Quilts made with love for Shriners patients

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By Liz Durr

Debbie Waskom of the Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club #17 came to Old Bethel Baptist Church’s sewing cottage Tuesday, Sept. 24 to pick up some quilts for the Shriners Hospital in Shreveport.

Quilters JoAnn Terrell, Martha Holland, Nell Settle and Debbie Waskom from the Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club with quilts going to the Shriners Hospital.

The Old Bethel WMU sewing ladies had made 25 quilts for Shriners children. Organizers hope this will be a yearly project.

President of the BKMC Mark Waskom and Director of Finance Clarissa Smith with two quilts that were sent to the Shriners Hospital.
The quilts arrived at Shriner’s Hospital Wednesday, Sept. 25. Clarissa Smith and Jennifer Martin, Head of Outreach, shows off some quilts.

The Brothers Keepers donate money every year to Shriners, so Martha Holland had contacted Debbie Waskom to come pick up the quilts to deliver them.

Shriners Hospital provides specialized care for children with orthopedics conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and certain other special health care needs, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.

The Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club donates to Shriners because several of their members have children or grandchildren that receive care from the Shriners.  They do fundraisers all during the year to raise money for the Shriners. They have one big fundraiser once a year called “the Dream Run.” The next Dream Run will be March 20-21, 2020. The checks they donate to Shriners are specified for some particular equipment.

Mark Waskom, president of the BKMC delivered the quilts to Clarissa Smith at Shriners Hospital and took them to Shiner’s this week. Smith said the quilts were perfect for wheelchair bound children.

The Old Bethel sewing ladies have a quilter who has a grandson who has received treatment from the Shriners since he was two weeks old.  He is now seven.

I am a member of Old Bethel WMU and I have two great nephews that have gone to Shriners since they were born. One is now 29 and the other is in high school. There are others that have relatives that go to Shriners for health care issues.

Labels were put on the quilts.

The sewing ladies quilt not only because they love to sew, but this is our mission. We have donated 72 quilts to Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, made 18 quilts for the children of Old Bethel; gave 35 or 40 quilts to cancer victims or sick people. We donated 70 lap quilts to the nursing home, 25 baby quilts to the Women’s Resource, 25 quilts to Disaster Relief. One year, we made 75 dresses and 50 boys’ shorts to Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Now 25 quilts will go to Shriners Hospital.

Currently, they are working on quilts for Disaster Relief and the nursing home.

I talked to Nell Settle (aka Queen Bee) who started us on this mission. She is the main quilter, although there are other women that can quilt at the cottage. She said it takes anywhere from two to three days to make a quilt top, then it has to be pinned to the batting, which takes about 30 minutes. She can quilt a simple quilt in one day and an advanced quilt in two days. Once it is quilted, it has to be binded, which takes about an hour.  All of our machine pieced and quilted.  She said 95 percent of the material is donated. Sometimes we have to buy the material for stripping and border.  We purchase all the batting, all the backing and the thread.

Holland, also a quitter, said that she cuts out two or three quilts at a time, then sews the main part of the quilt together, whatever size and makes the binding. Kid’s quilts are bright and adult quilts try to match. She brings them to the cottage and they put batting and backing on it, then it is quilted and binded at the cottage. We never let a quilt leave the cottage without a label and prayer. She also made 72 pillowcases to match the quilts that were donated to the children’s home.  She is currently making quilts for St. Jude’s.

We have men of the church that helps the sewing ladies in the cottage. Like building shelves, changing batting on the rolls and plumbing.  They are Malcolm Durr and John Settle.

Old Bethel WMU currently is selling raffle tickets for a full sized fall quilt, which will be given away Oct. 16.  You do not have to present to win.  Tickets are $1 each or 12 tickets for $10.  Proceeds will be used to buy sewing supplies for missions from the Old Bethel Sewing Cottage.