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Wrapping in love

I will preface the following with a caveat. I admire quilters. They are patient, creative, and very good at their craft. Before you write letters know that I am saying this in jest. Recently I was in a fabric store where three women were huddled over several bolts of fabric, obviously planning to make many quilts. It struck me then that quilting is another form of insanity. What, you say? Well, why else would a person buy yards and yards of fabric, cut it into little squares, and sew it back together? In days past, quilting was done out of necessity when everything was utilized. The old axiom “Use it up, wear it out. Make do or do without” certainly describes quilters of the bygone eras. Perhaps quilters are more color conscious now or just have more money to spend. No matter the reason, the art that is produced is a treasure. Some quilters are (or were) my friends.

Among those friends is a group called “Wrapped in Love” at Prairie View United Methodist Church, near Smithwick, S.D. This group has taken on a mission of creating quilts for individuals who are going through difficult times. Simple patchworks are constructed in a bi-weekly sewing group at the church. Church attendees fill out a short form requesting a lap quilt for someone who needs an extra support boost and writes a brief statement concerning the need. Usually, the designee is known to the group as the quilt is being made and appropriate colors and fabric patterns are selected with the recipient in mind. Parishioners have donated or purchased fabric, an ironing board, an iron as well as supplies and funds for additional items. Once the quilts are done, they are tied but the ties are not knotted. Instead the quilt is displayed and the congregation is asked to tie one knot (or several) and say a prayer with each tie for the person in need. An embroidered label is personalized and attached for the recipient.

Some of these volunteers were quilters before the project started but prior experience is not essential. Those who are new to the art or just interested are welcome. There are cutters, pressers and quilters who all help and teach each other.

This is the beauty of a communal effort. Those of us who are not going to be involved with the quilt-making still have the blessing of assisting those who need a little extra boost and encouragement. This is another step in someone being wrapped in love, a way to bring comfort. The quilt is presented in church if the recipient is able to attend; if not, it is delivered. Either way it comes with hugs and much love.

Not having the skill to sew a straight line even with a machine I am only an admirer of the skills and those who apply them. Joy is in the making and the giving to wrap others in love. ❖


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