HJ/EDJune 12, 2006

St. John's quilters: 'sewing with love'

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

The St. John’s Lutheran Women’s Missionary League quilting group, “Sewing with Love,” meets in their church basement in Winsted twice a month on Mondays, from September until May, making approximately 10 quilts a month.

Not one quilt looks the same, but they are all being made for the same reason, a gift to comfort someone in need and to let them know that there are people who care about them.

Not to be forgotten by “Sewing with Love” are the new additions to the St. John’s congregation. Each new baby baptized at St. John’s receives a quilt to welcome them into the world.

The quilting group has been working together since Helen Yager of Winsted initially set up and scheduled a meeting date and time for them, about five years ago.

They enjoy each others’ company and the time spent together. All of them feel greatly rewarded by what they are able to provide to others.

Collectively, they agree that Doris Luedke’s job is the most significant. Doris designs and sews all of the quilt tops.

Luedke purchases fabric and material for the quilts from donations received from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and other contributions.

A closet in Luedke’s home is filled with material that has been organized according to color and filed away for easy access. She has never tossed a scrap of material away large enough to be used on another project.

Each quilt is special to her. Her designs are her own and sometimes, she does additional shopping to come up with just the right piece of material and color to perfectly compliment the design she has in mind.

Luedke has been asked why she labors on each quilt top when she could easily finish them spending far less time on them. “No matter how poor you are – everyone likes pretty things,” is her reply.

The quilts are made up of three layers: the top, which Doris designs; the middle of the quilt containing quilt batting, and a fabric backing is also added.

Working together, all members meet to combine the three layers with yarn and then each of them takes turns bringing the quilts home to bind the ends.

When the quilts are finished, each is donated to a number of organizations chosen by the quilting members including the McLeod Alliance for Victims of Domestic Violence in Hutchinson; the Orphan Grain Train for relief of human needs worldwide; Marie Sandvik Center for the inner city poor; World Mission; Village Ranch Alternative Program in Cokato, which is part of Meeker and Wright special education program; the annual St. John’s Tea and Talent chili feed; and the Winsted Women’s Expo.

“Sewing with Love” invites anyone interested in helping them to come to St. John’s church basement Mondays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., September through May.

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