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CMA church group stitches together quilts for needy

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 11:24 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 11:48 a.m. CST
(Submitted Photo)
Primetimers of Community Heights Alliance Church donate many hours making quilts. Some quilts were delivered in July to Bethel Mission, a part of Hope ministries that has been serving those who are homeless in Des Moines and central Iowa since 1915. Touring were: Top row: Janice Lyman, Freda Ahrens, Marlene Waddle, Dorothy Foster, Judy Parsons, Maxine Atwood, Sharon Longacre, Peggy Maston. Bottom Row: Lori Swanson, Sue Huetter, Kathy Grimes, Ila Guthrie and Ramona Osborn.

For the last 10 years, Judy Parsons and the other Primetimers at Community Heights Alliance Church have made a quilt everyday.

Well, that’s when they aren’t gardening. Between the beginning of fall and the end of spring, Judy Parsons and other Primetimers make quilts. They average about 300 quilts a year, but are only active nine months out of the year.

The quilts go almost everywhere. When a tragedy happens and blankets are needed, the group sends them there. Most commonly the quilts go to Mexico border towns.

“We were told to make ugly quilts because if they were pretty the daddies would sell them for alcohol,” Parsons said. “But they get what we make.”

Jon Patterson, an associate pastor at Community Heights Alliance Church said that all the Primetimers are a great group of volunteers that give back to not only the community, but all around the world.

Most recently though, the quilts have been sent to Hope Ministries in Des Moines. The organization helps feed, house and clothe homeless people living in Des Moines. The group has delivered quilts down to Hope Ministries twice already. Parsons said that they are planning to make pillow cases as well.

“They’re a great group of ladies. They have great hearts and they have fun together and enjoy one another and doing something they’re good at in the process,” Patterson said. “Their quilts are really nicely made.”

All of the materials are donated by members of the congregation. If a piece of material isn’t large enough, Parsons said they will stitch together several pieces of material.

“We don’t waste anything,” Parsons said. “You ask the ladies. They laugh at me.”

Ten years ago, one of Parson’s ministers said there was a huge need for blankets in Mexico. This inspired Parsons.

“God spoke to me in that pew and said, ‘Judy, that’s something you could do,” she said. “So I organized a quilting group.”

When she and the group first started out, her goal was to make at least 50 quilts. Now, they’ve made over 3,000.

“You don’t put limits on God,” she said.

Parsons said that she finds the work and the camaraderie rewarding at the Primetimers and the Community Heights Alliance Church.

“It’s a ministry we all feel,” she said. “We’re doing God’s handy work. He’s using our hands and we do enjoy it.”