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Last updated: February 26. 2013 1:16PM - 746 Views

At a Sit and Sew event last year, members of the community and the Always in Stitches quilting group stich together quilts to be donated to area hospitals. From left: Phyllis Festa, of South Abington Township; Always in Stitches Founder Peg Winter, of Jermyn; Event Organizer Susan Potenzano, of Clarks Summit; and Chiyoko Cheplick, of Scott Township.
At a Sit and Sew event last year, members of the community and the Always in Stitches quilting group stich together quilts to be donated to area hospitals. From left: Phyllis Festa, of South Abington Township; Always in Stitches Founder Peg Winter, of Jermyn; Event Organizer Susan Potenzano, of Clarks Summit; and Chiyoko Cheplick, of Scott Township.
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From needle and thread to pen and paper, the Abington Community Library is home to many talents—of staff and patrons alike.
Some of these talents were recently brought into the spotlight when an essay, written by library director Leah Ducato Rudolph highlighting library-based quilting group Always in Stitches, was selected as a winner in the Coats and Clark 200th anniversary essay contest.
The prize, according to Rudolph, is “a 'book' full of Coats and Clarks thread, an adorable metal 'lunch box' to keep threads in, and a porcelain commemorative thimble.” She said she's not yet sure how she will distribute the items.
Always in Stitches Founder Peg Winter said the group was excited to learn of the win.
“Leah is such a go getter,” she said, “and has previously written several articles about our group. At first I didn't expect her to win, but when she did, we were thrilled.”
When asked why she decided to write about the quilting group, Rudolph responded, “Always in Stitches is an amazing group and has done so much for our community! I'm extremely proud of each and every one of them and their contributions.”
“It just goes to show,” she added, “what a 'community-centered' organization this library has become.”
Winter said the group's relationship with the library has been great from the start.
“The library has been so good to us,” she said, “allowing us to pretty much do whatever we wanted and in return, the group has worked on many projects for the library. We have donated three or four quilts to them to use as fundraisers and have contributed many, many items to the library's Holiday Marketplace.”
According to the winning essay, since Always in Stitches began in Sept. 2006 as a small sewing class, the group has also donated quilts and sewing projects to a number of other organizations, including Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, Ronald McDonald House, Gino Merli Veterans Center, ConKerr Cancer, Project DJ and more.
Group members meet every Tuesday at the Library to sew and share their current projects with each other.
But, as Rudolph pointed out at the close of her essay, the group is much more than just a creative outlet. “It offers friendship, support, and community service,” she wrote. “Always in Stitches, sewing, laughing, or crying, they do it together, at the Abington Community Library.”
“Members of the group have become like a family,” Winter said. “Many new friends have been made and members are right there to help one another. We are loud! We laugh a lot! And we thoroughly enjoy being together.”
She later added, “The group has become a big part of my life and I can't imagine it not being there. And I'm eternally grateful to Leah and the Library for giving me the chance to do this.”
According to Rudolph, the full essay will soon be posted on the library's website, lclshome.org/abington under the link “What's Going On.”

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