Hearts & Hands marks 17th anniversary

Kathryn SwanJ-C Correspondent

The unveiling of this beautifully hand-crafted king-sized quilt officially launched the 17th anniversary of Pawhuska’s Hearts & Hands work day. Sponsored by the Pawhuska Ministerial Alliance, Hearts and Hands began when members of the First Presbyterian Church volunteered to do repairs on one area home as a mission project.

The quilt is on display at the Pawhuska Methodist Church, 620 Leahy, and was created by Jody Bracken. Measuring 115 inches by 115 inches, Bracken explained, “The pattern ‘Labyrinth’ was designed by Debbie Maddy of Calico Carriage Quilt designs. I picked the fabrics with the help of hubby George from my ‘stash.’ The quilt was free-hand quilted by me on my Gamill Long-arm. After much time drafting quilting designs, I just jumped in, and went for it!”

Bracken also is known for her dedication to recognizing and honoring America’s military through the Heartland Quilters. Since its inception, Heartland Quilters have made 865 quilts that are donated to the Combat Vet Center in Tulsa. “When we first began this mission, we were called Quilts of Valor,” said Bracken. “However, that name has since been copyrighted, so we renamed ourselves the ‘Heartland Quilters.’ Anyone interested in quilting is encouraged to join our group.

“We meet each Tuesday in Barnsdall at 10 a.m. Our members are faithful sewers from near and far who welcome the opportunity to mentor newbie’s. Supplies are provided thanks to our many donors who make this ongoing mission possible. We have received donations from as far away as California. Pawhuska Elk Lodge #2542 continues to be our strongest supporter. Plus, Clyde Coon sells ‘Caps of Military’ distinction in Shidler and shares his proceeds with us.”

Quilt tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and available from Debbie Reed at 287-3507. Tickets will also be available during the 6:30 p.m. volunteers dinner on Monday, May 25, which is being held at the Velma Oaks Family Life Center, 620 Leahy. The winning ticket will be drawn during the Hearts & Hands noon luncheon on Saturday, May 7, at the same location. May 7th is also the official Hearts & Hands work day.

According to Hearts & Hands spokeswoman Eileen Halverson, “Hearts & Hands is reaching out to the elderly, disabled, single parents and others who may have special needs.” Each home will be inspected to determine what may be needed, taking into consideration the skill level of the volunteers. All repairs are covered by donations and volunteer labor at no cost to the homeowner.