The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Christmas is a wonderful time to give


December 30, 2020

Monday quilters l to r: Lerita McKeever, Jane Nelson, Reggie Jappe, Gwen Ophus, Twila Cline, and Ann Quinn.

Christmas is a wonderful time to give, but sometimes the gifts we give are more than a purchased item. Sometimes as LeRita McKeever said, "We need to have something to give back to the community. They were made with a lot of love and prayers." Six women have sewn together every Monday for many years. This year they made 13 large lap quilts for individuals at the Big Sandy Medical Center Nursing Home. The six ladies call themselves, "Sew on and Sew Forth." They are Ann Quinn, Reggie Jappe, Gwen Ophus, Twila Cline, Jane Nelson, and LeRita McKeever.

It was a Monday, December 21st, and they were all still sewing on Christmas projects when I went over to visit with them. Reggie Jappe said, "I work on Christmas all year round! I enjoy doing things for the medical center because I worked there, and I know how much it means to them when they get extra presents."

As they continued to sew, Ann Quinn mentioned how important it was to use material that couldn't be used for anything else but pieces of a quilt. It was about using beautiful fabric to make something beautiful, to give it to beautiful people.

Gwen Ophus said, "I like doing things for other people, especially this year with the lack of being able to see family or being even with friends. So, it just means more to have something warm to cuddle, hug, and snuggle. I think this time of year, especially this Christmas, everyone wants to be in the giving. It's just good for your heart to give." S

Jane was sewing on a pair of Snowmen wall hangers. It's fun for her to be sewing, although they probably won't get done before Christmas. "It will be fun to see them smile when they get them, and it's something they can use all winter long."

It was Gwen who found the lap quilt pattern. It wasn't just a plain pattern; they have a place where the individuals can place their hands inside a pocket, with each one being different.

Twila Cline said, "My mom was over there for 9 ½ years, so I thought these quilts were awesome. And it was fun to make them."

"Sewing is very relaxing and therapeutic," Gwen said. The six sew and talk and have lunch together every Monday. They have gone on two sewing retreats together. Reggie pulled out a new pattern for a round table, and they visited about how it would look on someone's table.

"We've given raffle quilts for the library, Big Sandy Senior center, and pillowcases for the medical center. It's been a tough year for everybody. It's our way to show the community we care."


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