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Quilt Guild sends love to Oregon fire victims

Photos Provided NATIONAL ROAD Quilt Guild members pose with the 30 quilts they made to send to Oregon wildfire victims. From left are Rita Randall; Becky Kraly, president-elect; Brenda McCreary; Rosanne Clouston, president; Lesa Schmidt, vice president; Nancy Woods; and Sue Olinski.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — For someone in a state of shock, grieving the loss of a loved one or a home or battling an illness, there is nothing quite like receiving a homemade quilt from someone you have never met.

This is exactly the kind of comfort project a local quilting group decided to take on to help people in Oregon deal with devastating wildfires that occurred in September.

Shelley Fortney, treasurer of the National Road Quilt Guild, said a fellow quilt guild in Oregon called on others via social media to make and donate quilts to victims of recent wildfires in that state.

The result was the National Road group putting together more than 30 quilts.

“Our guild was established in 2011, but this year, due to COVID, we have not been able to meet. One of our members had quilt kits ready, meaning the fabric was cut to size and ready to be sewn together,” Fortney said. “When we emailed the members, many said they would be happy to take several of these kits and start sewing. Once the top was completed, it was returned for the backing and the batting and then quilted by other members.

“After the quilting, several members applied the binding around the edges, which completes the quilt. So even though we all participated, it was from our own homes staying safe and socially distant yet together with a goal.”

On Oct. 10, the group met in a parking lot to gather the quilts for shipping. They were sent to the “To The Point Quilting” guild based in Stayton, Oregon. The quilts were then shipped to Oregon on Tuesday via UPS.

Quilts are a special art form in their own right, but they can mean much more to people in need.

“A quilt is a form of art, a symbol of warmth and always made with love. So when you are wrapped with a quilt, you are wrapped with the love of all the hands that made it possible,” she said.

Fortney noted that in addition to guild members, some other members of the community also helped with this project. She said the guild always welcomes new members. It is on Facebook at National Road Quilt Guild Group.

“We are proud of the compassion of the Ohio Valley,” she added.

According to published reports, the wildfires in Oregon killed nine people, burned more than 1 million acres and destroyed nearly 5,000 structures including 3,992 homes.

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