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Blessing of the Quilts, 2017

[Photo: Madison Christian Community]

Quilts have played a major part of Lutheran World Relief’s mission since our founding in 1945. That means, for over 70 years, quilters across the country have lovingly stitched thousands upon thousands of quilts for distribution as part of LWR’s many projects. Their quilts have traveled all over the world, from Peru to India to Tanzania, providing warmth and comfort to millions of families.

Men from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Tescott, Kansas, load quilts into a boxcar to send to Lutheran World Relief in 1961. The man on the far left is Rev. Harold Martens, of St. Paul’s. [Photo: Kenneth R. Greene]

Typically, quilting groups amass their labors of love once a year at Ingatherings, where their quilts join other quilts and Kits of Care in shipping containers sent to one of LWR’s warehouses. Here, they are processed and stored until distribution. But before sending quilts to LWR, many congregations will hold a “Blessing of the Quilts,” displaying their members’ hard work throughout the sanctuary and blessing the quilts as part of the worship service. We’re thrilled to see the overwhelming support quilting groups give to LWR and receive from their congregations – your hard work really does make a difference! Throughout the Fall Ingathering season, we will be sharing your photos from quilt blessings, both to say a huge “thank you!” for your generosity and to give you a chance to see what quilters just like you are doing many states away.



September 10, 2017

First Lutheran Church (DeKalb, IL) combined their quilt blessing with God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday. The quilts of First Lutheran Church (West Allis, WI) brought pops of blue and purple into their sanctuary.

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[Photo: Barbara Willey Hanson/First Lutheran Church]
Quilts on the pews of First Lutheran Church
[Photo: Barb Reed/First Lutheran Church]

September 17, 2017

Quilts covered every pew of Grace Lutheran Church (Dodgeville, WI) and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (Des Moines, IA). 

[Photo: Grace Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Prince of Peace Lutheran Church]


September 24, 2017

At Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (Rockford, IL), over 270 quilts were blessed! Trinity Lutheran Church and School (Reed City, MI) assembled and blessed quilts for Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Sunday. Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (Cincinnati, OH) and Peace Lutheran Church (Beavercreek, OH) proudly displayed their quilts on each seat. Quilts hung from the rafters at Immanuel Lutheran Church of Evanston (Evanston, IL), Abiding Christ Lutheran Church (Fairborn, OH), First Lutheran Church (Bellefontaine, OH) and St. John Lutheran Church (Alma, KS). The quilters of Hope Lutheran Church (Rockford, MI) posed in front of their 100 quilts, living up to their motto, “Spreading God’s Love and Care on quilt at a time!”


[Photo: Miriam Gonzalez/Our Savior’s Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Aaron Rhode/Trinity Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Lutheran Church of the Resurrection]
[Photo: Lucy Frazier-Wallace/Peace Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Immanuel Lutheran Church of Evanston]
[Photo: Sheryl Fischer/Abiding Christ Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Marjorie Bixler/First Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Joyce Diehl/St. John Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Lisa Mitchell Parker/Hope Lutheran Church]


September 26, 2017

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Medford, WI) blessed 105 quilts at their weekly Community Quilt Work Day. They’ve already boxed up the quilts and taken them to their local Ingathering!

[Photo: Tonya Treichel Albers/St. Paul’s Lutheran Church]


October 1, 2017

This year, the quilters of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Wichita, KS) and Madison Christian Community (Madison, WI) completed a combined 225 quilts!  At Shepherd of the Valley (Sandyville, OH) and Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Coshocton, OH), the quilts were proudly displayed at the front of each sanctuary, while the quilters at Saint Peter Lutheran Church (Battle Creek, MI) assisted their pastor in laying hands on their quilts. The hard work of the quilters of Immanuel Lutheran Church (Ellsworth, KS) was spread throughout the church. Each pew at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (Washington, MI), Long Lake Lutheran Church (Sarona, WI) St. Paul Lutheran Church (Sterling, IL) and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Oklahoma City, OK) had multiple quilts. Over 175 quilts were blessed at Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church (Tulsa, OK), while worshipers sat against the many quilts made by Christ the Servant Lutheran Church (Vadnais Heights, MN) and Trinity Lutheran Church (Villa Park, IL). 100 quilts lined the pews of Zion Lutheran Church (Williamsburg, PA).


[Photo: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Madison Christian Community]
[Photo: Shepherd of the Valley]
[Photo: Emmanuel Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Saint Peter Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Immanuel Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Robert Wales/Our Redeemer Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Bonnie Ristola/Long Lake Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Katie Nelson/St. Paul Lutheran Church]
View from side of sanctuary of quilts on pews
[Photo: Susanne Laflin/St. Paul’s Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Patty Boyd Morris/Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Lois McKeag/Christ the Servant Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Amelia Gessner Jaent/Trinity Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Judy Edwards/Zion Lutheran Church)


October 8, 2017

Central Lutheran Church (Mondovi, WI) blessed a year’s worth of quilts, and the quilters of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (La Crosse, WI) posed among their quilts. Quilts of every color covered the pews of Olivet Lutheran Church (Sylvania, OH), St. James Lutheran Church (Coopersburg, PA) and Trinity Lutheran Church (Ann Arbor, MI). An abundance of quilts filled Mindoro Lutheran Church (Mindoro, WI) Bethlehem Lutheran Church (Lansing, MI), Lord of Life Lutheran Church (Tabneracle, NJ), Lord of Life Lutheran Church (Canfield, OH) and Immanuel Lutheran Church (Negaunee, MI). The Piecemakers of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (Mt. Vernon, IL) set a personal record for the number of quilts made this year, and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (Arcadia, OH) blessed over 250 quilts!


