Where is Tehachapi?
The city of Tehachapi, California is located off Highway 58, north of Mojave and south of Bakersfield. The Tehachapi Mountain Quilters has 100 members that meet the first Monday of every month.
The Guild’s Opportunity Quilt was on display at Road 2020. The quilt was supposed to be featured at the Guild’s Annual Show on August 15-16, 2020, but the show has been canceled.
Famous Tehachapi Mountain Quilters
One of Tehachapi Mountain Quilters famous members is Molly Hamilton – McNally. Molly credits the guild for not only teaching her how to quilt but helping her learn English.
Molly arrived in the United States in 1996 from China. When Molly’s husband tragically died in 2020, Molly was left with no income, no children, no relatives, and no way to effectively communicate in English. She had recently visited the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters’ quilt show and thought that quilting would be an interesting hobby to look in to. Molly had no background in quilting; there are no quilts in China. But she did love art and could see where her interest in art could benefit her in this hobby. She decided to join the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters to find out what quilting was all about. She remembers that the first meeting she went to was difficult because she didn’t know English. Molly learned how to quilt not by following verbal directions but by carefully watching the demonstrations. Over and over again, she diligently watched the steps repeated and repeated until she was able to basically self-teach herself. Over time, the friends she made at the guild not only showed her how to quilt, but also helped her to learn English. Molly credits the guild and its members for saving her life.
Molly is a familiar winner at Road to California. She won Best of Show in 2012, Outstanding Innovative Quilt in 2017, and at road 2020, she won Outstanding Large Quilt.
Another famous Tehachapi Mountain Quilters member is Gina Siembieda, a Handi Quilter Educator. Gina started sewing when she was 12 years old. In 1985, Gina’s love of quilting started when bought her first, hand-quilted Amish quilt in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Soon after, she joined a quilt guild, learned to quilt herself, and began teaching others. Gina started longarm quilting in 2003. She has made over twenty million stitches!!! She presently quilts with an HQ Infinity® with Pro-Stitcher®. Gina has also entered quilts in Road to California shows.
The Tehachapi Mountain Quilters have the distinction of being the only quilt guild in California who donates quilts to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Earlier this year, the guild had donated 140 quilts to the hospital. They also donate quilts to the Madera Children’s Hospital.
The guild contributes quilts to local veterans’ groups as well as bereavement quilts to community members—all by word of mouth.
Money received during their annual Christmas party is donated to Links for Life, an organization in Bakersfield, that pays for mammograms for underprivileged women.
To learn more about the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters, please visit their Facebook Page.