What started in 1972 with just two women has evolved into 16 women coming together to create 80 quilts to be donated to organizations throughout Ponoka and Red Deer.
The Trinity Lutheran Ladies Aid has been quilting since January to produce the quilts. “Every year we quilt,” said co-ordinator Doreen Rausch.
This year’s quilts are being donated to the Champion’s Centre, the Rising Sun Club House, Stepping Stones, the Ponoka Fire Department, Victim Services, Ponoka’s Wheelchair Van Society, Bibles for Missions, the Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer, Central Alberta Woman’s Emergency Shelter in Red Deer, and Mulhurst Lutheran Camp.
Hilda Woitt, one of the original quilters, began quilting for the project with renewed vigour nine years ago after her husband died. “It was the best thing I ever did.”
Not only are quilts donated locally in Alberta but also ship them internationally through Lutheran Missions.
“It’s our mission,” explained Rausch.
“I say my quilts go all over the world and I stay home,” added Woitt.
The Ladies Aid uses mostly donated fabrics to make their quilts and bought almost no materials themselves. “It’s just nice to be using things that would otherwise go into landfills,” said Rausch.
Along with donations they always welcome volunteer support. “You don’t have to know how to quilt and sew, you only need to know how to tie knots and use a needle,” said Rausch.
“We feel good,” said Woitt, referring to why she’d been a part of the quilting project for so many years. “I’ve had people ask me, why do you do it? They won’t appreciate it anyhow. I say I’ve done my part now it’s up to the good Lord and other people to make sure they get to where they have to go.”
Woitt says she, Rausch and the other women of the Ladies Aid will continue making their quilts as long as there’s a need.