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  • Writer's pictureKurt J. Kolka

MIDNIGHT STITCHERS: Keeping Things Together in Grayling

Updated: May 2, 2020

GRAYLING -- They are very different individuals who came to enjoy their hobby at different points in life, but it is the quilting which gives them an excuse to spend time together.

You can say excuse, because within moments of meeting them, you get the idea they were meant to be together in whatever activity they chose to do. They are a (if you’ll pardon the pun) a close-knit group of friends. In fact, their closeness seems much like family.

Linda Golnick notes the group had its beginnings decades ago when the Ice House Quilt Shop (now Rolling Oak Brewery) was still in operation.

Linda made her first quilt as a teen, something she made for her friends and her to lay on the beach with.

In fact, Linda says says she has been sewing since she was in elementary school and has pretty much taught herself how to sew. She started out making dresses for her Barbie dolls.

“I’m a detail person. So, I’d just look over the details [on store-bought items] and figure it out. It didn’t always come out right the first time, but eventually I’d figure it out.”

As a founding member of the group, Linda explains the women were a group who used to hang out at the Ice House.The business closed at 5 p.m. Her group of friends and acquaintances felt they wanted more time to work on their projects.

So, they made an arrangement with the store’s owner to lock themselves in after closing and continue working. Typically, they left and locked the doors behind them at midnight. Sometimes later. Hence, the name.

Crystal Filley says she first began quilting with the Mead family of Grayling.

“It was the empty nest syndrome,”admits Crystal. “I only had one child and knew I needed something to do.”

“I started by tying quilts with the Mead family. And I thought, ‘This is so cool!’ Then, Jodi [Potter] invited me to start coming here on Thursday nights and that was it!

“I’m not a real crafty person. These guys have taught me what I needed to know.”

“These ladies helped me survive one of the most traumatic times in my life,” says Jodi Potter.

“You get lost in the enjoyment of making quilts. I think of myself as a builder. Justin [my huband] builds things. We’re building things but without all the heavy lifting,” Jodi jokes.

Ileen Papendick has also been with the group a long time, knowing Linda for many years. She notes she forgets all of the quilts she has done over the years.

Many have been donated to various charities, especially ones associated with veterans and military families. Others are made for friends and family members.

“I like to keep my little album and keep pictures of all I do.”

Ileen says there is a very important social aspect during their time together quilting.

“We all talk to each other about what we are doing, get each other’s opinions. Go shopping for fabric.

“We’ll eat dinner together here. Sometimes we’ll do take-out. Other times we’ll bring something from home. We share and share alike in that regard.”

Cindy Palmer says she grew up in a family of seamstresses, but none of them ever quilted.

“When I got married, my husband’s grandma got me into quilting.

”It is fun being here. Everybody helps each other out. It’s very gratifying.”

She also likes it when a quilt is finished. “We show them to each other and everybody is oohing and ahhing.”

Quilting may be only one form of arts and hobbies people enjoy, but to the

Midnight Stitchers, it also means friendship.

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