by Cori Hilsgen
The Church of St. Joseph Catholic church quilters have been busy stitching for the annual July Fourth parish festival and have much to show for their hard work.
For sporting enthusiasts, this year’s display of quilts will include a Minnesota Vikings football team quilt and a Minnesota Twins baseball team quilt. The array of quilts to be auctioned this year will include 21 queen-sized and 17 baby quilts.
Delrose Fischer, who has been helping coordinate the quilting for 21 years, said they decided to create the Vikings quilt because the team did so well last year.
Fischer said Dave Thole of Shirts Illustrated prints the photos for many of their quilts and always does a wonderful job.
It isn’t just the stitching that brings this group together. The group enjoys each other’s company so much they also gather for lunch once a month on the months they are on break from stitching the quilts.
“We like the people,” Geri Schwab said.
Ione Jacobs doesn’t even belong to the parish but said she drives from St. Cloud because she loves the companionship the group provides.
One member of the group, Betty Schloemer, recently did some remodeling to her home and the group christened the new room by doing some quilting there.
The group’s youngest member, Jeny Meyer, 47, said she learns a lot while stitching on the quilts.
“I learn a lot more than just quilting,” Meyer said. “These ladies are so different in personalities but have each other’s backs. They emulate community to me and know how to support and be a friend. These ladies are more fun than the actual quilting.”
Meyer and her husband, Mike, have helped hang and hold up quilts for the festival quilt auction for several years.
Josie Meyer, 88, is the oldest quilter of the group and is Jeny’s mother-in-law.
This is Cathy Buchheit’s second year with the group. As a former member of the parish who moved to Rockville, she rejoined the parish last March.
“I always liked quilting, so when I joined the church I walked over to quilt,” Buchheit said. “I love it, and then go home and quilt some more.”
The quilters gather in Heritage Hall stitching from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Mondays and from 8 a.m. until finished on Tuesdays. They gather from the first Monday in August until the end of November and then start again in January working through March, usually taking the months of April through July and December off for extended breaks.
It takes at least 100 volunteer hours to complete a quilt. The quilters are always looking for additional people who are interested in helping stitch quilts or cook meals for the group. Currently, about eight parishioners provide Monday meals for the group.
Fischer began displaying quilts this month in Heritage Hall. Each quilt is displayed for two weeks until the end of June.
This year’s quilt auction will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. Col. Frank Imholte of Black Diamond Auctions has been conducting the auction since 1987.
Last year’s quilt auction raised $11,775.