[Photo: Central Lutheran Church]
A view from the altar of the sanctuary covered in quilts, with the quilter posing in one of the pews
[Photo: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Ron Clark/Olivet Lutheran Church]
[Photo: St. James Lutheran Church]
Close-up of quilts draped over pews
[Photo: Deborah Nystrom/Trinity Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Mona Van Riper/Mindoro Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Kathy Kendall Halligan/Bethlehem Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Gloria Brosius/Lord of Life Lutheran Church]
View from the front of the sanctuary of quilts on pews at Lord of Life Lutheran Church
[Photo: Rebecca Richie Zielke/Lord of Life Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Linda Houser Sjolund/Immanuel Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Gloria Wurl Hill/Prince of Peace Lutheran Church]
[Photo: Dan Chris Thornton/Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church]


October 15, 2017

Hope Lutheran Church (Westminster, CA), Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church (Fairgrove, MI) and St. James Lutheran Church (Concord, NC) filled their sanctuaries with quilts and color! Quilters from Grace Lutheran Church (Banning, CA) stood alongside their quilts, and Advent Lutheran Church (Morgan Hill, CA) and Mount Olive Lutheran Church (Hickory, NC) blessed a combined 400 quilts! Calvary Lutheran Church (Merrill, WI), Christ the King Lutheran Church (Richmond, VA) and Faith Lutheran Church (Moline, IL) covered every pew with quilts. St. David’s Lutheran Church (West Columbia, SC) had their very first quilt blessing!


Side view of quilts over pews
[Photo: Linda Becerra/Hope Lutheran Church]
View of quilts from the front of the sanctuary
[Photo: Ann Emery/Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church]
View from altar of quilts on pews on left side of sanctuary
[Photo: Golda Jay/St. James Lutheran Church]
Overhead view of quilts in sanctuary with two quilters
[Photo: Robin-Colin Pay/Grace Lutheran Church]
Side view of quilts in sanctuary
[Photo: Anna Beasely/Advent Lutheran Church]
View toward the rear of quilts on every pew
[Photo: Susan Diane Petersen/Mount Olive Lutheran Church]
View from the rear, with quilts folded on the pewbacks.
[Photo: Gail Daley/Calvary Lutheran Church]
View from the font of quilts hung over pews
[Photo: Julie Korneke Sabalewski/Christ the King Lutheran Church]
View from right rear corner of Faith Lutheran Church of quilts.
[Photo: Sandra Perry/Faith Lutheran Church]
Overhead view of St. David's sanctuary
[Photo: Ann Caughman Alexander/St. David’s Lutheran Church]


October 22, 2017

The quilters of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (Saddle River, NJ) arranged their quilts a few days before they were blessed. The pews and the altars at All Saints Lutheran Church (Palatine, IL), Trinity Lutheran Church (Manistee, MI) and St. Paul Lutheran Church (Altamont, IL) were covered in quilts. Multiple quilts hung on every pew of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Lafayette, IN) and St. Peter Lutheran Church (North Judson, IN). The nave of Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer (Kokomo, IN) was lined with quilts, and quilts at Trinity Lutheran Church (Crown Point, IN) brought even more color to their sanctuary.

People arranging quilts over pews and altars
[Photo: Barbara Antonelli/Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church]
View from altar of quilts over pews
[Photo: All Saints Lutheran Church]
View from front of sanctuary of quilts on pews
[Photo: Judi Posner/Trinity Lutheran Church]
View down nave of quilts at St. Paul Lutheran Church
[Photo: St. Paul Lutheran Church]
Multiple quilts on every pew, view from front of church
[Photo: Nell Cole Kretzschmar/Holy Trinity Lutheran Church]
Overhead view of quilts on pews
[Photo: St. Peter Lutheran Church]
View down nave with quilts hung on side of pews
[Photo: Judy Wehmeyer/Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer]
Overhead view of quilts and sanctuary of Trinity Lutheran Church
[Photo: Elizabeth Hoernig Garner for Trinity Lutheran Church]

November 5, 2017

Quilt blessings took a pause for congregations to celebrate #Reformation500, but were back in swing on All Saints’ Sunday. Quilts covered every pew and chair of Spirit of Hope Lutheran Church (Lincoln, NE), Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (Hastings, NE) and Lutheran Church of Framingham (Framingham, MA). The Dorcas Quilters of St. Paul Lutheran Church (Wartburg, TN) showed off just some of the 105 quilts completed this year.


View of quilts on chairs
[Photo: Spirit of Hope Lutheran Church]
View down nave from back of sanctuary of quilts on pews
[Photo: Betty Nielsen Mlejnek/Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd]
Overhead view of quilts on pews
[Photo: David Miller/Lutheran Church of Framingham]
Group of quilters with two quilts
[Photo: Cheryl Flatt/St. Paul Lutheran Church]

If your congregation held a Blessing of the Quilts in Fall 2017 and would like your photos to be shared on this page, please be sure to tag us on Facebook or email us at If you are an LWR Quilter or Kit-maker, we invite you take our Quilt & Kit Ministry Survey and help us continue to improve your experience in supporting Lutheran World Relief!

2 thoughts on “Blessing of the Quilts, 2017

    1. Hi Carol! Thank you so much for that important question. What we advise people is just to keep into consideration that these Quilts as they go around the world, will be used for different purposes and will be washed frequently by the recipients. The main recommended fabrics are the washable fabrics such as cotton, cotton blends, twill, corduroy polyester knits, fleece, and donated upholstery including drapery samples. We do not allow people to use fiberglass or any fabric that has stains or holes in them. I hope that was helpful. Let us know if you any other questions and we will be more than glad to answer.

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