• Last modified 3145 days ago (Jan. 13, 2011)


Quilters put skills to charitable use

Staff writer

Quilters often make quilts to give to other people, and a group in Hillsboro goes a step further, making quilts without knowing who will benefit.

The second Saturday each month, as many as a dozen volunteers gather at Kessler Kreations in Hillsboro to make quilts that will be given away.

Volunteers donate the quilts they make to Main Street Ministries in Hillsboro. They then leave it to Main Street Ministries to distribute the quilts, organizer Marie Kessler said. The group also donates one quilt each year to the Mennonite Central Committee, she said.

Kessler said she likes not knowing who will receive the quilts. That way she and the other volunteers can give the same attention to each quilt without feeling one needs to be special.

“I feel really good about the mission because it’s what Jesus expects us to do, helping people,” Kessler said.

Jacquie Cusick of rural Lehigh has volunteered for about two years. She said she enjoys doing something to help other people.

“It provides a great satisfaction for me,” Cusick said.

Kessler started the quilting group as a ministry of Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro, although anyone interested in volunteering is welcome. It is part of the church’s second Saturday missions project, she said.

The late Evelyn Ens, who led quilting at the church for years, was instrumental in organizing the ministry, Kessler said. The group is entering its fourth year.

In 2008, they donated 13 quilts. In 2009, they gave away 26, although many were small quilts. And in 2010, the group donated 18 quilts. On Saturday, the group worked on three separate quilts. Volunteers make different sizes of quilts, from baby quilts up to queen size.

Most of the supplies for the ministry are donated, Kessler said. Some of her customers even donate entire quilt tops.

In addition to the satisfaction of doing something good, volunteers use the opportunity to socialize, catching up on what is going on in one another’s lives and around town.

“I totally enjoy the camaraderie with the other women, and it has been a great experience to learn from Marie’s knowledge,” Cusick said.

She said the experience gained by volunteering has dramatically increased her skill.

“I had done a little on my own, and this has opened up a whole new world for me.”

The quilting ministry meets 9 a.m. to noon the second Saturday each month at Kessler Kreations, 114 S. Main St., Hillsboro.

Last modified Jan. 13, 2011