. grace quilters
Covered with love . The women at the Grace Presbyterian Church Quilter’s Ministry do more then just make quilts. They establish a sense of community while touching as many lives as possible with their colourful creations.
With an average of fifteen dedicated quilters and sewers, the Quilter’s Ministry has been able to produce over four hundred quilts, table runners, and wall hangings since the group’s inception in 2004.
Monthly meetings at Beltline's Grace Presbyterian Church from September to May allow the group to socialize and recharge while constructing beautifully intricate quilts to be donated to various causes associated within the church with the majority going to baptisms among the church members.
“It’s nice to give the children something that they can hold onto forever, as the quilts usually stay with the child until adulthood,” says Norma Hunchak, a leader of the quilting group.
The ladies have also made quilts tobe given away to graduates of the Servant’s Anonymous program, yearly church missions in Mexico, a healing/comfort box for those affected by illness, and many other causes.
Ten quilts were raffled off at a silent auction and raised a substantial amount of money for the African country Malawi, which is one of the world’s least developed countries.
“All the women that quilt here at Grace do so because they love to put fabrics together and make something beautiful,” said Hunchak,
“Once you start something like this, you can’t stop.”
The quilts are started at the meetings and usually finished at home during the quilter’s free time.
The time required for each quilt varies with the complexity of the pattern and materials used; however, most quilts take the entire month between meetings to finish.
The collection of assorted fabric donated by members of the church has challenged the quilters to come up with some very innovative patterns in order to suit the materials that are available to them.
“It’s interesting to see what the ladies come up with when they use only donated fabric,” says Hunchak
Joni Ermter, also a leader of the group, looks forward to the monthly meetings as she is able to take a break from the stresses of life.
“The meetings are a time to get together and socialize, which is something that not many people get the chance to do anymore because they’re so busy with other things in their life.” “The group is also a chance to establish a community with newer members of the church,” said Hunchak. “They come in and make new friends while learning a new skill-set.”
Once a project is completed, the quilts are numbered, measured, photographed, and given a specific area to be donated to. But before any quilt is given away, a prayer is said among the group for the receiver of the quilt.
“We hope in some small way we can make a difference, as we do not know who receives our quilts,” explains Hunchak.
The quilters pray for the ability to design and arrange the fabrics and for everyone who has donated time, energy, and resources to the creation process.
Hunchak adds,“We hope our quilts cover everyone with love.”