Recently the pastor of Nine Mile Methodist Church was transferred to a new parish. The church ladies wanted to give her a special gift of farewell. Parishioner Marilyn Gibson shared the experience with me:
Pastor Shalimar Holderly served as pastor of the Nine Mile United Methodist Church, Fort Wayne for eight years. In 2014 she was transferred to another church. This expected move was announced in spring and the congregation knew they would miss her and the memorable programs she started. They wanted to do something special for her.
Three ladies got together to think up ideas for something to give to the Pastor as a remembrance…. A wrap-around quilt! Audrey provided the preprinted fabric for the patches and the fabric markers and secretly passed them out during Sunday School when Pastor Shalimar was in another room. They were asked to write their names on them and in three weeks time, all were returned. It was fun and exciting to do the work secretly.
Janis and I applied a permanent fabric adhesive sheet to the back of each label. This was done at church while Pastor Shalimar was on a mission trip. Janis then took the project home. She machine stitched the patches to the denim backing –to –be. Colorful material of paisley and color coordinated yellow, blue and navy was chosen for the top. I shopped for the material and cut the blocks. Back at the church together we laid them out and pinned them on the navy blue fabric. Then back to my home where the squares were stitched together. Janis took the quilt to her home to quilt it. She brought it back to church and together we trimmed and pinned the quilt backing to form a binding. The patches with names were already on the back. In order to take the quilt back and forth between homes and church we carried it in a storage box when the Pastor was not around.
Finally the finished quilt was boxed, the box was wrapped and placed in a plastic bag. It was hidden in the Ladies Aid shelving in the lower level of the church. It was challenging and exciting to do the work without Pastor Shalimar’s knowledge or suspicion.
The Congregational Memory Quilt was presented to Pastor Shalimar with love at the Farewell dinner in June 2014. When it was presented she gleefully looked at it in wonder. At her new home when she looks at the names as she wraps in the quilt she will remember us with love.
Thanks Marilyn for sharing!
Lois Levihn Eubank is the owner of Born Again Quilts restoration studio and quilt gallery at 4005 South Wayne Ave. She can be contacted at 260-515-9446 or firstname.lastname@example.org.