“Gifts of handmade quilts wrap people in God’s love and symbolically demonstrate that Jesus and His disciples care;
the quilts represent the ultimate security blanket.” – Stitches of Love Quilting Ministry vision statement
For nearly as long as European immigrants have been on our soil, American patchwork quilts have represented comfort, security, and a place to belong. For more than sixty years, STCH Ministries Homes for Children has provided the same for children in crisis. For thirteen years now, the quilting ministry, “Stitches of Love”, of University Baptist Church (UBC) in Houston has partnered with Homes for Children to create unique quilts for each graduating class. These handcrafted gifts ensure that the assurance of comfort, security, and a place to belong continue long past high school graduation for the young people in our care.
Erin DeCola has lived at STCH Ministries for almost three years, and she is one of the five high school graduates we celebrated at Homes for Families this spring. After receiving her quilt, Erin tells us, “I really love my quilt and it means a lot that these ladies made it. It is something that I can pass down for many generations to come.”
Kyrenda Lambert grew up watching both her grandmother and mom quilt by hand. She remembers the wooden quilting frames that hung from the ceiling at her grandma’s home where the women gathered and worked together. When she and her longtime friend Donna Bennet saw the opportunity to take a quilting class at San Jacinto Community College, they were hooked. Stiches of Love is the result of that class.
“It’s about fellowship and living life together. We minister to each other as we sew, “ Kyrenda says.
Stitches of Love functions as both fellowship for believers and an outreach ministry for the church. The group is described as “women of all ages (early 30s – 93 years old) who enjoy quilting, coming together for learning, sharing experiences, working on their own quilts, and working on quilts that will be donated as an outreach to those within and beyond our walls.” Kyrenda and Donna wanted the group to have a purpose, to create ministry quilts for people experiencing difficult moments in life.
Every year, UBC quilters create a personalized quilt for each of the high school seniors who graduate while in care at Homes for Children. Each blanket is personalized to showcase the teen’s interests and favorite colors. In 2018, the graduating class received their quilts during a special graduate celebration of “Senior Chapel” at Wednesday night Chapel on Boothe Campus.
Isaiah, Haley, Erin, Joshua, and Mary we here at Homes for Children are proud of you. Our prayers and support go with you, we hope the quilt is a physical reminder of that support as you move forward to the next step God is showing you. Ezra 10:4 states, “Arise! For this matter is your responsibility, but we will be with you; be courageous and act.”