When Prairie Points Quilt Guild displays all the quilts its members made during the last year, the result looks more like the quilt room of the state fair than the crafts of a 19-member guild.
At a tally of about 115, the guild has all the quilts it needs to fulfill its current mission — to provide quilts to homeless children in the community.
“Each year, we pick some sort of a project, a community project where we make quilts for a reason, and this year we chose to make quilts for students in Yelm and Rainier school districts who are homeless,” said Marjorie Caputo, guild member.
Though they did the bulk of the work, the guild received an outpouring a community support and assistance.
“The LDS church has taken the responsibility of the Yelm High School kids and they are making their quilts,” Caputo said. “Plus, friends and people not associated with the guild have donated quilts, parts of quilts, batting or fabric. So we’ve had a lot of donations to help us through this.”
Also, Gee Gee’s Quilting donated eight of the 115 quilts.
The guild estimates that 60 kids are suffering from homelessness in the Yelm community. Even with the quilts designated for Rainier, the guild still has extra. This means that the guild has backup quilts. It also means that the guild can decide to give quilts to other deserving parties.
For example, while displaying 60 of their quilts at Crossroads Community Covenant Church, it was expressed to a few of the guild members that a two- and three-year-old in the church needed blankets. So the guild freely gave some of their bounty away to those two children.
Guild member Nancy Bastion said that the guild initially bit off a little more than it could chew.
“The goal was to have all of the quilts finished last spring,” she said. “It was an audacious goal, and we were really close, but not close enough. So we decided they would be enjoyed more as the winter came, and so we refined our goal and set it for November.”
Caputo said these quilts will do more than keep children warm.
“I think this brings awareness that there are so many homeless kids in our school district,” she said. “I was shocked to hear the numbers that are homeless or considered homeless. We know that doesn’t necessarily mean they are sleeping in their car…Some are sleeping at a friend’s house because that’s the only place they have to go.”
And Bastion works with some of these kids every day.
“I’m a teacher in Yelm schools and I have my list of homeless kids,” she said. “I’m super excited that the guild has given me the privilege to pick quilts specifically for the kids I work with everyday. So I’m excited and will have my own little party for them and give them the quilt that I picked out for them.”
The Yelm quilts were given out Nov. 16, and the Rainier quilts will be given away at a date yet to be determined.
The Prairie Points Quilt Guild is a Yelm-Rainier guild that was started in 2002 and still has three of its original members. It meets from 6-8 p.m. every second and fourth Wednesday at Rainier High School. All are welcome to join — just call Tammie Meyers at 360-584-7582.