East Texas quilters help storm victims
Stacks of quilts fill Robyn Lieberman's dining room table only two days before Thanksgiving.
"We'll have to eat here eventually," she jokes.
Mrs. Lieberman, who is origanlly from New York, has been sewing quilts for victims of Hurricane Sandy for weeks. She began when she spoke to a friend who lost everything in the storm.
"It's very personal for me, being from there," she said. "I hope the quilts give warmth of course, but most of all comfort, to let people know they're loved out here."
Mrs. Lieberman started the project alone, then realized she needed more help to make the kind of impact she was hoping for.
"She had quilted here before, then she came in and told me she had a project going," Verena Munday, owner of All Those Quilts in Troup, said. "We just all dived right into it. Robyn is so sweet, and it's fun for everyone to get in and do something. We couldn't help but share her enthusiasm. Then we thought, 'What if it were our children up there?'"
An all-day quilting event at J&J Quilts and Monograms in Tyler on Saturday, as well as help from The Love Covers, The Quilting Batts, the Quilters' Guild of East Texas and friends and family, brings the total quilts to more than 70.
"People have been amazingly charitable," she said. "Tyler does charity really well."
Mrs. Lieberman is sending the quilts to three places: to a friend who is staying at a shelter to hand out to others there, to the equilter.com relief project in New Jersey and to other friends and family affected by the storm.
"Many of them still have no heat, no hot water," she said. "My friend said it's like living in a war zone. There's nothing I can do from here, except make quilts."
Mrs. Lieberman, who has quilted as a hobby for more than 20 years, expects to keep making quilts through the holiday season and has friends who have promised to bring more material.
"People won't get handmade Christmas presents this year, but that's OK," she said. "It's really taken over for me, but I have no regrets about that."