by Cori Hilsgen
The St. Joseph Catholic Church quilters recently created a golf quilt for the upcoming church bazaar July 3 and 4.
The quilt reflects life on an 18-hole golf course. It shows four different golfers golfing, carts waiting to be driven, a cardinal perched in a tree, sand traps, water ponds and other things.
Judy Meemken, one of the quilters, thought of the idea and pieced together the quilt. Meemken said they have created many other sports quilts and thought why not a golf quilt?
Meemken says she learned a lot about the game of golf as she was planning and piecing together the quilt. She read about the sport and watched it on television. Meemken began the quilt by cutting it out of newspaper – even using old St. Joseph Newsleader papers – and then began adding different things to it.
Meemken does not play golf herself, but says she now knows a lot more about the game and enjoys watching it. She said before she studied the game in more detail, she used to think it was just a “rich man’s sport.”
This group of church quilters gathers from 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every Monday and from 7:30 a.m. until done on Tuesdays. They gather from the first Monday in August until the end of November and then again in February and March.
Delrose Fischer has been working with and helping coordinate the quilters for 17 years. She said throughout the year they usually create 21 queen-sized quilts and 17 baby quilts. This year they have created 19 queen-sized quilts and 21 baby quilts to be donated to the July 4 parish bazaar quilt auction.
“This time of the year I’m all stressed out and then I always tell everyone ‘I’m done, no more,’” Fischer said.
She said when she attends the July 4 planning meetings, she often hears people express they don’t want to be a chairperson any longer because they have been doing it for several years. Fischer said this will often remind her of the 17 years she has continued to organize the quilters and of her plans to retire in the next five years.
On a recent Monday morning, eight quilters were busy putting the finishing stitches on the golf quilt. The quilters included Fischer, Marilyn Brinkman, Irene Symanietz, Barb Heltemes, Geri Schwab, Ilene Schmitt, Dolores Lowell and Josie Meyer.
“It’s a nice group,” Brinkman said.
The women said they enjoy the camaraderie of one another’s company. All the women develop calluses from putting all those stitches in the quilt, but the calluses usually go away after a short period of time.
Quilters who were missing due to trips, appointments or other reasons included Ellie Studer, Winnie Pfannenstein, Mary Ann Poepping, Eileen Kremers, Ione Jacobs and Ida Johnson.
Jacobs lives in St. Cloud and was at work on this quilting day. Fischer said Jacobs told her she was upset they were finished quilting this year because she enjoys quilting with the group so much.
When there are too many quilters gathered to fit around and work on a big quilt, some of the quilters will set up and start working on a baby quilt.
Meemken usually puts all of the pieced quilt tops together. Fischer works with all the pre-printed quilt tops and adds fabric to them.
Some of the women such as Symanietz, Poepping and Studer were working on baby quilts at home. Another woman, Jan Pfannenstein, puts binding on all the quilts. Schwab hand-hems all the quilts.
Fischer’s niece, Darlene Ostendorf, also hand-embroiders baby quilts and dish towels for the bazaar. Even though she belongs to another parish, she enjoys helping out.
Fischer said Ostendorf has embroidered at least 31 quilts for the parish. This year she created three baby quilts, one queen-sized quilt and at least 22 sets of dish towels to donate to the St. Joseph parish bazaar. The dish towels are donated to the handiwork and craft stand.
“She doesn’t even belong to our parish – that’s the amazing thing,” Schwab said.
On this quilting day, Schwab had made and brought along a lunch for her fellow quilters.
“I love to cook,” Schwab said.
She was trying a new recipe. The quilters are always seeking people who might want to bring in a hot meal for them throughout the year. Schwab brings lunch often and several other people have also donated meals for them throughout the year.
Those who donated meals included Fr. Jerome Tupa, Sue Meers, Bernie Ethan, Meg Klecker and Lori Pfannenstein. The quilters said Tupa made a Russian beet soup recipe which many of them had never tried before.
The quilters, who range in ages from 61 to 91, are always seeking additional members to help. Fischer said she hopes to retire within the next five years and would like someone to replace her.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.