As Amanda Holsinger and Meg Clem pulled a bright patchwork of fabrics taut overtop a striped sheet Wednesday morning, they were awed by how many turned out for their quilting group.
“That just is a ray of sunshine,” said Clem, of Broadway.
The women are two of fewer than 10 in the Timberville Lutheran Parish — which includes Rader Lutheran Church and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church — who gather every Wednesday morning to create “tied comforters.”
For all intents and purposes, the creations are quilts, but technically they are tied, not quilted, Holsinger explained.
In addition to the several who meet weekly, many more help behind the scenes.
Very little of the fabric used is bought; some women piece together the tops of the comforters from home and others search through Salvation Army and Walmart sales bins for inexpensive fabric.
“This was a pillowcase; this was a dress; this was a blanket,” said JoAnne Perkins, of Harrisonburg, as she pointed to various fabric squares on one comforter.
The finished product goes to a variety of places, including Lutheran World Relief, an organization that sends quilts to developing countries and victims of natural disasters.
In a normal year, more than 100 make their way overseas.
But others stay behind for local hospice patients, the Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center or for special occasion gifts within the parish, among other outlets.
“I love giving people something that’s handmade and … something that’s so useful,” Holsinger said. “It’s nice to have a little piece around that someone thought enough to give you.”
The women aren’t sure how long the group has been around, probably for more than 50 years, they guess.
In fact, two quilts made by former group members — Aubra Andrick and Ruby Minnick — hang in the back of the sanctuary.
“That’s really a special thing to me to be able to carry on [the] heritage,” Clem said.
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