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Quilters group makes 120 blankets in 30th year

Members of Trinity Quilters group stand near the more than 120 blankets they have made for charity this year. The blankets will be donated to Lutheran World Relief. Pictured (from left) are: June Lindquist, Irene Burch, Jan Heckel, Jean Tubman, Bev Medes, Becky Nagel and Bev Jacobson.

Thirty years ago two ladies from Trinity Lutheran Church in Hammond who wanted to make quilts for charity started a quilting group. Today, the group, Trinity Quilters, has around six to eight regular members and meets two or three times a month to quilt. Trinity Quilters has created more than 120 blankets this year and they're going to give them all away.

"We display them at church for a few Sundays on the backs of the chairs," said quilter June Lindquist. Then the blankets are taken and, for the most part, given to Lutheran World Relief.

"I think it's just something we want to do for others," Lindquist said.

Some of the blankets are saved for potential disasters in the local community, Lindquist said. And the quilt group has been making blankets for those members of Trinity Lutheran Church who graduate from high school or college each year, she said. The quilts for graduates, Lindquist said, are made of all new material and have a special note silk screened onto them.

"We make several different patterns," Lindquist said. "They can come and choose whoever one they want and we have a special Sunday that we give them to the grads."

There are usually a handful of graduates at trinity each year, anywhere from two to 12, Lindquist said.

Lindquist said the graduate blankets are a bit more personal than the other blankets Trinity Quilters group makes.

The other blankets the Trinity Quilters create are simpler, 60" by 80" blankets made of identically-sized squares in multiple colors.

Lindquist said the quilters usually split the process of making quilts into different jobs to streamline the process. Before the quilting meetings, a couple of the quilters will cut out squares of fabric and sew them together to form the fronts of the blankets. At the quilting meetings, Lindquist said the fronts, the fiber fill and the backing are all put into a quilting frame and tied together.

To tie the quilts, the quilters take large needles and pull thick pieces of thread through the middle of each square.

Lindquist said this step is usually where newcomers can start quilting, if they don't have any quilting experience.

"We've had people that didn't know how to quilt, and they'd come and we'd help them learn how to tie a knot," Lindquist said. "That's basically all they need to know."

Once the quilts are tied, Lindquist said two of the group members take the quilts home to finish the edges.

This year's more than 120 quilts are now on display in Trinity Lutheran's sanctuary. Early next month, Lindquist said the blankets will be packaged and sent to Lutheran World Relief.

Lindquist said the fact the quilts are going to help others is an important part of belonging to the Trinity Quilters group, but she said there is another reason she enjoys belonging to the group.

"It's the sociability," Lindquist said, "the good times we have quilting and laughing with the others that come and help."

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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