On September 15, 1986, the Calico Geese of Sullivan County was organized. As a Cornell Cooperative Extension Home Economics unit, its goal is to initiate a community-based, county-wide membership of quilters into a functional and productive organization. Its purpose is to foster, preserve, teach, and promote the art of quilt making and the caring and sharing of members’ efforts with each other, their families and their communities.
Anyone interested in quilt-making and the guild’s caring/sharing philosophy is welcome to participate. With meeting dates set for the second Monday of each month and the third Saturday of each month, 56 prospective members attended the first organizational meeting held on the third floor of the Norstar Bank Building.
The first major project completed by the Geese was the Quilt Banner for The Empire State Carousel. The first quilt exhibit by the Calico Geese was held during the month of November, 1987, at the Cultural Arts Center in Hurleyville, NY. When the Cornell Cooperative Extension building was completed and dedicated on December 15 1987, The Calico Geese were one of the first groups to move their meetings to the new facility. These fine ladies also were able to take a large portion of the proceeds from their raffle quilt of that year and donate these funds for the furnishing of the new Extension building. In addition, a beautiful quilt of the United States Flag was created by Sally Abrams and was donated for the new building. This flag quilt still hangs in the lobby of the Cornell Cooperative Extension building.
Today, the Calico Geese of Sullivan County continue this tradition of quilting combined with community outreach. The guild is still a part of Cornell Cooperative Extension. A raffle quilt is made each year with a portion of the proceeds given to a charitable cause in the local community. Lap quilts are made and donated to area nursing homes and veterans' homes. One of our greatest community service efforts, which started in May 1991, is the production of baby quilts that are donated to the Public Health Department nurses, who then distribute these quilts to needy moms and their babies. As of 2015, over 2,100 baby quilts have found their way to babies in need within Sullivan County. Some of these quilts are produced from the Block-of-the-Month program run by the Calico Geese. This allows all members to try a new quilting technique while making a block. These blocks are then assembled into quilts and donated. During the month of March, each year, in celebration of National Quilting Day, the Calico Geese hold a “Baby Quilt Marathon”, producing as many baby quilts as possible for donation.
To further the art of quilting, the Calico Geese hold workshops, bringing in well-known teachers from other areas of the country or drawing on the extensive talent pool of its members. Quilting tips and techniques are demonstrated at the monthly meetings which are still held on the second Monday of each month.
The guild is also affiliated with the National Quilting Association (NQA), the American Quilting Society (AQS), and the Catskill Mountain Quilters Hall of Fame, located in Hunter, NY. The Hall of Fame brings together quilters from Schoharie, Greene, Delaware, Ulster, and Sullivan Counties. Sharing their art and caring for others is a natural part of their personalities. The Calico Geese are very fortunate to be represented in the Hall of Fame.
Last updated March 24, 2020