Quilt donations a blessing

Jul 9, 2018 | by Annette Griffus

It’s a labor of love for the quilters and knitters that meet each Tuesday from January to Mother’s Day in May at the Port Madison Lutheran Church on Bainbridge Island.

From their giving hearts have come dozens of quilts that will be donated to the Salvation Army Bremerton Corps later this year.

Shirley Olsen said the church has been donating the handmade quilts for more than 50 years. Olsen said the quilters used to donate them to Lutheran World Relief, but felt it would better serve their local community and those in need if they donated to Salvation Army Bremerton.

“We’ve got people here in our community that need these, why send them somewhere else?” Olsen said.

The group donates half their quilts to other organizations including Scarlet Road, a ministry that helps girls rescued from human trafficking, and Bainbridge High School graduating seniors can also pick out a quilt.

“Some gal’s knit and those go to the pregnancy crisis center,” Olson said.

The group of six to 12 ladies meet each Tuesday starting in January until the Tuesday before Mother’s Day each year.

“That is our last day and we take all the quilts and spread them onto the pews in the church,” Olsen said. “The (congregation) comes to church and a prayer of blessing (is said) and then we take them back and roll them up and put them in bags.”

Olsen said they wait until fall to distribute the quilts. This year they made 64 quilts, of which about half will come to Salvation Army Bremerton.

“It’s fun for us to do it,” Olsen said. “When we made the decision to keep it local, we felt like it was better that way.”

The group has shrunk in recent years — Olsen said they would welcome anyone who would like to join them and “you don’t have to know how to make a quilt” — but Olsen said the quilters at Port Madison Lutheran Church will keep going as long as there is a need.

“We’ll do it as long as we can,” she said.

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