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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Quilters turn talent into ministry

Thursday, July 13, 2006

QUILTERS FOR CHRIST: The Quilters for Christ from the Thayer Free Will Baptist Church are from left: Magan Collins, Christine Collins, Reba Baker, Dawn Taylor, Betty Sorenson, Laverne Clark and Berneice Cantrell. Not pictured are Jeweleene Simpson, Iris Alford, Viola Scallions, Judy Bowers and Betty Robinson.

THAYER -- For more than six years the Quilters for Christ from the Thayer Free Will Baptist Church have been making quilts and donating them to needy residents of the community.

Thayer Free Will Baptist Church is located at 4th and Oak Streets and the group of 12 ladies meets every Monday evening in the church basement to quilt. The leader of the group is Reba Baker.

The quilt tops are made at home and brought to the church to be quilted.

Baker said her years of living in the Thayer area have shown her there is a need for the service the ladies provide.

"We give the quilts to people in need, such as victims of house fires and other life-altering circumstances," Baker said.

She said during a year, the ladies probably make a couple of hundred quilts and they always find homes for them.

Baker said she owned her own quilting business and was familiar with the quilting process. She said she saw the need for quilts in the area and approached her pastor at the church with the idea to start a quilting group in the church and he thought it was a great idea.

Baker said in her business she quilts by machine, but in the church basement they tack the quilts together by hand.

The Quilters for Christ have given quilts to the Free Will Baptist Children's Home in Mexico, Christos House in West Plains, and the Free Will Baptist Children's Home in Alabama. They recently donated 75 quilts to an Indian reservation in Montana.

"When the tornados went through the Myrtle area last winter we donated three queen-size quilts and two twin quilts to families who suffered damage in the storms," Baker said.

Baby quilts have been made and donated to Ozarks Medical Center and the Oregon County Health Department. Recently the Quilters for Christ donated quilts to two local benefits, one for Paul Baldridge and the other for Allen Crawford.

Baker said most of the material for the quilt blocks is donated by local residents but the ladies have bought some of the material for the blocks.

The ages of the ladies of the group range from 9 to 88 years old.

There are three generations of one family in the group -- Baker, her daughter, Christine Collins, and her granddaughter, Megan Collins.

Megan is the youngest quilter in Quilters for Christ. She has been quilting with the group about two years.

"I enjoy quilting. I learned from my mother and my grandmother," Megan said. She sews and ties alongside the rest of the group, including the oldest quilter, Berneice Cantrell.

Cantrell said she has also been quilting since an early age and was taught by her grandmother. "My grandmother started me out by making little blocks," Cantrell said.

Anyone who knows someone in need of a warm quilt can call Baker at 264-3950 or Dawn Taylor at 264-7909.

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