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Annual Blessing of the Quilts Monday

By Staff | Mar 9, 2016

By TIFFANY REPECKI

trepecki@breezenewspapers.com

Hundreds of handmade quilts will be on display for the public to enjoy before they are donated to several organizations that serve the Cape Coral community.

Hosted by the Cape Coral Quilters’ Guild, the Annual Blessing of the Quilts will be held Monday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Epiphany Episcopal Church. The 450 quilts, including 30 crocheted items, will be available for viewing for the first hour, followed by the short blessing and quilts presentation.

Dianne Zinszer, a spokeswoman for the Cape Coral Quilters’ Guild, explained that the quilts will be organized in the church based on the recipients and arranged on the pews for visitors to examine.

“The public is more than welcome to come,” she said, adding that there is no fee.

A non-denominational blessing of the quilts will take place, then representatives from the groups will step forward to accept their designated quilts. Zinszer noted that they typically share a story or two.

“Usually by the end of that, everybody’s in tears,” she said.

Ten organizations will receive the quilts this year, including six nursing homes, the Cape Coral Hospital, Cape Coral Police Department, Hospice, Donate 4 Kidz Foundation and the Rehabilitation and Health Care Center. Zinszer ex-plained that the recipient groups are selected based on need.

“The needs tend to be people who are in crises, like hospital patients or victims,” she said.

Cape police typically carry the quilts in their vehicles to hand out to children.

“We give a lot of children’s quilts to the police,” Zinszer said. “It gives them a sense of security.”

For those in nursing homes, the quilts give the owners something nice to see and to feel.

“We try to make them so people have a sense of warmth from them,” she said.

In donating to Hospice, some quilts are given to end-of-life patients, some are called valor quilts and given to those who served in the military, and others go to children with serious health conditions.

“This is an outreach project for the guild to be able to give back to the community,” Zinszer said.

The guild initiated the project in 1994 when it was established.

“We have been doing it since the beginning,” she said.

Since then, more than 2,800 quilts have been made and donated to various organizations.

Zinszer noted that the quilts are only given to groups that serve the Cape.

“We don’t give our quilts to any other organizations,” she said.

Last year, the guild donated just over 300 quilts.

According to Zinszer, one quilt can take anywhere from one to two weeks to create depending on its size. It can also be made by just one individual or multiple guild members work to put it together.

“It’s labor intensive but always done with love,” she said.

Donations of fabric and sewing supplies from the community help make the project possible.

“We have suitcases of fabric people have donated to us,” Zinszer said.

For those who want to donate supplies toward next year’s quilts, focus on the materials.

“It really should be 100 percent cotton fabric,” she said.

Sewing threads that are not too old are also needed, as well as padding.

“That’s something we always have to buy,” Zinszer said.

With 131 members, the guild meets on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Epiphany Episcopal Church. For information, visit online at: www.capecoralquiltguild.com or call (239) 220-4555.

Epiphany Episcopal is at 2507 S. Del Prado Blvd.