Othello group quilts for the greater good

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Courtesy photo The Pilgrim Lutheran Church quilting groups gathers around a table inside the church and completes quilts for charity on a “Henry Ford”-style assembly line.

OTHELLO — Every Wednesday morning, a dozen or so ladies circle a table in the Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Othello and create quilts, assembly-line style, with a mission of providing “warmth locally and around the world.”

With 6,147 quilts completed since 1977, they’re well on their way.

The group has recently ramped up their steady pace, with a new self-imposed goal of 300 complete quilts per year. An even more impressive goal given that they only meet from September to May — that’s more than eight quilts a week.

“We’re like a bunch of kids,” Sharon Bray, the group’s leader, said with a laugh. “We take the summer off.”

Some of those quilts end up going to the region’s needy, including through yearly Christmas baskets and aid organizations.

Many quilts also go to refugee camps around the world through Lutheran World Relief. The group has also completed other charitable work for refugees, including creating school-kits that provided writing utensils, stationary and backpacks.

“We make sure the backpacks don’t say USA or have a flag on them,” Bray said, citing concerns that refugees could be subject to violence due to anti-American sentiment.

Quilts from Othello have also made their way to those affected by the 2015 Nepal earthquake that killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The quilts had already been stationed in the area by Lutheran World Relief, Bray said.

The quilting group is currently made up of 27 ladies who attend meetings semi-regularly, but new members are always welcome, Bray said. Even men are welcome to join, Bray said with a chuckle.

Though the group is named after the church where they meet, the Pilgrim Lutheran Church, individuals of any faith are encouraged to volunteer and join the quilters. Volunteers don’t need to be well-versed in the art of making a quilt, Bray said, as their are plenty of ways that anyone can help cut, stitch or pair fabrics.

Those interested in joining or donating to the PLC Quilters can leave a voicemail at 509-488-9952.

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