OTTAWA — Seniors at Ottawa Senior Center have used their quilting skills for more than 16 years, making quilts for hospice patients and veterans in Putnam County.
Member Edna Paxton said the group meets once a month at the Ottawa Senior Center. The members lay out pieces of fabric and then quilt the pieces at the center or at home while enjoying one another’s company.
There are approximately 10 members who meet to create lap robe quilts to thank veterans and show support for hospice patients at Putnam County Homecare and Hospice.
Paxton said she has been sewing since she got married in the 1960s and has loved making quilts and lap robes.
“It’s neat to see the smiles on their faces when they get the lap robes. If they had horses and there are horses on the quilt, it brings back memories,” Paxton said.
Betty Otto, who has been a member of the group for the past 10 years, was taught to quilt at age 12 by her aunt.
“We have so much fun in this group and help each other lay out the lap robes,” Otto said.
Otto cuts the fabric into squares so the ladies can quilt it. She washes the donated fabric, irons it and cuts the fabric into squares and makes kits for the quilt-makers.
Otto said her husband, Tony, served in Vietnam, and she knows the importance of honoring service members.
“We want them to know they are loved and cared for,” Otto said.
She made a quilt that has Army, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard fabric before her husband died.
Joyce Shafer has been a member of the group for a year and said she learned how to sew at Miller City High School.
“I like to be able to quilt lap robes for the veterans and hospice patients and gives me an opportunity to do something for others,” Shafer said. Her husband, Gary, served in the Army and said she wants those who receive the lap quilts to know they were made with love.
Quilt group member Agnes Kleman learned how to sew as a student at Glandorf High School, where the first thing she made was a suit.
“Quilting is addicting, and when I first started I would make 50 lap quilts, but it didn’t take me long to get to 300,” Kleman said with a smile.
She said hospice patients and veterans can get cold and the lap robes will help keep them warn.
Her husband, Harry, served in Korea, her son, Andy, served in the Navy. Another son, Steve, served 26 years in the Air Force.
For more information about the group, call the Ottawa Senior Center at 419-523-5593.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.