The quilts of Grace Lutheran Church are comprised of more than colorfully-patterned squares. Each one showcases a unique design—fabric pieces stitched together with precision and love.
That’s because the hands that sew them are doing so in the name of compassion and faith.
Some squares feature dinosaurs and Sesame Street characters; others are decorated with flower patterns and bright, bold shapes; but all are meant to brighten a room and inspire smiles.
Every Tuesday at the Summerville church, a group of five women gathers to create the quilts and continue their ongoing philanthropic projects. That’s because every quilt they craft is made to either cover a local orphaned boy’s bed or provide warmth to someone overseas.
But don’t dote too much on the faithful sewers’ charitable work; they won’t accept it. They consider themselves a small, simple circle of like-minded ladies seeking to fill their time with right-brained exercise and fellowship.
“I’m out of the house; I’m not sitting at home, and I’m with a good group of people,” said Carol Skinner, dubbed the “boss” of the group. “We’re happy in doing it.”
The last couple years they’ve been fabricating quilts to donate to Lutheran World Relief, an organization that will dole out the items to needy individuals around the globe.
More recently, the women added Summerville-area orphanage Eagle Harbor Ranch Boys Home to their recipient list—earlier this year hand-making 16 different quilts for the boy residents there. The church already cares for the boys during special holidays, making them birthday cakes and wish lists at Christmas, so it seemed only natural to use the quilts to meet another facility need.
Because the boys can take their niche blankets with them when they eventually leave the home, the project will remain an ongoingn one, Skinner said.
The crafting group was officially created in 1996 to give artistic women in the congregation a chance to mingle and stitch. Skinner said one lady in particular desired to learn how to hand stitch on a frame.
Over the years, the women have also provided blankets for the Ronald McDonald House and the Jenkins Institute for Children in North Charleston.
Much of the quilters’ materials and supplies are donated, with some seed money stemming from Thrivent Financial.