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A quilt is special! It brings warmth on a cold night, shelter from the sun on a hot day. It becomes a bed, a room divider, a backpack to carry belongings and at times even a home. Each quilt is one of a kind, with a beauty all its own, made as a gift of hope by caring people.Lutheran World Relief

For at least three decades (perhaps longer), Saint John’s Sewing Group has been stitching quilts together in love. The participants and recipients have changed through the years, but the mission remains the same—serving others in Christ’s Name, sharing His love with those in need and offering them comfort and hope.

“The best kind of sleep under heaven above
Is under a quilt, handmade with love.”

In their early history, the group was often commissioned to create special patterned quilts or to complete the hand-quilting for a provided quilt top. Proceeds from the quilts and/or quilting services were donated to local charities such as the Salvation Army, Crossroads Safe House, Children’s Clinic, Good Shepherd Home, Saint John’s Preschool, Mission Guild, Laurel School Homeless Project and LCMS World Relief.

At the turn of the century, most of the group’s quilts were made according to Lutheran World Relief specifications (60" × 80" patchwork, tied quilts) and were donated to LWR, which then provided the quilts nationally and internationally to refugees, natural disaster victims and others in need. When Lutheran World Relief began to experience difficulty distributing quilts internationally, the Sewing Group decided to return to the more intricate art of piece-quilting a variety of sizes and types of quilts to be donated locally or sold with the funds being donated to local, national and some international charities.

Not even COVID could interfere with this group’s mission. During the pandemic, members worked from home. Instead of slowing them down, productivity actually increased. But they are happy to be meeting together in person again each Thursday morning. There are currently nine active members, including one new recruit who found the group via the church’s website.

They have given quilts to the Alpha Center, Laurel School (for distribution to needy families), several nursing homes, a local adoption agency and several families and individuals who have come to the food pantry and/or clothing closet. They also provide baby quilts for newborns at Saint John’s. In February, they raised nearly $3,000 for the victims of the Marshall Fire with a donation-based quilt sale. Fourteen of those quilts were donated back to the group and given to a local assisted living facility for low-income residents! The group is also working on a “Friendship Sampler Quilt” (or two), piecing together beautiful squares created and donated by a variety of individuals. (You’re invited to participate by sharing a quilt square by April 13. See more details in the weekly church bulletin or contact Susan Hauser!)

How Can You Help?

The Sewing Group would love to grow and encourages you to consider joining them. These humble servants continue to seek out local recipients for their quilts and welcome your suggestions. Their greatest joy is giving the gift of love and hope to those in need.

Can’t sew? Don’t have the time? You can still support the group by praying for their ministry, by supporting their occasional quilt sales or by donating quilt batting or large pieces of fabric for quilt backing. Monetary donations are also welcomed.

Questions? Contact any member of the Sewing Group: Sheryl Bachman, Diana Carlson, June Donaldson, Susan Hauser, Mary Huwa, Chris Rattenborg or Fran Rodammer.

May God continue to bless this unique ministry as they serve God, our church, and our community.

The Board of Human Needs finds opportunities for the members of Saint John’s to provide a Christian witness by helping people in the community struggling with daily necessities.

Photos by Saint John’s member Susan Hauser.