Quilt warms worldFour lines of colored thread vibrated and quivered as they spun off their plastic cones.
By: Associated Press, Worthington Daily Globe
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Four lines of colored thread vibrated and quivered as they spun off their plastic cones.
The threads flew through a series of wire guides and then were sewn into place on Norma Pietsch’s serger machine in the fellowship hall at St. Paul Lutheran Church.
It was Thursday morning, and Pietsch was edging the fabric pieces so they wouldn’t fray when they were made into quilts.
“We are really fortunate,” she said, taking a short break from her work. “We are blessed by how many people donate fabric.”
Nearby Pietsch’s serger machine was a large quilt frame. Around it stood Irene Holthaus, Michelle Flynn, Marilyn Hagemoser, Thelma Voetberg, Margaret Hippen and Marcia Gregorac.
And seated at a table, sewing by hand, was the oldest member of the St. Paul Lutheran Family Service group, 91-year-old Juanita Lutz.
On the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, the group meets at the church to make quilts. Most of them are donated to worthy causes: a pair of youth ranches in the Dakotas, or to Lutheran overseas missions in Africa and Asia.
When winter chills the Dakota nights, Iowa-made quilts warm the beds of troubled, at-risk teens from broken and abusive homes. Across the oceans, the quilts grace the cots and hospital beds of impoverished homes, refugee camps and hospitals.
The ladies also make quilts to be donated to international students and their families while they attend Iowa State University, and they make lap robes for area nursing homes.
Lutz said she and her husband, Arnold, spent more than 40 years working in Lutheran missions in southern India.
Lutz moved to Ames “to be near one of our sons who lives here.”
At age 91, isn’t it time to relax a bit?
“What good is that when there is work to do?” Lutz demanded. “Besides, this improves my health.”