In 1992, a small group of women gathered to learn more about quilting — blossoming into the charitable Hannibal Piecemakers Quilt Guild and making positive impacts with every creation that comes from their hands.

In 1992, a small group of women gathered to learn more about quilting — blossoming into the charitable Hannibal Piecemakers Quilt Guild and making positive impacts with every creation that comes from their hands.

President Lesa Spegal said education has been at the core of the group from the beginning, clearly evident during monthly workshops, business meetings and within the monthly newsletter. But charitable giving is also a top priority for the members — in 2016, guild members donated 509 items and they designed and crafted almost 420 patriotic quilts over the past three years for veterans on the Great River Honor Flight. Now in their 26th year and more than 60 members strong, the guild is eager to share their 5th Biennial Quilt Show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 6 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 7 at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center.

Spegal said the weekend will include 17 vendors and more than 300 judged and non-judged quilts. Quilts will be placed in 16 different categories, and a guest judge from Troy will determine winners and the Best of Show creation. Guests will also receive a viewer’s choice ballot to select their favorite creation. The show includes a wide selection of classes led by guild members — Charter members Kathy Kroeger, Rosetta Cripe and Ann Cary remain active in the group. Class instructors will discuss topics like a Quilt Academy, crafting a square in a square, making art quilts and entering quilt shows.

Spegal said that traditional quilts made from cotton have recently been joined by art quilts, modern quilts and other creations that employ materials like leather, Tyvek, beads and shimmering stitching.

“Everybody gets to share their skills with others, and that’s a great opportunity for us all,” she said. As members share and new techniques and discoveries with one another, they also reach out in various ways to community organizations.

During a 25th anniversary tea party and luncheon last year, Spegal talked about some of the ways guild members have made a positive impact over the years — donating to groups including the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Salvation Army, Douglass Community Services, the James E. Cary Cancer Center, the Marion County Ambulance District and Leaps of Love. Spegal said guild members refer to quilts and items like bibs, heart pillows, teddy bears and pillow cases as “a handmade, warm hug” because of the comfort and happiness they provide for the recipient.

“It’s such a loving gift because it’s made with someone’s own hands,” she said.

Spegal said each creation has a story behind it, too. She held up an intricate spiral she made during a project called “Around the Block,” featuring colors that blended with increasing intensity at one corner.

Following a challenge from the Missouri State Quilters Guild, Spegal crafted a wall hanging of her dream world following the deadly 2016 mass shooting at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Bordered by the colors of the rainbow, the words “Love is Love” are set against a satin background filled with hearts “to represent everybody’s heart, and that we should all come together.”

Spegal said she enjoys spreading happiness and seeing the excitement when a child or adult finishes a project. She shared the joy she witnesses each time she quilts a project someone brings to her.

“Every time I finish someone else’s quilt, it’s like I’m giving them a Christmas present, because they’re so excited to see what it looks like when it’s all quilted,” she said.

For more information about the Hannibal Piecemakers 5th Biennial Quilt Show, please call Show Chairs Gina Janes at 573-231-2059 or Carol Hark at 573-248-6525. The guild hosts business meetings open to guests on the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at Park United Methodist Church, 2335 Palmyra Rd., along with workshops featuring a different project each month. For more information about the Hannibal Piecemakers Quilt Guild, please call Spegal at 573-248-8866 or visit www.hannibalpiecemakers.com.

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com