Every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the All Saint’s Episcopal Church located at 205 E 96th St. Tacoma, WA 98445, the Fern Hill Craft Guild meets to make different crafts. Michelle Monohon, president of the Fern Hill Craft Guild, explained how membership works, “The first visit everyone’s welcome however, we ask members to join our guild. Membership dues are $25 a year. The Fern Hill Craft Guild is consists mainly of women since the first charter in 1981. These women have been getting together every year mostly during the school year, September through May). The first Thursday of the month is always a business meeting for planning events, a project, or upcoming classes. The other Thursdays are for classes and since our membership is smaller now, we ask our members to teach classes. Betty Foster, a member, taught a craft with a pop can turned into a Christmas ornament. Last month we did a quilted project which was a table runner. On the 29th, we will be doing cinnamon sticks painted with Santa to make Christmas broaches to put on your jacket.
I’ve learned to knit since I’ve been here. There are people that are good at particular crafts. I’m a big sewer, so for me to branch out to painting, knitting, and crocheting has been a lot of fun. The guild is a good group of women. We always adopt a family from Birney Elementary school in Tacoma. Last year it was a mom and three children and it will be the same this year. We do a Christmas raffle and sell tickets from September through December in house, and take that money and buy for the family. The members make donations with things that they bought for the family during Christmas shopping and gather food for the family as well.”
When asked if the $25 membership dues cover the craft fees, Michelle replied, “It covers classes and crafts supplies are very minimal, they are not normally more than a $1 for a class kit and you are responsible for bringing your own materials such as: glue, fabric, and scissors (basic crafting supplies).”
Michelle commented on the guild: “Most of our members are from Tacoma, Olympia, Yelm, Roy and Lakewood. We do a lot of socializing and several of our women are involved in bazaars for socializing and we are learning new crafts that we teach to each other. We try to plan our schedule in September and if you have a class idea, bring it up to the person in charge of the classes. Each person has a different job, I’m president this year and Shirley Kuehn is our class chairman that is in charge of scheduling classes and will discuss new ideas at monthly meetings.”
Michelle discussed what many people may not know about the guild, “I find that most people that I talk to do not know that we’ve been around so long. We’ve been around since 1981, and have been making a difference in the community by doing the adopting of the family and other charity events. Each one of us is involved in charity events and we all support each other. Judy Shepard, a member, donates hat and mittens to the homeless so all of us that are knitting and crocheting can help her and our community and that is really inspiring to see everybody want to be a part of the community.”
When asked how this craft guild was unique compared to others, Michelle replied, “Ones I’ve been privy to meet in the evening and this one is nice for some people’s schedules, mine included. A lot of the guilds I’ve seen are concentrated in one area and finding one that was encompassing everything I could think of, such as being open to old and new craft ideas: knitting, painting, painting on fabric, and crocheting for example, haven’t been anywhere else but ours. There are a lot of crafting items that have come back from the past and have gotten a modern twist. For example, crafting on fabric used to be heavy metal pins, now we use squirt bottles to felt pens to crayons to different dyes. We are taking crafts from the past and doing a twist on it by making it more modern. We are using the same crafts in the 1980’s, and using the new modern tools and gadgets that they have available now.”
Michelle recommends everyone to the guild, “I tell everybody about the craft guild and recommend to everybody who is open to learning at any skill level and if they enjoy crafts, to come and take a look. I am not very good at painting and after a couple years of being with the guild, I’ve learned so much and I’ve gotten better thank goodness to other members (they are filled with hints and techniques that I would’ve never known).”
For more information about the craft guild, please call Michelle Monohon at: 253 691-7543.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com