Cricket has been working throughout the year with other HeartStrings quilters to make quilts for homeless families. After delivering a batch of quilts to Annie's house she wrote this:
I had the most wonderful time tonight. I went to Annie's House, a lovely shelter for homeless women. It is run by Sister Senga, who is the closest thing to a saint I've ever met. The women knew I was coming and were waiting anxiously. I've delivered quilts in other years, so they knew what to expect. They were looking out the door for me (I had called when I was ten minutes away).
They helped bring quilts in and put them on the dining room table. Even before I got my shoes off and got into the dining room, I heard the oohs and ahhs. Women were opening the quilts and just loving them. They were so thrilled. There were many comments about patterns and fabrics and color. In the end, it is the color they choose; they want the colors that speak to them. Pattern and warmth share second place. Size runs a close third. Each found a quilt that spoke to her.
One woman, still had on her olive green coat she was wearing to help me in. Guess which quilt she picked? Do you remember that wonderful top that Darlene made (and Bev quilted) which was sort of an olive green center strips with a light or white on each side of it? That was Darlene's creativity, and Holly loved it. She thanked me, Darlene, Bev, Rebecca, and all of the Heartstringers, as they all did, and I saw her hugging it as she took it to her room.
Another woman, who is to move to her own apartment shortly, picked the wonderful yellow center stripe quilt that Darlene made and Bev quilted. She said there was one window in her room, and this quilt would really brighten it up. She had gray hair but such a young and vibrant spirit.
A younger woman, the youngest of the group, let me feel her muscles – and they were hard and big! She is in training for the construction industry, and I say, more power to her. She's also her GED. The ladies had picked out a quilt they thought she would like, and did she ever! It is the Heartstrings pattern with deep green stripes and a lot of fabrics with pure hues. Everyone was busy looking at race cars and various other things on the fabric. She liked it so much she did not even look at the others.
The ladies picked out a quilt for one woman, who came in later. She loved it so much that she refused to even look at the extra quilts I had brought so people would have choices. It was a scrap quilt with lots of light areas and half square triangles. She asked me how long it took to make it, and I said probably close to 100 hours, all things considered. She came and hugged me and said thank you. I'm not sure if Darlene made that top or if it's one I had in the works already.
One of the ladies picked out a lovely soft green and soft blue nine patch, queen size. I had that one in the works. Everyone had her favorites. Some people took a while to decide which quilt they wanted because they liked several "best". Everyone was thrilled; I can actually say every person was totally enchanted by her quilt.
They were quite interested to know how these were made, and I have a new volunteer, Barbara, who works in the shelter and at Sears. I'm going to teach her how to make quilts and she will help with the homeless quilts. Not a bad deal! She's a lovely person. I may get a second volunteer, an experienced quilter, Maxine.
I left 16 labeled adult-size quilts with these ladies, and got many hugs and many kisses in return. Quite a few said "God bless you" and many wished me a Merry Christmas. I gladly share those hugs, kisses, blessings, and wishes with all of you, because it is our greater group that made this evening possible.
I left our web address with them. In all the years I've been doing this, never have I had this many finished quilts (53 so far) with such great cooperation and such little stress. Thank you very much, my quilting sisters (and brothers,) This group really rocks!
The bottom line is, this is clearly God's work, and I am so happy to be a part of it.