Stitch by Stitch, Patchogue Quilters Work to Mend Hearts | Not in Our Town

Stitch by Stitch, Patchogue Quilters Work to Mend Hearts

“This is an aged hand that is working to mend the heart that’s been broken, and we can all do that—mend each other’s hearts.”  Ruth Monaco, Patchogue quilter

Patchogue quilters with Joselo Lucero
It all began with an idea and a few stitches. A group of women in Patchogue, NY wanted to find a way to do something after the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero in 2008.  Their desire to promote healing in their town and express their feelings about intolerance resulted in a community quilt that was presented to local residents on September 16 at the American Legion Hall in Patchogue. The presentation included a performance by the Long Island Playback Theater.

Quilter Diana Berthold brought the idea of a quilt to Village Trustee Lori Devlin. Devlin used her voice as a village leader to encourage others to join the quilting team. "Not all of us are legislators or teachers, but each of us can do something," she said.

We’ve watched this quilt take shape over the past year and a half. The Not In Our Town film crew captured the early meetings of the quilters at the Patchogue Medford Library when the design and ideas for the quilt were beginning to emerge.

“We want to send a message with this quilt about how we walk in the street, how we talk to our neighbors,” Joselo Lucero, Marcelo’s brother, told the gathering. “It’s a message not just for this town, but for everyone, and that’s why I want to stay here in Patchogue,” he said.

As I stood in the back of the room, listened to the quilters, the Village leaders, Mayor Pontieri, and Joselo Lucero, I felt like I was watching change take place. That’s what I’ve learned from Not In Our Town. Change is like making a quilt. It takes time and patience, the work of many.  At the beginning, you can only imagine it. Then, stitch after stitch, you accomplish something.


Add new comment