The January theme for my “Touching Hearts” blog has been quilts.
Everyone likes to snuggle under a nice warm quilt.
We have looked at quilts in numerous ways—from God’s covering of protection to the story of our lives. But today I want to talk about how quilts can be used to minister to the hurting.
Through the years I’ve heard of individuals who make lap quilts for patients in nursing homes and those who make small quilts for children in the hospital. In fact, as a first grade teacher, I had my students make quilt squares and I sewed them together in lap quilts for nursing home patients. It made an impression on the children and the quilts were appreciated by the patients.
But in my research of quilts I’ve ran across some unique ministries which I would like to share with you. Prayers and Squares is an interfaith outreach organization that combines the gift of prayer with the gift of a hand-tied quilt. The group began in 1992 at Hope United Methodist Church in San Diego, California. There are now thousands of individual chapters in thirteen countries. Each chapter has to follow the “Three Commandments of Prayers & Squares. The quilts are given to people with medical, emotional, or spiritual concerns, difficult family situations, personal crisis, or grief. If you are interested in starting a chapter, you can read more at http://www.prayerquilt.org. Their motto is “It’s not about the quilt; it’s all about the prayers.” There is a prayer said with every tie. I am very impressed that such a group exists, and for it to be in thirteen countries is simply amazing.
Another quilt ministry that I learned about is making “Fidget Quilts” for Alzheimer’s Dementia patients and those with Autism. I couldn’t find an established group of quilters, but you could certainly start your own. For more information and lots of ideas, check out fidget quilts on Pinterest. You can follow me on Pinterest, I have created a board called “Fidget Quilts.” They are very unique.
I haven’t been around Alzheimer patients very much; but I understand that in the last stages of Alzheimers, patients get fidgety. These quilts have all kinds of snaps, zippers, buttons, laces, and Velcro on them to keep fidgety fingers busy. You can find patterns at http://www.favequilts.com/Throws-and-Lap-Quilts/Fidget-Quilt-Patterns-for-Alzheimers-Patients. I think this ministry is another great project to touch a heart.
At http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/12/20/gif.soldiers.quilts/ you will learn about a group of quilters in New York who send quilts to project helping injured soldiers. In 2003, the project began to help soldiers returning home from war. American Red Cross volunteers distribute the quilts to soldiers. The entire project shows our soldiers that the entire nation is supporting them. There are numerous groups that make quilts for injured soldiers, just google quilts for soldiers online. You’ll be amazed.
Wow! I’m in awe of how quilts can minister. Maybe every church and community should start a quilting ministry and reach out to lift up the hurting. Just a touch can change a life!