Their soul is fed with needle and thread
Local groups’ community service is a cut above
By Kris Leonhardt
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The Material Girls was established in September 2008, when a Michigan transplant was looking for a quilting club. The first meeting saw 19 people gathering and the group began meetings at the Cotton Thimble in Wisconsin Rapids.
Current president, Stacy Mitchell joined the club when she moved to the Rapids area in 2009.
“We moved here from Las Vegas,” she recalled. “I had no friends, but I was a quilter. So, I wanted to meet people that had common interests.
“I started going to the meetings and joined the club. At that time it was free to join. We didn’t have a whole huge crowd, but even at that time, they were looking for a service project to become involved with. They didn’t have one right away, but now, we have three different service projects that we work on every year.
“The first project that we started was making quilts for the palliative care unit at Riverview Hospital. We do about 60-70 quilts for palliative care every year. All of the members work on them, and they get pieced and quilted, the binding put on, a label is attached.”
They are then delivered to the hospital, where they are given to families and patients in need.
But, their community service doesn’t end there. The group also works with the Quilts of Valor project.
“They present quilts to veterans, both retired and active duty,” Mitchell explained. “We have been sort of working from World War II forward through all of the different conflicts and wars, and I think that we are still kind of working in the Vietnam era veterans. But, also some active duty veterans as well.
“Up to 2019, we presented 155. For 2020, we did 16, but we only had one presentation because of COVID. We have over 20 that we did not present at our second presentation of 2020, but we are continuing to work through the names. So, when we do finally get to have a presentation, it will be about 30-40 quilts a year that we do for Quilts of Valor.”
The Material Girls also assemble Christmas stockings, with 180 stockings made in 2020, provided for families in need.
“We gave them to various charitable groups,” Mitchell said.
The group meets Grace Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids on the third Thursday of each month, hosting guest speakers, training, and classes.
They also host an annual quilt show and raffle. The raffle is their main fundraiser for their ongoing projects. With the COVID environment, the group was unable to hold a show in 2020, but still conducted a raffle. The events typically coincide with Wisconsin Rapids’ annual Cranberry Blossom Festival.
Mitchell says that 2021 looks to hold the same format as 2020, with no show. The raffle will, however, continue this year.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Material-Girls-Quilting-Club-of-Wisconsin-Rapids-573842216444715.