For decades, the quilting guild at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Joliet have made quilts for people in need around the world.
How many decades? No one is quite certain.
One member, Lois Lewis has met monthly with group for the last 15 to 20 years, but the group was already active when Lewis joined. The numbers have waxed and waned through the years. New members are always welcome.
"We have eight in our group currently, " Lewis said. "We meet once a month on the fourth Thursday of the month...It's very rewarding."
Last year, the group sewed 53 quilts to Lutheran World Mission, which were then distributed around the world. Another batch will be displayed on the pews and blessed at the 9:30 a.m. service on Sept. 30. The quilts are always shipped during the first week of October, Lewis said.
The public is welcome to attend the service and the blessing, as well as to view the quilts and meet the guild members. Quilting experience is not necessary for this guild because the process of binding and sewing these quilts is quite simple.
"All they have to know is how to thread a needle," Lewis said.
Nannette Alton-Labus, director of the church's public relations committee, said some of the locations end up in the United States, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti and Kenya. In addition to being a source of comfort to the recipients, these versatile quilts have multiple purposes.
In addition to serving as an actual blanket, these quilts can be used as baby carriers, market displays, sacks for transporting goods, shawls and sunshades, Alton-Labus said.
She's impressed with the time the volunteer quilters put into making them and she encourages people to come out on Sept. 30 to view them.
And people who want to help but really don't want to quilt can donate to the cause, either with money for materials or the actual materials themselves, Alton-Labus said. But not receiving donations doesn't stop this guild from its mission.
"These ladies are so dedicated that if they don't get sheets and fillers, they put their own money in so they have the materials to make them," Alton-Labus said.
The quilters at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Joliet will accept donations of time and talent, as well as old sheets, thin blankets or monetary donations to purchase materials.
For more information, contact Lois Lewis at 815-727-4554 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Quilt display and blessing
WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Sept 30.
WHERE: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 412 E. Benton, Joliet.
INFORMATION: Contact Lois Lewis at 815-727-4554 or email@example.com.