ladies prove age is no barrier when it comes to love
Wanda English Burnett, Editor
One stitch at a time coupled with one colored
photo, and the chain begins for another quilt that will give
warmth to the newest members of the world with love from some
ladies at the St. Paul Lutheran Church, Olean.
Known as the Martha Circle, the ladies meet the second Thursday
of each month to work on their exclusive project, making quilts
for newborn babies.
Several members, actually most members of the group are over
90 years of age. Alta Diem, who is the oldest member at 94,
sews the quilt squares together on her singer sewing machine
she has had for years.
According to Eileen LaGreca, one of the few members under the
90 mark, noted that the ladies came up with the theme and wanted
to use flannel backgrounds on each quilt for warmth. They give
each baby baptized in their church a quilt that has their name
and date of birth on it. However, the ladies reach beyond their
own congregation and since April have made nine quilts, with
five more in the process, some of which will be donated to local
LaGreca said the ladies are excited about the project that allows
them to still use skills and be useful at the same time. They
color some of the squares with non-washable markers. They have
colorful themes with animals and toys that little children would
enjoy. Truly Draut suggested putting Jesus Loves Me This
I Know! on each quilt to remind not only the child, but
the caregiver of the love they are sharing.
Members of the group include: Esther Booster, Pat Daily, Alta
Diem, Truly Draut, Esther Gilliland, June Hurelbrink, Eileen
LaGreca, Patsy Ralston and Meta Thieman.
According to LaGreca, she entered one of the baby quilts of
the Martha Circle ladies in the recent Versailles Pumpkin Show
where they took a Blue Ribbon for their work. She is proud of
the work they do and knows they do it out of hearts of love
and it shows in the work they produce.
Alta Diem, 94, still plugs away sewing together quilt
blocks to complete soft flannel quilts for newborns. She
is part of a group at her church, St. Paul Lutheran, Olean,
called the Martha Circle. The ladies, many over the age
of 90, gather each month and make quilts for babies in
their church and also in the community.