Quilts fill the sanctuary at Oakland’s First Lutheran Church. Volunteers made over 300 this year for distribution to various charitable outlets.

Think that quilting bees are a thing of the past? Well, think again.

Quilts are being made in the basement of First Lutheran Church in Oakland, Neb., every Monday and Tuesday from 8:30 am until noon, weather and pandemic permitting.

The number of quilts they have made is impressive! In 2018, 240 quilts were made with an increase to 250 in 2019. This year, they outdid themselves producing 307 quilts! Currently, four women are working from home (La Verne Kellner, Lela Heineman, Jody Sydow-Stock and Kathy Peterson) with eight working at the church (Phyllis Meyer, Sandy Husar, Karen Johnson, Judy Groene, Lauri Canarsky, Inez Diers, Paula Low and Linda Carlson).

In the past, quilts primarily went overseas. Currently, quilts are given at local, regional and international levels. For church members, quilts are given for baptisms and high school graduations. At Christmas, quilts are being given to every family on the local ‘Tree of Love’ with others going to the Oakland Food Bank. If you have the misfortune of a house fire or other personal setback, a quilt might be headed your way.

Regional giving includes Open Door Mission, Sienna Frances House, and Lydia House in Omaha with some quilts headed to The Bridge—the women’s shelter in Fremont. Other organizations receiving these gifts of love are The Orphan Grain Train which serves locally as well as worldwide with Lutheran World Relief concentrating on overseas projects. Finally, some quilts go to the Camp Carol Joy Holling quilt auction to help support the camp.

One member explained to me that the group is fortunate to be included in the church budget, as many bolts of backing are ordered and used each year. Hobby Lobby used to be their vendor, but Marshall Dry Goods in Missouri is now used. Their material is made in the US, is of superior quality and sold for a lesser price, it was explained.

For the interior of the quilts, donated materials may be used like old mattress pads, sheets, curtains, etc. So, clean out that closet or dresser. If you have an old blanket, mismatched sheets, etc., contact one of these ladies or call the church. All kinds of fabric, thread and yarn is also appreciated. Your donation will provide warmth to someone’s life at their time of need.

Volunteers are always welcome. Even if you can’t be there every session or want to work from home, your participation is appreciated. You don’t need to be able to sew! There are many aspects of the process don’t have anything to do with a sewing machine. Canarsky, a Tekamah-Herman graduate, told me “You don’t need to be able to sew. If you can cut out a square of fabric, lift an iron, pull a piece of yarn through fabric and tie a knot in it or just stick a pin into fabric, we have a job for you.” She added with a smile, “We will train.”

Quilts made by loving hands to give warmth to others!

Love livin’ in Burt County.