The ladies of Patty’s Chapter of the Prayer Quilting Ministry in Vaiden have been busy working on another service project.
In addition to the cross quilts they handcraft for the sick and needy, they have been sewing Witness Dolls for Vaiden Baptist Church members traveling to Mexico for an upcoming mission trip. A Witness Doll features faces on either side, one showing eyes closed without God and one showing eyes open to God’s love.
A necklace of different colored beads is hung around the doll’s neck with each color symbolizing God’s testament to His people: Black is for sin, red is for the blood Jesus shed, white is for purity when Jesus washes sins away, blue is for baptism, green is for eternal life, and yellow is for heaven.
Different colored yarn makes up the hair of the dolls, and small crocheted caps made by Joyce Layman tops the head of each doll.
“Four months ago, we started sewing Witness Dolls,” said Wanda Cooke. “[Those going on the mission trip] are going to take dolls with them when they are out witnessing and give them to little girls so they can take them back home and witness to their entire family.”
The ladies of the Prayer Quilting Ministry, who gather the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Vaiden Public Library for a “Sit and Sew,” handcrafted around 30 of the dolls, and recently, they joined members of Vaiden Baptist Church to make more for the trip. According to Cooke, 95 dolls will be taken to Mexico.
Nancy Stuart said Hilda McCorkle sewed many of the Witness Dolls, while the other ladies of the group stuffed them with filling.
“It is just fun getting together,” said McCorkle, who has been a part of the Prayer Quilting Ministry for many years.
The ladies are also continuing making cross quilts for the sick in the community and those in need. They sent several to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department to give to children deputies come in contact with while on the job.
Stuart said Patty’s Chapter of the Prayer Quilting Ministry was named for a former librarian at Vaiden Public Library, Patty Jolly, who became ill.
“We prayed over her, and she was cured,” Stuart said.
Stuart explained that a childhood friend of Jolly’s sent her a cross quilt during her illness, and McCorkle thought it was a wonderful idea to create cross quilts for others suffering with medical problems.
“Hilda started to make the quilt ministry and named it in Polly’s name,” Stuart said.
The ladies enjoy making quilts to give to others, but their twice-monthly “Sit and Sews” give the ladies a chance to get together and do what they love to do – create beautiful quilts and other handcrafted items.
In one corner of the quilting room of the Vaiden Public Library, Katherine Brisco worked on a pink and white quilt, hand quilting around the pink heart cutouts and squares. Brisco makes baby quilts to give to friends and family or to sell.
“We do [the baby quilts] for our grandchildren,” McCorkle said.
Cooke said she made two color quilts for her grandchildren featuring symbols of all the things the children love on each quilt square. She said she made a transfer of different things for the squares and then hand-embroidered each picture. Not only did Cooke’s grandchildren love the finished product, but the work helped Cooke through a difficult time, a battle with breast cancer.
“I worked on one of the quilts the entire time I was going through cancer treatment,” Cooke said. “As I sat there getting chemo, I worked on the quilt.”
Each of the ladies have their own special sewing projects. Stuart knits caps for the homeless, and Layman is quite skilled with smocking. Some of Layman’s work will be featured in an upcoming Extension Service event at Mississippi State University.
Cooke said the group also created a quilt to auction with the proceeds going to the Vaiden Baptist Church youth program.
McCorkle said they welcome anyone who would enjoy sitting and sewing at their regular “Sit and Sews.”
“We are running out of fabric,” said Stuart. “Any donations of thread and fabric would be appreciated.”