We can’t cure poverty but we can help poor people feel a tiny bit comfortable person by person. This year our quilts helped 913 people feel a little more comfortable and cared for and hopefully a little bit warmer. Nancy Fleagle shared some very interested stats with us. We started this very important ministry in May 2006 and didn’t start to keep track of how many quilts we made and delivered until 2009 but since then the number is 8,420! So pat yourself on the back, Ladies, as that’s a whole lot of quilts.
Along the way we added other items to donate: pillows, blankets, toiletries, warm hats and scarves knit by some of our knitters. In fact, this month there were two vehicles packed to the gills. I overheard Nancy F. tell Carol that Vicki Roal, one of the drivers, said she’d take out 2 seats in her van to make more room for donated items. Carol is the other driver and besides doing that has found time to move to their new home (we’re waiting for an address, Carol), and go to the school holiday programs of two of her grandchildren. Nancy Fleagle has taken time to host Thanksgiving gathering for 27 in her family and will have the whole group again for Christmas and probably New Year’s. Nancy also watches for special sales at Joanns, as we do need “manly” fabrics from time to time. We’re still using the mammoth group of fabrics that Bev Schroer donated when her daughter Lisa got loose at garage sales, but many of those fabrics are “ladies” fabrics, thus the need for manly fabrics.
Let me back up for a minute. I think of this every time I look at our store room. It’s thanks that we can find anything in that room and that batting gets ordered so we have enough to make quilts each week. I can remember the early years when we had absolutely no storage space and had to drag everything home between quilting sessions. This is a huge improvement! But the storage room doesn’t keep itself organized.
One of the items in the storage room is quilt kits, meaning blocks cut so we can sew 6 across and 10 down for a quilt top. Now that Christmas is almost over, think about whether you can help to sew up some kits from time to time. And speaking of quilt kits we’re having a cutting party on the 5th Thursday in January, to cut 8″ strips and to sew up some kits for those who can’t stand to do the cutting. We’ll do everything except tie quilts that day. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you as we get closer.
Thank you to all of you who find sheets at garage sales and thrift shops for our quilt backings. I think I hit pay dirt when I find 6, but then I hear Maie tell about bringing in 13 and Carol cleaning out a good part of a basement thrift shop’s sheet storage up north. We did get some darker colored sheets when we put a note in the bulletin that we could use those. The backing sheets are like feast and famine; we either have lots or are almost out. But if you stop to think of it, when we make 80-90 quilts a month, if we don’t get any sheets donated for 3 months that could wipe out our supply.
In case you wonder why we are hoarding beanie babies, well, we aren’t exactly. We did get two generous donations after the last quilts on the pews and are doing something we did before when we had an overload of the little critters. We will be taking some to Harriet Tubman Shelter, a shelter with a lot of little kids, sometime this winter, so they have a toy of their own.
Our stick pins are getting dull, or I should say duller, so we need to bring a couple of cakes of soap, as that really helps the pin slide through the fabric when you stick the pin into the bar of soap first. We’re actually starting to get almost low on light colored sewing thread for the machines but will let you know when we need some.
So relax over Christmas, have an extra cup of tea with a cookie, and even take a nap. Then on January 3rd we’ll be ready to “hit it” again. Thank you for all your donations and mainly for showing up week after week to help with this very important ministry. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!