A small group of women is using their passion for stitching to make a big difference to Hope Conference & Renewal Center.
The Hope Quilters have contributed over $4,000 (and counting!) to Hope Conference Center in 2013, money earned by stitching patchwork quilts, potholders, wall hangings, and anything else that can be created and quilted out of small pieces of fabric. The women (so far they are all women, but men would be welcomed, too) get together several times a year to plan, shop, and work on their quilting projects. Many of the women also stitch on their sale items at home in their spare time.
This year they have been taking the finished products on “round robin” shows, selling their wares at Moravian congregations around the Eastern District. Usually they sell at a congregation for two weeks, advertising it in advance in the church bulletin.
The Quilters grew out of the annual Quilt Camp in October at Hope Center, begun in 1992 by Rev. Lois Mease, who wanted people to quilt with and to try to raise money for a new lodge at Hope Center. The lodge was never built, but Quilt Camp caught on.
Large, full- and queen-sized quilts have a limited market, so the quilters began to make smaller pieces which they took to various synods to sell. But synods are only held every few years, and reach only a narrow market. This year they decided to try to reach more people by selling smaller, more affordable items. The results have been very gratifying.
Hope Center has not been the only beneficiary of the tiny stitches. Several years ago the group sewed red vests featuring a pieced Moravian star for pages volunteering at District and Provincial Synods. They have made a quilt for each of the female bishops in the Northern Province as well.
Quilt Camp is open to anyone who wants to come, whether they quilt or not. Participants can learn to quilt, sew their own projects, or simply come for the fellowship, devotions and sharing. This year’s activities were inspired by the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, which features a patchwork quilt motif as its theme.
Susan M. Dreydoppel is the Administrative Assistant for Hope Conference & Renewal Center. She is a member of the Schoeneck Moravian Church in Nazareth, Pa. and represents the Lehigh Valley, North on the Eastern District Executive Board.
From the December 2013 Moravian Magazine