Busy hands, caring hearts and prayers combine to create memorable prayer quilts for those hospitalized.
A team of ladies works like magical fairies on an assembly line Wednesdays sewing the quilts at Rock Spring United Methodist Church. After prayers are made by members laying their hands on the quilt, the handmade quilt is transported to someone in need of prayer going through health issues.
Prayer Quilt Ministry team leader Rachel Peele, of Rock Spring, said the group tries to use bright, happy color patches to cheer up the recipient.
The ladies just completed their 94th prayer quilt, with a yellow border and brown, yellow and white patches, to transport to Montana Jones, who is being hospitalized after a major wreck in LaFayette. Church members prayed for Montana while tying knots in the quilt Aug. 19 during the 9 and 11 a.m. services. Montana's name is inscribed on a corner patch of the quilt. Each quilt says "This quilt was handmade for [recipient's name] by RSUMC Prayer Quilt Ministry" and lists the date.
The Prayer Quilt Ministry began in August 2010 when RSUMC church member Wes was going through extreme health problems that resulted in him being sent to Vanderbilt. Church members prayed for him, tied knots in his quilt and presented it to him.
From the positive response of ladies willing to help and donors willing to donate materials, the ministry has grown rapidly.
"A lot of our fabric is donated to us," said Peele. "God has really blessed the ministry. We get everything we need."
She said many people who received quilts request they be draped over their casket or buried with them.
However, many other prayer quilt recipients have recovered from their illnesses and are still using their quilts today. For example, Prayer Quilt Ministry quilting member Gail Cordell, who had quadruple bypass heart surgery, is doing well. She still sleeps with her red quilt with heart patterns presented to her by her ministry teammates.
"We don't pick colors, but it ends up being their favorite," said Peele. "Sarah Ledbetter's quilt matched her wallpaper in her bathroom and we did not even know it until she told us."
Quilts have been transported to recipients in Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Maine, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia.