The Living Threads Ministry of Zeeland has reached a milestone with the purchase of a $33,000 long-arm quilting machine that will help grow its work of memorializing loved ones, while also giving food and faith to children in Kenya.
The quilting machine, funded by donors, completes the final step of the elaborate quilts. It does the detailed stitching connecting the pieced top with the batting and backing.
The room-size Gammill Statler Stitcher can produce quilting from a pillow to 12 feet across, either hand- or computer-driven.
Living Threads produces heirloom memory quilts for people who have lost loved ones. They are made by volunteer quilters who find a purposeful place to ply their skills, and all of the funds given for the quilts support approximately 400 children in the Kibera slums of Kenya.
The ministry previously had to contract out the quilting to have them finished.
“We feel overwhelmed with gratitude for God's faithfulness,” Jill Dannenburg, director and founder of the ministry, said about the new machine. “This is beyond what we could have imagined.”
In three years, the start-up ministry has moved from Dannenberg's Holland Township garage to a suite of rooms at Zeeland's City on a Hill.
Dannenberg and her volunteers create a quilt from fabric, clothing and even photos that were meaningful to a deceased parent, spouse, child or friend. Living Threads has finished 115 quilts and, through them, has raised $21,370 to fund Bible clubs that feed and share the gospel with about 400 Kenyan children. Dannenberg said every penny raised through the quilts goes to the children
For more information about the ministry, visit its website at livingthreadsministry.org.