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Tracy Frank, Published May 07 2013

Her Voice: Quilting project a display of artistry, camaraderie

Her Voice is a weekly article about women in or from our area and how they make an impact on the world around them. If you know someone SheSays should feature in HerVoice, email Tracy Frank at tfrank@forumcomm.com.

If you go

What: Bidding on Olivet Lutheran Church’s quilting group quilt

When: 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Olivet Lutheran Church, 1330 S. University Drive, Fargo

Info: The minimum bid is $250. Bids can be taken in person during church services or by calling the church at (701) 235-6603.

FARGO – When Carol Kuss learned a new, complicated quilting technique, she knew she wanted to turn it into a quilt, but she also knew she would never be able to finish it on her own.

“I would have gotten bored before I finished,” the Fargo woman said.

So she enlisted the help of several friends from the quilting group at Olivet Lutheran Church in Fargo. Over the course of about eight months, JoAnne Gauper, Mary Hoffmann, Kuss, Betty Kuklish, Gail Palmer, Sylvia Thom, all of Fargo and Lois Larson of Harwood, worked on a queen-size, cathedral-window quilt that is almost completely stitched by hand.

The result is an intricate tapestry of materials that’s a colorful display of both artistry and camaraderie.

Because they had extra pieces, and as Kuklish said, they don’t throw anything out, the women have also made matching pillow shams, wall hanging and throw pillow in the same pattern as the quilt.

The women are auctioning off the pieces at Olivet. Half of the proceeds will go to the YWCA women’s shelter. The other half will go to the Olivet quilting group for materials and supplies.

“It was fun to be productive for a good cause,” Thom said.

Each woman worked on a section of the quilt, mostly on their own at home but the women also came together once a month.

“First Carol would bake a lot of stuff,” Hoffmann teased.

“And we had to have coffee,” Kuklish said.

When they finished their sections, the women brought the pieces to the church where they laid them out for balance and color.

Despite the quilt’s intricacy, there was only one mistake that had to be fixed, Kuss said.

While the women joke that they’re glad to be done with it, they’re also proud of the end result, they said.

“Everybody loves it,” Larson said.

“We’ve gotten really positive feedback,” Gauper said.

“They’re kind of in awe,” Kuss added.

Many of the women have been part of Olivet’s quilting group, which meets from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, for up to 12 years.

Hoffmann became emotional when she talked about a group quilting project her grandmother had done with seven women.

“I always thought it would be neat to do that,” she said. “I thought those days were gone.”

Over the course of its creation, the quilt has been worked on in four different states. Parts of it had to be mailed back to be united with the final project.

The ladies are now making plans for next year’s quilt.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526