LAURINBURG — After leaving the garment business in New York, Demma Clark moved to Laurinburg and took up her trade again — only this time for charity.
“I think I’ve made maybe four quilts for the church,” Clark said referring to her church, St. Luke United Methodist. “I don’t have that much money, so the quilt is my donation to the church.”
The 93-year-old will be auctioning off one of her many creations during a silent auction held at the church on Saturday. The quilt will be on display during the Annual Holiday Bazaar from 8 a.m. to noon. Attendees will find holiday crafts, gifts, homemade baked goods and homemade soup.
The church, at 1501 Turnpike Road, Laurinburg, will open bids on Clark’s handiwork on Dec. 14.
She hopes the quilt will sell for more $500 with the proceeds supporting missionary trips and events. The quilt is a white, queen-sized, hand-stitched cloth with burgundy flowers embroidered in the center and around the edges.
Clark has made many quilts throughout her life and even made a career out of her talent. She began quilting at 10.
“I learned from my mother who used to quilt,” she said. “It’s not hard to learn and it gives me something to do to keep my hands busy.”
She also considers herself an expert at quilting bees, which was a favorite activity among the women in the mid-19th century. Women would get together for a social event, in which they would gather, gossip and create masterpieces through woven cloth, Clark said.
Clark moved to Laurinburg eight years ago from Northern New York to live with her granddaughter, Beverly Mills. They originally moved because Clark’s grandson came to Laurinburg when he was stationed nearby for the Army.
“We like it here, the people are nice and I belong to the church and American Legion to keep acquainted in the community,” she said. “I also make quilts for my friends. I’m making one for my friend at church and one for my friend in a nursing home.”
When she lived in New York she worked in multiple garment factories for 20 years selling handmade dresses, shoes and material for police uniforms.
“I used to make dresses for New York City, but China put us out of business,” she said. “We didn’t get rich, but it was a living wage.”
While living upstate, Clark had five children — three girls and two boys. She didn’t teach her children how to quilt, however they took an interest later on.
“Beverly likes to embroider and cross-stitch,” she said displaying her framed cross-stitched designs on the walls of her staircase. “She also made the same quilt as the one being auctioned at the church, it’s on the bed upstairs.”
The quilt being auctioned is currently on display at the church. Bidders can stop by anytime to make a bid before it is sold next week. The latest bidding price was $450.
For information, call St. Luke United Methodist Church at 910-276-6821.
Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.