Fabric, books, thread. Quilts tops, quilt blocks, finished quilts. Gift certificates, quilt hoops, handmade items. Even a serger! The items to bid on, artfully arranged by organizer Mim Gray and her helpers, were many and varied at the guild’s annual potluck and silent auction, held last week during the March meeting. MPS members and guests responded with enthusiasm, and bidding was spirited on several items.
Proceeds from the auction netted over $1200, all of which goes into the guild’s Vicky Arnold Memorial Program Fund, known as VAMPF.
Vicky Arnold would certainly be pleased. Vicky was a charter member of the guild who was serving as Treasurer of MPS when she died unexpectedly in July 2003 following a brief illness. She was only 47.
MPS was a young guild at the time, too young to have built up a substantial financial reserve. Officers and board members learned “on the job” how to operate a guild, making decisions about programs, workshops, expenditures and other issues as they arose.
Vicky is fondly remembered as the officer who was open to new ideas that would cost the guild money but always asked the important question, “How are we going to pay for it?” After her passing, guild members Beth Nimmo, Terry Grant, and Jeri Flom proposed a special fund to be named in honor of Vicky that would be used to bring regionally and nationally known speakers to present at MPS general meetings and MPS-sponsored workshops.
In September 2003, the Vicky Arnold Memorial Program Fund was established.
MPS member Stacey Frerichs, also a charter member of the guild, recalls meeting Vicky in a quilting class in 1995. The two quickly became best friends. “Our friendship was something I had never experienced before or since,” she says. “There was a connection from the first day we met that I have a hard time describing. It was like we knew each other before we met. We could finish each other’s sentences. We would pick out the same fabric at the same time when walking down the aisle.”
That first class was just the beginning of taking classes together, starting projects, and adding to their stashes. “And adding and adding!” laughs Stacey. “We took about as many classes as was possible because everything was new to us, and we wanted to learn every technique and pattern that was out there. At times, Vicky would buy so much when we went on shop hops that she would leave some of it at my house and bring it home in smaller quantities over the next weeks so her husband wouldn’t notice.”
Vicky and Stacey joined MPS as charter members, and in May 2001 Vicky was elected Treasurer. Along with Jeri Flom, she was instrumental in the guild achieving non-profit status.
Stacey remembers Vicky’s passion for retreats. “She absolutely loved them! She would call me every day for a week or longer before we were to leave and ask, ‘Are you packed yet?’ I’d say no, but she would be! For many years, she worked on the same project. She didn’t really get much done at retreat because she would be so busy visiting with everyone. Once she got a ‘certificate’ for being the retreat cheerleader.”
The VAMPF fund is managed by a Standing Committee, chaired this year by new member Mim Gray, who is doing an outstanding job. In addition to the annual auction, which takes months of preparation, Mim organizes raffles at the monthly meetings which also generate revenue for VAMPF. Because of VAMPF, the Metropolitan Patchwork Society has a stable source of funding to bring nationally recognized speakers and teachers to share their expertise.
And MPS has a way to remember a beloved charter member known for her wacky sense of humor and love of all things related to quilting.
Yes, Vicky would most definitely be pleased.