Handmade quilts wrap their recipients in love

NEIGHBORS

August 04, 2002|By Rosalie Falter | Rosalie Falter,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE SPIRIT of giving is practiced all year long by members of the Friendship Quilters of Linthicum. Early in February, the group begins creating handmade quilts of different shapes, designs and colors for donation. They call it their yearly "love project."

Every year, they do at least one community service project. One was for the Linus Project, a national group that provides quilts for seriously ill or traumatized children.

"We have donated to the Linus Project, but this year I suggested that we look closer to home," said Linda Taltavull, chairwoman of this year's love project. By the time the group stopped meeting for the summer, members had put together 58 quilts that were ready to be distributed.

The Friendship Quilters decided they would go to Heartland Nursing Home in Linthicum, North Arundel Hospital's pediatric unit and to LaPlata to help those who had suffered from the tornado there in April.

Members Nancy Ross, Lynn Kampe and Taltavull took one day to deliver the quilts. They were accompanied by Taltavull's 4-year-old grandson, Kyle Taltavull.

"We brought cheer and quilts to the people, and Kyle was our goodwill ambassador. He just took to the residents of the nursing home and they took to him," Taltavull said.

The group's first stop, at Heartland, was met with much enthusiasm from the residents who received lap quilts. Lap quilts are 50 inches by 60 inches, large enough to keep the lower half of the body warm but not so large that they get caught in wheelchair wheels.

"We met with the residents, visited and shared their company. That is just as important as anything," Taltavull said.

When the group went to the hospital, members thought they were just going to drop off the quilts. They were invited instead to give them to the pediatric patients. Taltavull said she found it gratifying to talk to the children. Seeing the youngsters helped members decide which quilt to give each child. One girl had an interest in music so she got the one with musical notes, and a quilt featuring Minnie Mouse went to a girl who liked the Disney character.

Taltavull said it touched her when a most appreciative teen-ager said that with the quilt he received, his legs would not get cold anymore.

The final stop was in LaPlata, where the quilt-makers saw devastation from the tornado. Working through the Catholic Charities office, they were put in touch with families who were housed in motels.

"The children were really traumatized by the tragedy. We like to think we brought them some cheer along with the quilts," Taltavull said.

At the last meeting before the club took a break for the summer, Taltavull gave her fellow members some suggestions and a challenge. She asked them to focus on juvenile fabrics and to consider for next year material designs that would be appropriate for veterans hospitals. "If you make them, I will find a place for them," she said.

Friendship Quilters is a nonprofit organization formed in 1985. The group's aim is to foster a love of quilting and to share it with others. Members meet from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the second Thursday of the month from September to June at St. John Lutheran Church, 300 W. Maple Road. Meetings usually consist of lectures given by nationally known quilt artists and authors.

Once a month, members gather at the Linthicum library for a Sit & Sew session during which they work on their own projects or on charity projects and help each other. The library is available to them from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and quilters can come any time during that period. The next Sit & Sew session is scheduled for Saturday. Quilters of all levels are welcome at meetings or sewing sessions.

Information: 410-761-2616.

Concert in the Park

The Naval Academy Band has the honors for the final performance in the Concert in the Parks series at 6 p.m. Aug. 11 at Linthicum Park on Benton Avenue.

The band leader is Lt. Cmdr. Donald H. Keller Jr. The show will feature a program of light classics, popular melodies, patriotic songs and marches.

The free summer concerts are presented by the Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights with support from the Cultural Arts Foundation of Anne Arundel Co.; Crestwood Improvement Association; Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association Inc.; Linthicum Rotary Club; AARP chapters 2244 and 3850; Linthicum Lions Club, Performing Arts Association of Linthicum; and Anne Arundel County Councilwoman Pamela G. Beidle.

Linthicum Park is on Benton Avenue near Route 170. (Turn at the blinking light by the firehouse.) Picnics and coolers are welcome; no alcoholic beverages are allowed. The concert will be canceled if it rains. Take along chairs or blankets.

Information: Jo Barker, 410- 859-3308.

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