Photo by Charity Maness/Fall River County Herald Star
Judy Cox, Mary Sue Waxler and Debra Frahm layout a quilt top on batting and backing.
By Charity Maness
HOT SPRINGS – In 2010, women from the then-newly built Prairie View Methodist Church began a mission to wrap the members of their church in need with love in the form of quilts; very special quilts that were each carefully tied together and with a prayer for that member being said with each tied knot.
“We began planning this group before the church was even built,” explained mission member Judy Cox, modeling the program after one that had operated in Hot Springs years before by friend and fellow quilter Ann Powers.
“Ann’s idea was so nice,” said Cox, “it had combined quilting for those in need with a bible study.”
While the group is small, with currently four members, they are mighty.
“We have donated 220 quilts to date,” said member Debra Frahm.
When Smithwick Community Church, Oral Methodist Church, Oelrichs Methodist Church and Buffalo Gap Methodist Church combined to form Prairie View Methodist Church the group of women began creating one-of-a-kind quilts for parishioner’s in need.
“Originally it was for parishioners and their families,” said Cox, “but it just blossomed.”
The gifts of love now extend to friends of parishioners too.
Each quilt top is created by members of the group from their vast collection of donated fabrics and brought to their monthly meetings where they are carefully assembled with batting, backing and binding.
From there the quilt is hung in the fellowship hall where members of the church are invited to tie the quilt and say a prayer with each knot they tie.
A small note next to the quilt explains who the quilt is intended for and what their need is; this helps guide the parishioner towards what prayers may be needed when they tie the knots.
While quilts are made at the request of parishioners through a request form, the group does have a supply of men’s, women’s, and children’s quilts completed on hand for immediate needs.
“We try to keep a supply and try to fit the person,” said Frahm. “It’s amazing how it always seems to be just right. We have had wonderful stories from recipients.”
There is no set pattern used as creativity and love are the main focus.
“I don’t follow any patterns,” said Frahm.
“We all run amok,” laughed Mary Sue Waxler, of Hot Springs.
The group keeps scrap books of all the quilts they have gifted throughout the years; a Wrapped in Love memory lane.
“Some of the recipients have passed,” said Frahm, as she looked through the books, her hope that their quilt brought them some warmth and a feeling of “knowing they were loved.”
It is a thrifty group with no scrap too small.
“I enjoy making a quilt out of these scrappy pieces,” said Waxler, “making something good out of people’s leftovers.”
And those scrap pieces that are too small for a quilt are used to stuff t-shirts to make pet beds to donate to the Battle Mountain Humane Society.
“There is no waste,” said Waxler, proving her point as she stitched together batting pieces for another quilt.
The group welcomes anyone who would like to join them
“You do not have to be a member of Prairie View to help us,” said Cox. “You also don’t have to know anything about sewing. We have jobs for everyone.”
To visit the group to see where you can help they hold their very informal meetings at Prairie View Methodist Church the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 10:00 am.
“We stay until we are done,” said Cox, with the word ‘done’ being a very fluid word.
If you would like to donate to Wrapped in Love, they haven’t a need for fabric at this juncture, but they have a need for funds for cotton batting. Donations can be mailed to Prairie View Methodist Church, 28309 Sunnybrook Road, Smithwick, SD 57763 with Wrapped in Love written in the memo.