for a short period of time. Next the quilters moved to the City Hall in Fanning Springs. Due to difficulty in scheduling and space requirements, the quilters were on the move again. This time to the Woodmen Building just west of Trenton. Rent was paid over the years by a “donation” quilt.
According to Lois Scott, “Springhouse members were becoming anxious to have their own home. So to save money, the quilters moved to the Donnie Voting Precinct.” The space was small and meetings and workshops were limited. Springhouse membership had grown to approximately 80 members.
In 2001-2002 with Springhouse on a search for a permanent home, Luther and Juanita White of White Construction, donated to Springhouse 2.5 acres of land on Highway 26 at Lottieville.
At this same time, Fanning Springs City Council was in the process of building the Fort Fanning Park at Fanning Springs and had acquired a 1976, double wide, mobile home that they had no use for. The council had heard that Springhouse was looking for a house so they contacted Springhouse Quilters and offered the double wide mobile home.
Springhouse members decided they would take the house, move it to their property, remodel to suit their need and have a permanent home. It took Springhouse members and husbands about six months to remodel and beginning in 2003 Springhouse had a permanent home. Springhouse has used this mobile home for 15 years and saved throughout the years for the time when they could upgrade their building. To help Springhouse Quilt Guild have income each year, members make a raffle quilt. The group sells the tickets for this quilt throughout the community. They also make and sell gift shop items at festivals and special events to raise funds. The group wishes to thank the citizens of this area for their support through the years.
Anyone wanting to join Springhouse or needing information may call 352-493-5134.