Blessing of the Quilts, 2017

[Photo: Madison Christian Community]

This is a “living” blog post. We will be updating it each week through the Fall Ingathering season as we receive more photos!

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.



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September 11, 2017

First Lutheran Church (DeKalb, IL) combined their quilt blessing with God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday.

[Photo: Barbara Willey Hanson/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) and St. Paul Lutheran Church (Sterling, IL) 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]
[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) and Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church (Fairgrove, MI) 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) and Christ the King Lutheran Church (Richmond, VA) 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]
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]
Overhead view of St. David's sanctuary
[Photo: Ann Caughman Alexander/St. David’s Lutheran Church]

Stay tuned! We will be adding more pictures to this blog post as more quilts are blessed. If your congregation will be (or already has!) done a Blessing of the Quilts 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!