Brandon Lutheran quilters spread warmth across the community, globe

By: 
Jamie Hult, Journal staff writer

Brandon Lutheran Church WELCA quilters made close to 200 quilts made this year. Dozens were boxed up and shipped to Lutheran World Relief last week. Jamie Hult/BV Journal

 

Brandon Lutheran Church WELCA quilter Nyla Sorheim surveys boxes of quilts for Lutheran World Relief. The group made close to 200 quilts this year. Jamie Hult/BV Journal

From piecing together quilts to crocheting prayer shawls to making freezer meals, the Brandon Lutheran Ladies keep busy with outreach projects to help anyone in need.

They’ve made close to 200 quilts this year, and last week Brandon Lutheran Church’s WELCA quilt group filled boxes with quilts that will be handed out all over the world through Lutheran World Relief. 

Marlys Byre is fairly new to the quilt group. She joined a few years ago after retiring.  

“It provides wonderful fellowship for people, just the feeling that you’re doing something to help somebody,” she said. “This is definitely a ‘do something’ ministry.”

In past years quilts have traveled as far as the Ukraine. Wherever they end up, the quilts bear the labor of love and message of hope. A few Sundays ago, Brandon Lutheran Church blessed the quilts.

“We prayed for the folks who will receive them,” said Pastor Dan Nelson.  

Quilts that weren’t shipped will go to nonprofits like Children’s Inn, St. Francis House and the Union Gospel Mission.

About 20 members of the WELCA quilt group meet once a week, and the reason is simple. 

“We love to quilt, and most of us have enough quilts of our own,” said Nyla Sorheim.

Sorheim learned to quilt through the WELCA group. She’s now been doing it 25 years. 

This year they’ve been blessed with 16 boxes of donated fabric, she said. When the women meet, some cut and others tie knots; lay out quilt blocks or batting. Still others iron fabric in the assembly line-like process.

“We all have our little talents,” Sorheim said. “We like to make them attractive for the recipients.”

Sorheim and Byre also help with the church’s freezer ministry group, which collects and prepares meals for shut-ins, families in bereavement – anyone suffering or in need. 

Eighteen prayer shawls crocheted by congregation members will be dispersed throughout the community, too. 

The shawls lined the altar last week, and 60-inch by 80-inch quilts ready to be boxed were draped over every pew – in every color of the rainbow, any pattern imaginable, and all evidence of the Brandon Lutheran Ladies’ hard work. 

“It’s so heartwarming to come in and see them all,” Byre said. “It all ties together. It’s all about doing something.”

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