Quilting Friends volunteer their talents to benefit retired sisters

Denise Stewart from Dunnville, Ky.

Eighteen accomplished quilters arrived at Maple Mount the evening of Feb. 20, ready to work hard for three days piecing quilt tops that will eventually be among the beautiful quilts raffled off each month as part of the Ursuline Sisters Quilt Club. (Click here to see the finished quilt tops.)

“I guess I’m obsessed,” said Denise Stewart, of Dunnville, Ky. “Eat,sleep, sew, that’s what I do,” she said with a smile. On Feb. 22, she was working on a medallion quilt, which begins in the center and works its way out.

Merline Long from Louisville, Ky.

“I’ve been coming to Mount Saint Joseph for 20 years,” Stewart said, first as a Runaway Quilter, then as one of the quilting friends who come each February. “I majored in clothing and textiles in college, but you can only make so many clothes, so I started making quilts.”

All the women volunteer their time to make quilts for the raffle, the proceeds of which are used to support the Ursuline Sisters in their retirement.

“This is my eighth year to come here,” said Merline Long, of Louisville. “It’s a joy being here and supporting these sisters in (Saint Joseph) Villa. It’s the best charity work I’ve ever done,” she said. “It’s loving work.”

Brenda Schinzel from Bartlett, Tenn.

Brenda Schinzel comes from Bartlett, Tenn., near Memphis, every year with two friends, but this year neither of her friends could come. “There’s not enough money to keep me from coming,” she said. She was working on a red and white Valentine quilt. “The ladies I’ve been with have taught me so much.”

There were a couple of mother-daughter teams on hand. Mary Teder, an Ursuline Associate from Farmington, Mo., was quilting the completed tops, and her daughter Ann Jacobs, from Moscow Mills, Mo., was stuffing pillows. Teder is Sister Amelia Stenger’s sister. “I do whatever Sister Amelia asks me to do, she’s my aunt,” Jacobs said.

Margaret Fitzgerald from Bowling Green, Ky.

Margaret Fitzgerald and her daughter Sally, both of Bowling Green, Ky., were also on hand. “I’ve been quilting 48 years,” Margaret said, and is glad she taught her daughter. “She kept saying, ‘Do it for me,’ and I said, ‘You’re old enough to do it for yourself,’” Margaret said. The two have been coming to the Mount for three or four years. Sally was working on a Water Lily quilt and Margaret was helping her iron pieces.

Margaret has proven to be a pied piper for some of the quilters present. Inez Brown, of Clay, Ky., made her second trip to Maple Mount after being invited by Margaret. “It’s really nice here, they treat us so nice,” Brown said.