New Lenox quilting group has made and donated thousands of quilts in nearly 30 years

Dircks: ‘It’s just a matter of passing our love along’

Members of the quilting club of Peace Lutheran Church in New Lenox donated more than 25 handmade, twin and full-sized quilts and prayer shawls to United Cerebral Palsy-Center for Disability Services in Joliet. Pictured, from left, are Mike Hennessy, executive director of UCP-CDS, and club members Karen Dircks and Syndy Lindbloom.

New Lennox — Since 1996, members of the quilting club of Peace Lutheran Church in New Lenox, have made – and donated - 5,016 quilts made from donated materials.

The latest recipient was United Cerebral Palsy-Center for Disability Services in Joliet, which received more than 25 handmade prayer shawls and quilts (twin and full-sized) in May.

“We use a variety of materials from old mattress stuffing to blankets to create our quilts,” Syndy Lindbloom, said in a news release from UCP0CDS. “And I must say each of these quilts are different and sewn with love.”

Anastasia Tuskey, spokesperson for UCP-CDS, said club member Karen Dircks had called to see if UCP-CDS could use the quilts, which it could.

“Many of our clients are wheelchair-bound; so a quilt or shawl can make them feel cozy,” Tuskey said. “The group is always looking for a group to accept their quilts and prayer shawls.”

Dircks said every recipient is very appreciative to receive the quote.

“That’s what gives us joy and why we want to continue,” Dircks said. “We’re getting blessed in sharing our love and others are getting blessed by receiving our gifts.”

Dircks stressed the donation element of the project is key. Not one member has sold one quilt, she said. The club has given quilts to people who had house fires and families in need, she said. The club has given quilts to cancer organizations to keep patients warm during chemotherapy treatments, she said.

The club even sent quilts to an orphanage in Haiti, Dircks said.

“We just want to show our love by giving people, that might need them, a quilt,” Dircks said. “So it’s not to make the church rich; it’s not to make us as individuals rich. It’s just a matter of passing our love along.”

The group quilting club shut down for three months during COVID – and then started meeting again with face masks and social distancing, Dircks said. Club members then produced 75 quilts in a year, she said.

“We just keep working and working,” Dircks said. “It gives us something to do and, at the same time, we’ve been helping a lot of people.”

The quilting club currently has 14 women, Dircks said..

“We can share our friendship,” Dircks said. “And we’ll have a cup of coffee and a pastry hallway through. Everybody there is just trying to do good.”

The quilting club meets from 9 a.m. until noon every other Monday, at Peace Lutheran Church, 1900 East Lincoln Highway in New Lenox.

For more information about the club, call 815-485-5327.

For more information about UCP-CDS, visit ucp-cds.org or call 815-744-3500.