Group of Sylvan Lake quilters quilting with a purpose

From intricate snippets of cloth and loving patience come large, lovely bed quilts for orphans in Ogooma, Uganda.

Children in Uganda are grateful for the work completed by Sylvan Lake’s Quilters with a Purpose.

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From intricate snippets of cloth and loving patience come large, lovely bed quilts for orphans in Ogooma, Uganda. Ladies from the Sylvan Lake Alliance Church and others from the Sylvan Lake community gather every Tuesday at the church for a group called Quilters with a Purpose.

In a warm and cordial atmosphere, the women — of every age and skill level — are free to bring along their projects from home, visit and help each other. From old-fashioned hand knotting to modern techniques come projects dancing with charm.

At a recent gathering, the quilters hosted Rosemary Akitang, “Mother” to the orphans who have been grateful recipients of the group’s creations since some church members and partners helped build the first orphanage dorm in 2011. The building was originally built to house some 30 orphans.

When Rosemary first approached the various local churches and authorities in her war-torn remote village of Ogooma requesting names of the neediest children, the shortlist contained over 300 names. Currently, with a second dorm, there are 86 grateful youngsters with a bed and three meals a day — possibly for the first time in their lives. Hence the need for more quilts, which will travel to Ogooma with the volunteer work team in January.

One quilter told Rosemary, “Tell the child who gets my quilt that it is a ‘puzzle quilt.’ There is one duplicate block for each pattern that they can look for and one that is the reverse of its partner pattern. The reverse one is because I made a mistake and didn’t notice until I had joined it to all the others and didn’t want to pick it all out.”

Much laughter ensued, because there are always mistakes that need to be picked out and resewn. No sense in getting upset. As the saying goes, “To sew is to pick out.”

Question: “When is a seamstress like a country star?” Answer: “ When she’s pickin’ and singin’”.

Anyone may join the fellowship, and you don’t have to donate your finished article.

Money donations for the orphans can be delivered to the Sylvan Lake Alliance Church during business hours.