Elaine Romanelli – Love of sewing brings great volunteer opportunities


Elaine Romanelli

Elaine Next Door is how I have her listed on the Contacts List in my iPhone.  I first met Elaine in 2014 just as she retired her position as a professor at Georgetown University and moved to Tucson from Washington, D.C.    I remember our first conversations as she was planning her time in retirement. I was so excited to hear she quilted!  I always wanted to learn to quilt and now I had a teacher (in more ways than one) right next door.

Growing up, sewing was Elaine’s hobby.  She designed and sewed all of her clothes (except for jeans) in high school.  College and her academic career did not leave much time for her hobby.  Sewing was set aside until she started thinking about retirement.  She figured that reading and going out to dinner would not be sufficiently fulfilling.  Finally, she saw a course called Quilt Design 101 being offered by the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.   She was hooked in the first hour and then took every offered class by the great Jeannie Benson.  She found her sewing, in quilting, again. 

She does not have a favorite type or style of quilt and gravitates toward modern and minimal, but secretly also loves elaborate medallion quilts.  Her first quilt was a sampler quilt with tons of white space, made for her mom.  When she died a year later, Elaine sent the quilt with her, feeling comforted knowing she would be warm.  Her most recent quilt is an all blue rail fence quilt that moves from palest, almost white blue at the top to darkest almost black blue at the bottom.  She made this quilt for her 7-year-old nephew, Korbin, who loves blue and she decided to try to make sky and sea.

Elaine’s favorite quilt creation is an all-red quilt with more than 30 red fabrics and is 100% unique and originally designed.  She recently entered it for the Tucson Quilters Guild and the judges did not care for it.  She said they were nice and fully fair about the workmanship, but the looks on their faces . . . Well, many have commented on its beauty!

Elaine always loves the beginnings of quilts, when she is figuring out the fabrics and the designs and then the construction.  She loves piecing, but when the work gets repetitive, she gets antsy for things to be done.  At the moment, Elaine’s challenge is longarm quilting.  She wants to make the beautifully free-hand designs that she sees on others’ quilts and is honing her skills.  If you pass by her home at any given time, and the garage door is open, you will find Elaine working diligently perfecting her skill on the longarm.

What I admire most about Elaine is her ability to jump in, volunteer and be involved.  She moved to Tucson because of family.  She did not want her social life to be dependent on her family and wanted to quilt so she looked for ways to find quilting friends.  This brought her to the Tucson Quilters Guild where she has served as Vice President in 2015 and then President.  While it has been a lot of work and occasional moments of aggravation, she has made a lot of friends and acquaintances.   Many of the people she liked best worked for Quilt for a Cause and so she has joined them.

When asked what advice she would give a quilter, new to the area, who has interest in getting involved she says, “Talk to people at the Guild, especially those who are on the Board or running a committee.   Find a committee that you think looks like fun and join.  You’ll do some work, but you’ll also make a lot of friends.”

Elaine with fellow QFaC Directors Colleen Babcock and Connie German

Quilt for a Cause is looking for more volunteers for our Board.  If you love to quilt or love to be involved in a very worthy cause AND love to have fun, please consider checking out Quilt for a Cause.  Be like Elaine and JUMP IN!

Another note:  If you love jewelry and Kendra Scott, look for Quilt for a Cause at Kendra Scott at La Encantada on April 6, 2019 from 11am -2pm.   20% profit of everything sold during these hours will be donated to Quilt for a Cause.  A great opportunity to look for gifts for Mother’s Day and weddings.  Tickets will be on sale for the Opportunity Quilt “Crystal Blue Persuasion.”  Hope to see you there!



Previous Articles:
Star Shower Wins at Road to California
2018 A Year in Review
Out and About Fighting Cancer
Holiday Gift Giving Plan
Making Quilts for Quilt for a Cause
Successful exhibition at Tucson Botanical Gardens Closes
Christmas in July
A Garden of Quilts continue
A Garden of Quilts May 2018
A Garden of Quilts April 2018
Quilt For a Cause Makes a Difference
Successful Road2CA Trip
2018 Exciting Year Ahead
2017 It was a very good year!
Happy Birthday St. Elizabeth Health Center
Thank You – Quilts in the Garden Success!
Jeannie Dank Coleman
Quilts in the Garden September Event
Quilt For A Cause – Encourages more board members
June 2017  Activities
May 2017  Activities
April 2017 Updated Activities
April 2017 Activities
March 2017 Activities
February 2017 Activities
January 2017 Activities
December 2016 Activities
September 2016 Activities
August 2016 Activities
July 2016 Activities
March 2016 Activities
Tucson Quilters Guild – 2016 Quilt Fiesta!
Suzanne Irving and The Warm Company
Quilts in the Garden Event October 2015
Gabby Giffords 2015

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