Quilters blanket kids in warmth

Posted: Friday, December 12, 2003

The Kenai Piecemakers quilting club met at the Women's Resource and Crisis Center in Kenai on Thursday to donate 53 handmade, kid-sized quilts to the center, as well as two quilted wall hangings.

Kids who stay at the center's emergency shelter or transitional living center get to pick out a quilt, not just to keep them warm during their stay, but to take with them when they leave.

"The kids take a long time, they're very particular," said WRCC Director Cheri Smith.

The kids and mothers the WRCC shelters are either homeless or fleeing bad domestic situations.

Watching the quilters pull their colorful handiwork from dingy plastic grocery bags, it's easy to see why the kids would have a hard time picking just one.

The roughly 3-by-4 foot quilts are covered with fabric images of the stuff kids love everything from patchwork triceratops to butter flies trapped in canning jars and fat-headed, one-eyed aliens that look like the little green guys from the "Toy Story" movies.


Elsie Albertson created many of the quilts donated Thursday.

Photo by M. SCOTT MOON

Twelve members of the Piecemakers donated quilts, however, nearly half the donation was quilted by one woman.

Elsie Albertson donated 25 of the 55 quilts.

Albertson, who is 67 and lives in Homer, is nonchalant about the generosity of her contribution.

"Quilting gives me something to do. If I'm going to make them, I might as well do something good with them," she said.

Piecemaker Sheila Holtzen wishes more quilters were as generous as Albertsen.

"Our challenge to every quilting group in the area is to do the same, so every kid can have one," she said.

The WRCC serves about 100 kids per year. The center would need double the Piecemaker's donation to insure that each and every kid who passes through its doors receives what director Smith calls a "security blanket".

If you're not a quilter, but would like to make a donation, Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Waters said the WRCC is in need of winter clothes, especially gloves, mittens, hats and boots in kids' and women's sizes. The center accepts donations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. For those in need of clothing, the center's "Clothes Closet" is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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