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Since 1950, a group of local Bethany Life volunteers have gathered together with at least one shared interest, quilting. For over 70 years, various members of the community have shared their talents and time by creating various quilts and other crafts for those in need. In the early days, this group of generous individuals would meet at The Households of Bethany for their weekly quilting sessions. Residents would trickle in to watch in awe as balls of yarn quickly became beautiful, handcrafted quilts. On top of goodwill donations to the community, this group has also been commissioned to create several quilts, for not only people all across the state, but surrounding states as well. Collectively, the people in this group decided that all money they earned would be given right back to Bethany Life, to help further our own mission. 

Fast forward three quarters of a century, and there are two lone members of the group that still meet weekly at St. Petri church in Story City, IA  to quilt with one another. Despite the dwindling numbers,  Maripat Higgins and Shirley Stakey are determined to share their abilities and cement a legacy of benevolence. Pictured above is Shirley (sitting) and Maripat (standing) posing with their current project, a queen size quilt for a client in Minnesota. When asked about what project has been their favorite, Maripat responded, “I think it’s whatever one you are working on.” “It’s not necessarily the project that you enjoy the most, it’s the fellowship that comes with,” Shirley added.

Both outstanding women have been quilting for over 30 years, and quilting for Bethany Life for over a decade. Although watching the two experts makes quilting appear simple, the attention to detail and mathematics that go into each project is quite the opposite. “My children and grandchildren will work on their math homework and always ask me when they will ever use this stuff in the real world,” Maripat explained. “This is a great example of concepts you learned in math class applying to the real world.”