On January 10, 2017, Art and Roxann Perella made the 2-hour drive from Hockessin, Delaware to New Windsor, Maryland to deliver their quilting group’s 5,000th LWR Mission Quilt.
The pair was delivering on behalf of the Graceful Quilters from Grace Lutheran Church – a group they founded back in 2001. In fact, their very first formal quilting day was September 11.
These days, about 15 people regularly gather on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month to tie and bind quilts. The majority of their materials are donated by the congregation. Much of the work on tops is done at home. Art and another member, Charlie Hufnal, take care of the binding while the rest of the group ties.
The Graceful Quilters average about one quilt per day, donating more than 350 quilts each year! By the end of 2016, they had completed 5,017 quilts since they started the group. To celebrate, there was a special quilt blessing, cake, and Art compiled a few fun facts to help congregation members understand the significance of 5,000 quilts:
- 5,000 quilts will cover 3 1/2 football fields.
- The 5,000 quilts made by the Graceful Quilters used 30 miles of fabric – all donated!
- The average quilt made by the Graceful Quilters weighs 4 pounds. 5,000 quilts weigh 10 tons – that’s equivalent to about six cars.
Thanks to Art’s careful planning, LWR staff were able to meet the Graceful Quilters at our warehouse in Maryland and celebrate this special milestone. Roxann and Art even brought the group’s record book (pictured), which documents the very earliest days of the quilt group.
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One of the biggest questions always in the minds of the group is: who is getting these quilts? Thanks to the Quilt & Kit Tracker, we were able to see that their 5,000th quilt traveled to India, where it will be a bright, beautiful reminder to one of our struggling neighbors that they are not alone. Now that’s grace.