Throughout history, women and sometimes men have used the art of quilting for many diverse purposes: to keep warm, to decorate their homes, to express their political views, to remember a loved one.
Made by hand — often collaboratively — using familiar materials such as scraps of clothing, quilts are personal and communal, aesthetic and functional. Quilts can be used to keep their recipient warm, they can tell a story, or represent a memory of a time that has passed.
When Hurricane Sandy tore through the East Coast in October, it took with it the hopes and dreams of many families. The victims lost everything, including loved ones.
In late November, Karen Whitaker, of Sassy Stitches in Livingston, began organizing a plan to provide donations of quilts to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Local newspapers and church bulletins and The Catholic Herald were contacted.
On Jan. 1, the first scheduled day of sewing, 20 ladies gathered to help create the quilts that would be sent to the victims. The team of crafters sewed, tied, and put binding on quilts for three days in January. Over the three days of sewing the team of crafters were able to complete 65 quilts.
The effort started by Karen Whitaker encouraged a team of sewers from St. Aloysius in Sauk City and St. Norbert’s of Roxbury to join the effort. This team of quilting enthusiasts was able to complete more than 100 quilts.
The quilts are being sent to Holy Rosary Parish in Staten Island, N.Y. Elaine Mack of Sauk City helped Karen find options to get the many boxes of quilts from Wisconsin to New York.
Businesses played an important role in the delivery of 170+ quilts. McFarlane’s donated shrink wrap for the pallet. Fuchs Trucking retrieved 9 boxes of quilts from St. Thomas Catholic Church in Montfort, added them to a pallet of St. Al’s quilts, and delivered them to Graybar Corp. in Madison. (They had initially offered to deliver them free of charge to Graybar in Pittsburgh). Graybar Corp. along with Conway Trucking offered OTR truck delivery services, at a generous discount, from Madison direct to Holy Rosary Parish in Staten Island. St. Vincent de Paul paid Conway Trucking for their services. The cooperation of these businesses resulted in a very successful project.