High Desert Quilt Guild

Redmond Quilt Guild member, Stef Hinton, left, and her granddaughter, Megan Ordway display some of the group’s handiwork.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the High Desert Quilt Guild of Redmond found itself without weekly sewing sessions where some 90 or so quilters would get together for lessons and conversation.

Sue Nikiel, publicity chair for the group, said quilters turned to making masks and gowns for medical workers. It became an organic movement.

“It wasn’t anything organized, people just started doing it on their own,” Nikiel said.

When the word got around, the club decided to tally up what was being produced.

Forty-eight members of the 150-member club, made a total of 2,806 masks, 22 physicians’ caps and 56 isolation gowns. These were donated to medical facilities such as St. Charles in Bend and Redmond, as well as to EMTs and other practitioners. There is a Central Oregon mask-makers group, too, that the quilters donated to.

The group has always given to causes, such as Head Start, Camp Sunrise and Hospice organizations.

Weekly and monthly meetings remain on hold until the state lifts restrictions for groups more than 25.

“There is so much that we can’t do right now, that we thought at least here is one thing that we can do,” Nikiel said.

The High Desert Quilt Guild of Redmond officers are: President Cheri Herr; Vice-President Bobbe Schafer; Secretary Karen Perkins; and Treasurer Deborah Medlar. Contact them at www.highdesertquiltguild.org or email info@highdesertquiltguild.org

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