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Quilters scrap together blankets for shelter animals

Organizer Debbie Martinez (fourth from right top row) gathers with volunteers more than 200 dog blankets they made during meeting

Organizer Debbie Martinez (fourth from right, top row) gathers with volunteers and the more than 200 dog blankets they made during a meeting of the Heritage Quilters at First United Methodist Church in Crown Point. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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The Heritage Quilters meet bi-monthly at the First United Methodist Church, 352 S. Main St., Crown Point.

For more information, call membership chairman Susie Cromer at 696-4862.

Updated: December 3, 2012 6:15AM



Hundreds of shelter animals are warmer today, thanks to the efforts of area quilters.

The Heritage Quilters group recently completed more than 200 blankets by utilizing cloth scraps that otherwise would have been discarded. The blankets will be distributed to the Lake County Animal Shelter and the Hobart Animal Shelter.

“Why throw these (leftovers) in the garbage when we could put them to good use?” said quilter Lynnette Fredericks, of Crown Point. “Why let the animals sit on cold cement?”

And recycling helps keep those fabric scraps out of the landfill, according to quilter Debbie Martinez, who introduced the blanket project to the group.

“Anywhere you go in shelters, the animals are sitting on concrete. They need something soft to lay on,” she said. “I know our members usually have leftovers from their quilts, so I thought this project would be beneficial for everyone.”

And it was, members fashioned the blankets out of a variety of fabrics — cotton, synthetics, fleece, corduroy and others.

In addition to the dog blanket project, which is a new undertaking this year, the 155 Heritage Quilters also have performed many continual community endeavors.

These include comfort quilts for children at the Kid’s Burn Camp, Valor Quilts for servicemen and veterans in Indiana, and quilts for Hospice.

The ladies do stay busy — large quilt shows also are sponsored each year, as well as luncheons and sales.

Members are encouraged to introduce new ideas, as well as offer suggestions to build on the regular projects.

“There is a multitude of talent and ideas among these women,” Martinez said of the Heritage Quilters group. “I joined to be part of that never-ending creative flow.”

At a recent meeting, attended by more than 100 Heritage Quilters, new projects were discussed and guest speaker Caryl Schuetz of Indianapolis talked about quilt appraisals. “This is a great turnout for a regular meeting,” Schuetz said of the large audience. “You don’t always see this.”

In existence since the mid-1970s, the quilters’ membership started to grow at the onset.

One of the group’s early members, Ruby Duffale, of Crown Point, joined in 1978, when eight women were listed on the membership roll. “We had no idea we would grow this big — but it’s wonderful that we have,” she said. “It’s good to be able to pass this (quilting) on to another generation. Otherwise, it would have been a lost art.”



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