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Quilters Have Kids Covered

The annual Bed Blitz makes sure kids have a place to sleep by making their beds from scratch. But no bed is truly made until it's covered with something warm and comfy. That's where the quilters come in.

Nancy Stone volunteers at the Tool Library and is also a member of the Hands All Around Quilt Guild of Central Illinois. When she proposed to the quilters that they aid the Bed Blitz by providing quilts for the newly-built beds, the quilters enthusiastically responded and went to work.

"The fact that there were these children in need inspired them to make these quilts for them," explained Stone. "Our Community Service Committee took this to heart."

But the guild wasn't the only organization to contribute.

"We also have quilts from the Lexington sewing group and the Eastview Church sewing group. And we actually received one the other day from a quilt guild in Chicago. We also have a number of quilts from individuals from around the community."

It takes 70-120 hours to make one quilt. Stone says the quilters try to match up an appropriate quilt to the young person who will receive it.

"We leave the designs to the quilter's imagination.  These ladies have been making quilts for years. They have children of their own, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. So they have insight into what appeals to a child."

The quilters were joined in their work by a variety of community volunteers, including young men from the Acacia Fraternity at Illinois Wesleyan University. While their sewing skill were scant, they eagerly ironed and cut out patterns for the busy quilters.

"Everyone can get involved," enthused Stone. "We love to have people involved."

Listen to the full interview

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.