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Trinity quilters still ‘sewing’ strong

Polly Klingensmith, Jean Tubman, Sharon Afdahl, Jane Christianson, Cathy Gustafson, June Lindquist and Bev Medes will sew seven quilts before their day is done at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hammond on Nov. 13. They’ve sewn 185 quilts so far this year, many of which will go to Lutheran World Relief. (Photo by Sarah Young)1 / 4
A sea of quilts adorns the Trinity Lutheran Church sanctuary in Hammond. These quilts will go to the Lutheran World Relief organization to be distributed around the world. (Photo by Sarah Young)2 / 4
An example of one of the hand-embroidered quilt square on the “mystery quilt” that June Lindquist obtained from a neighbor, who got it from a friend working at a thrift store in River Falls. (Photo by Sarah Young)3 / 4
June Lindquist of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hammond holds up her “mystery quilt” she is asking community members to help identify. More than 100 names adorn the quilt, many of which are Hammond community family names. (Photo by Sarah Young)4 / 4

An array of beautiful craftsmanship in the form of quilts lines the pew backs in the sanctuary of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hammond. This sight has become an annual fall occurrence.

This year the group of ladies responsible for these beautiful quilts sewn, tied and stitched their way through 185 blankets.

“It’s amazing what a few women can do,” said quilter June Lindquist.

According to Lindquist, two ladies began the quilting group 30 years ago when the church was in its infancy and meeting at Hammond Hall above the library. It has grown over the years to include 10 to 12 women. Not all the ladies who participate actually quilt, Lindquist said. Some buy and donate the material used for the backing and top of the quilts. Some cut fabric squares to sew together. Some actually sew the squares.

“You really don’t have to know how to sew to join our group,” Lindquist said. “We’ve had many beginners. You just have to know how to tie knots.”

The quilts are made of 11-inch fabric squares in a rainbow of colors. Lindquist said using 11-inch squares “works real good,” but they have used 8- to 6-inch squares to use up material. Using the smaller squares takes more time, Lindquist said.

The quilts are displayed in the sanctuary each November, then packed up at the end of the month and taken to Lutheran World Relief in Minneapolis.

According to the LWR quilt campaign Web site, quilts can mean much more to the people they go to than just being a pretty bed cover. They could be used as a baby carrier for a new mother, a sunshade, a place to display vegetables at the market, a bag for carrying needed items or simply a reminder that someone in the world cares about them.

The Trinity quilters also make quilts for college or high school graduates in the congregation each year, and blankets for local use, such as a disaster or a family in need.

The ladies meet three to four times a month to quilt. Their reward after a quilting session is coffee and treats, but they have to make as many quilts as there are women present that day before they can have their coffee.

“We have fun, we share a lot,” Lindquist said. “It’s a lot of socializing.”

Lindquist said each year the ladies swear they’re going to memorize the different quilts and watch for them on the world news on TV, but it’s too hard because there are so many blankets.

The mystery quilt

“Maybe someone will see this article and step forward with information about this quilt,” Lindquist said. “It’s kind of my own little project.”

She unwrapped a white and red quilt, made up of 30 squares, with hand-embroidered names in red on white flower petals on a red background. There are 12 to 13 names on each flower in each square.

Lindquist said her neighbor gave it to her after she received it from a friend who works at Treasures of the Heart in River Falls.

Lindquist carefully wrote down six pages of names off the quilt. She said she recognizes many as Hammond names, and has even spoken to a couple Hammond residents who recognize relatives’ names on the quilt. The only date on the quilt is 1913, which is embroidered in a square with the name “Rev. Block” or “Rev. Black.”

There are more than 100 names on the quilt, and Lindquist wants help in solving the mystery of where the quilt came from or who made it.

If anyone would like to see the quilt in order to help identify it, the list of names or has any information regarding the origin of the quilt, contact Lindquist at 715-796-2311.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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