(Orange, Texas)

December 8, 2012

Hobby with a purpose

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

VIDOR — Quilting is more than a hobby for a small group with a big collective heart.

The Cathedral Window Quilters is a group of more than a dozen women who all share a passion for making quilts and helping others in the process. The group, which formed in 1994, meets every Tuesday morning at First United Methodist Church on North Main Street in Vidor.

According to Donna Nicholson, the Cathedral Window Quilters began in 1994 when several women made a quilt as a gift for a retiring pastor.

“We had such a good time, we decided to do it all of the time,” Nicholson said. “Originally, we just pieced together one quilt a year, but we got introduced to a quilt group in Baytown which was in need of help for some projects they had. It gave us the idea of doing similar projects and that’s how we got involved with Girls Haven.”

Even though the quilt group has a large list of groups it supplies quilts for, the women still to this day make quilts for girls entering Girls Haven, which are personalized and the girls are allowed to keep forever.

The Cathedral Window Quilters also supply quilts, which have been made with Civil War reproduction quilt patterns, to the families of military personnel who have been killed overseas. This included quilts being presented to the families of Shane Goldman of Orange and Kamisha Block of Vidor.

Although quilts are a valued commodity and the group enjoys assisting others, this is not something they do for the public

“We don’t make quilts for just anyone,” she explained. “We don’t have the time for outside requests. With the number of quilts we make, and the other items, we are too busy.”

Along with making quilts, which require numerous hours of cutting materials, stitching and even the use of two large quilting machines, the group also makes other items.

Baby blankets are just one of the many items made by the women of the quilt group, and some are donated to Child Protection Services (CPS). Bookbags and pillowcases are other items the women have made, many of which were donated to Native American children in Louisiana.

“We just sent several quilts with a group on a mission trip to Alaska,” Nicholson continued. “And for December we made blankets for a church member to take to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. We’re always busy, but we really like what we do.”

The group is funded through annual membership dues as well as donations, some of which come from the church and some from outside sources.

“So far we’ve never been out of fabric,” said member Jane Williams with a laugh. “That’s about all we can hope for.”

Although the Cathedral Window Quilters meet weekly at First United Methodist Church, membership of the church is not a requirement.

“If you like quilting and you’re a Christian person, then that’s good enough for us,” Nicholson said with a laugh.

Contact Donna Nicholson at 409-768-1425 for more information on the Cathedral Window Quilters or how to make a donation to the group.