By Patsy Young
“Warm Hugs from the Thursday Afternoon Quilters” is carefully stitched onto each, quilt, pillowcase or lap throw designed and made by a group of ladies who meet each Thursday afternoon at the First United Methodist Church at Dierks.
Since 2008 ladies from the Lockesburg, Dequeen and Dierks area have gathered each Thursday about 1 p.m. in a workroom at the church in Dierks. The first Thursday of each month they meet earlier for lunch at a local restaurant, and after that it is all business with these ladies. They have a mission.
Just this past year more than 175 beautiful lap quilts were given to people needing someone to care. Each patient in the Dierks Nursing and Rehab received pillow cases. Eighty pillow cases went to Randy Sam’s Homeless Shelter in Texarkana and 51 to a nursing facility in the Charleston, Fort Smith area.
The DHS of both Howard and Sevier County received quilts for foster children. Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, orphanages in Ft. Smith and Texarkana and the Battered Women’s Shelter in Texarkana received handmade articles from this group of ladies.
Expressing love has no borders. Fifteen young people this past summer on a mission trip to Guatemala from the First Baptist Church at Dierks took twin size quilts made by the ladies to distribute to others of a different culture. All this was accomplished during one year, 2016.
Some of the ladies in the past have packed up their sewing machines and gone on quilting retreats to Historic Washington or Boardcamp to share with others who have similar interests.
Because the ladies supply their own materials, they often go on “field trips” to fabric stores in such places as Antlers, Okla., and Batesville.
Over the sound of 8 to 10 sewing machines working on their next project, the members were quick to mention that donations are appreciated and new members are welcome.