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'Sowing' comfort a stitch at a time
They are a busy group passionate about their craft. One of their members is a woman with a soft voice and a gentle spirit who is masterful at helping them share their gifts.
Patti Struck is an Angel In Our Midst.
"We have about 175 members from teenagers all the way up to senior ladies. We have two gentlemen," she said.
As the Pensacola Quilters' Guild chairperson for Community Quilts, Patti Struck has the responsibility of keeping those members engaged and active. Patti said the guild's mission is to stimulate an interest in quilts and to advance the art of quilt making.
"Just anything to spread the awareness of quilting and the fact that it's an art that's still very much alive today," she said.
The members get a lot of joy out of what they do. More than showing their talents at shows, Patti ensures that they share those talents with others. The community quilts they make have been distributed far and wide.
"We donated some to Habitat to Humanity. We have donated quilts to the Florida Baptist Children's Home to children who have nowhere to go at this time and might find comfort being wrapped up in a quilt - veterans and rehab centers. The Pregnancy Resource Center - those go to babies. To Emerald Coast Hospice Care to people in the end stages of life and we have donated to Council On Aging," she said.
Somebody cut the pattern. Somebody put the blocks together. There's the backing, the batting, the quilting, the binding.
Under Patti's leadership, Guild member Karen Gardner said the guild donated a record 327 quilts last year.
"That's a lot of work. And to get members to keep doing it as Patti has done," she said. "She sat at a table; she sat at a table right at the entrance of all of the meetings. And everybody that came in, she greeted them and says, 'We have this many kits today. Don't you think you could take one home?'"
Patti's sweet demeanor and gentle persuasion come easy when you're talking about making quilts as gifts. She knows that lots of love and thought are stitched into every one of them.
"Not just physically, but emotionally because the quilt says someone cares about you. Someone cared enough to take the time to make this quilt and to give it to you," she said.
Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.