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Their quilts’ warmth felt in the community & abroad

MUSTANG, Okla. (BP)–Every police car has one.
Elsewhere in the area, and even overseas, they keep tiny babies warm, along with nursing home residents, the homeless and others in need.
And about 25 ladies will make at least 350 of them this year.
Their focus in Mustang, Okla.: quilts.
Every Thursday, eight to 14 women gather in the basement of Mustang’s Chisholm Heights Baptist Church to spend about five hours piecing and tacking materials together. Across town, seven to 12 ladies are doing the same thing at First Baptist Church the first and third Thursday of every month.
Dottie Gauntlett began the quilting ministry as a member of First Baptist. When she moved her membership to Chisholm Heights, she started a group there and Inez Wilson took charge of the quilters at First Baptist.
Both groups use donated materials mostly from people who have heard about the project and want to help. Drapery stores and other businesses also have made donations, while the churches furnish batting, thread and other needed supplies.
The quilts are given to such ministries as the Baptist Children’s Homes, Boys Ranch Town and Grace Rescue Mission. They are also available for victims of fires, floods and tornadoes and have even been sent with missionaries to foreign countries.
First Baptist has given a quilt to all Mustang police officers to carry in the back of their cruisers to be used for accident victims or abandoned children. Chisholm Heights does the same thing for the Yukon (Okla.) Police Department.
When the Yukon police force got new uniforms, the police officers gave their old uniforms to the ladies to use for quilting pieces.
“We’ll give the quilts we make from the uniforms back to the police,” Gauntlett said. “That way the quilts will have even more meaning for them.”
The women make a variety of sizes, from baby quilts to king-size ones. Most of the baby quilts are used for abused children, but some are also used for the church nursery.
Betty Edinburgh, a member of Chisholm Heights, brings her own serger to the church every week.
“I average making three quilt tops a day with my serger,” said Edinburgh, who searches garage sales for sheets to use for quilt backings. She estimates a standard-size quilt the ladies produce would probably sell for around $125.
Oretha Langley, also a member of Chisholm Heights, goes to Mexico on mission trips about every two months. On her last trip, she took 14 quilts for abandoned children and babies of prisoners.
Gauntlett said Chisholm Heights presently is storing a lot of quilts because most of the places that will need them for the winter months don’t have storage space.
“But we will get rid of them pretty quickly with winter approaching,” she said.
Every week the women have quilts in different stages of completion. Some women are cutting squares, some sewing them together, some putting on the backing and there’s always one who is doing the tacking.
Ninety-one-year-old Ursie Myers gets upset if there isn’t a quilt ready for tacking when she gets to Chisholm Heights every Thursday, Gauntlett said.
“She’s our main tacker. She’ll tack as many as four quilts in one day.”

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  • Dana Williamson