Desert Threads Makes Tote Bags for Refugees

Jody Edwards shows one of the cross-body tote bags the Desert Threads members are making for the Welcome Center in Phoenix, for asylum-seeking refugees.

Sue Bart

The Welcome Center of Phoenix receives refugees who have entered the United States legally through the asylum-seeking process. This Center is a stop-over for legal refugees to obtain much-needed supplies, food, change of clothing, personal items, and tote bags before they continue on to sponsors around the United States. Desert Threads is making much-needed tote bags for the refugees to use for personal items. Many refugees have come from Ukraine with only the clothes on their backs. The fabric bags are much stronger than plastic grocery bags. We gave about 25 small quilts for the children to have something of their own for comfort to hold onto in their difficult situations. The Community Service Committee has kits with patterns, fabric, and web for handles so members can work on over the summer or use their own patterns.

The Desert Threads Chapter of Arizona Quilters Guild met in the newly renovated Phoenix Room for the annual meeting on May 11. New officers have been elected for the July 2022 to June 2023 year. We are very pleased with the completion of the new meeting spaces in Cottonwood, with the ability to have a larger meeting space for our activities, lectures, and show-and-tell at our general meetings. Our program for May was a lecture about ice-dying fabric for your quilts using the technique taught by Cindy Lohbeck. Diana Jones presented an example while dying a t-shirt. She took a fun class recently from Cindy Lohbeck of Scottsdale. Diana brought examples from the class. If Desert Threads members are interested in ice-dying fabric, Cindy will present classes next year in the Sun Lakes area. Her beautiful color pallets and value gradations are perfect for today’s busy quilters and to make hand-dying fabric accessible to everyone.

The Desert Threads Chapter will not have general monthly meetings during the summer (June, July, and August). However, we do have the Oakwood Sewing Room available at different times for small groups to gather and work on projects. Times are listed in the Desert Threads’ electronic newsletter. In September, meetings will resume in the larger Phoenix Room in Cottonwood on the second Wednesday each month. We gather at 9:30 a.m. for socializing, and meetings start at 10 a.m. until about noon. We welcome anyone interested in quilts and quilting, regardless of residence. AQG offers many free virtual lectures and low-cost virtual classes for members all over Arizona, presented by accomplished quilters from around the world. For more info, see or send an email to [email protected].