Congratulations September Member of the Month, Marnie Ashby!
In a tiny corner of the Southwest, one woman's generosity looms large in this heartfelt story:
"Well, I guess there is a first time for everything. This is a story about an exceptional quilter and lady. Her name is Thelma McCarty and she owns a hardware store called Charlie's Supply along with her husband, Charlie. They have lived here in Reserve, New Mexico for most of their lives. In case anyone wonders where in the dickens is Reserve, New Mexico, just look at the border between AZ/NM and it is near the western border of NM centrally located. There is one stop sign and reside in one of the most beautiful locations around these parts. Reserve (pop. approximately 400 +/-) is the seat of Catron County and is a one-horse town with approximately 3.5 million acres of national forest surrounding it.
So as to not deviate to far from the subject, the subject at hand is Thelma. Thelma has quilted since she was a little girl taught by her mother and seems to be happiest when she has a needle in hand and creating her latest creation.
This lady has never been heard to say 'I can't do that.' She loves creating hand-quilted heirlooms. In addition to working full time in the hardware store before they retired, she still found time to quilt and attend the meetings. This lady has been so instrumental in influencing others to share her experience and joy in this art. She selflessly shares her time and resources with those new and those who are rusty in quilting.
I have never heard anyone, including myself, ever asked Thelma for help and not receive it bountifully and with patience and love. I can no longer contain this knowledge to myself and would like to share her story with the quilters of the world of her generosity both in spirit and monetarily.
This last year, our guild was struggling with finding a home to quilt. Thelma and Charlie were retiring and clearing out most of their stock except for a few items for the hardware store. She brought me to the store to show me what was left and commented (as I was thinking the same), 'Wouldn't this be a great place for our guild to meet and sew; a place that we didn't need to worry about being in anyone's way and a place where we could leave our machines set up if we wanted and room to spread out and not crowd others?'
I was ecstatic and could barely contain myself. This was an answer to my prayers. Our guild, "Catron County Piece Maker's Quilting Guild," boasts about 20 members in a population of about 2,000 (plus/minus) in the whole county.
Even now, while I jot these thoughts down, it brings tears to my eyes and emotions I cannot accurately describe other than happy.
Now as if this wasn't enough, we now have over 1,000 square feet of space we are able to utilize for our love of quilting and she and her husband Charlie made us tables, bought chairs, irons, ironing boards, etc.
I know I speak for most of our guild when I say, 'Thank you doesn't seem to be enough.' When Thelma sees someone struggling, she takes up the slack and helps them wherever she can. I am so proud to have such a loving, kind and caring individual as a friend. She has since purchased a couple of large quilting frames for hand quilting and a long-arm quilting machine from one of the ladies that was moving and did not want to take the machine with her.
The only sad thing would be if I never had met Thelma McCarty, and never had been influenced by her and several of the other loving quilt members to start quilting at such a late stage of my life. I shudder to think what I would have been missing. The fellowship is so wonderful and reflects the attitude of this lady (Thelma McCarty) and all she shares with those around her."
This is truly a heartwarming story. It is so good to know that there are still people in the world that care more about others than about themselves. God Bless Thelma and Charlie and all the people that they have touched.
Congratulations, Marnie, on being selected member of the month. Thelma sounds like a wonderful friend and inspiration.
Thelma, your friend lets your light shine through her letter. I can only begin to imagine all of your other wonderful qualities. Congratulations and kudos to you!
Your tribute to Thelma and Charlie was warm and wonderful. Thank you for introducing us to such beautiful people. May God continue to bless them--and you for honoring them with such kind words.
marnie, what a wonderful story, and what great friends thelma and charlie are. congrats. gini
gini in north idaho
Congratulations Marnie! Wonderful story - wonderful honor -
Thanks so much for sharing this heart warming story, Marnie. I sure wish I could meet Thelma; I've wanted someone to teach me how to hand quilt for about 36 years! The McCartys sound like very blessed people who are blessing everyone they can in return. May God continue to bless all the work of each of your hands and hearts in Reserve, NM!
Great story Marnia. There are some really good people and a lot of them are quilters. It was a pleasure to meet Thelma through your words.
God bless Thelma & Charlie.....you are so very lucky to have met them....what a world this would be if there were more people like them!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing...............................................................................................................Mom Cyr.......