Volunteers celebrate successful season of making quilts

HARLINGEN — Perhaps it’s the colorful design, with intricate patchworks of different fabrics. Or perhaps it’s the thoughtful gesture of getting a homemade gift.

But as Ruthie Ducklow describes it, the looks on the children’s faces are priceless when they realize the quilts were made especially for them.

“I remember this one girl saying, ‘Is this mine to keep?’” Ruthie said. “It’s the thought of knowing they can have their own. And there is no other one like it.”

A group of residents from Dixieland Mobile Home and RV Park gathered yesterday to celebrate the accomplishments of a dedicated group of 14 quilt-makers, who have been busy since November working on stitching together 76 quilts that will be given away in the fall to children at Dr. Rodriguez Elementary.

Some are also donated to the local women’s shelter.

Amid pie and coffee, laughs and good conversation, several tables were set up to display all the hard work of these volunteers, who gathered every Monday in the early afternoon to work on the quilts.

And to socialize, of course.

“It’s always a lot of fun,” Ruthie said about the process, from collecting the donated fabrics, to creating the quilts and especially the delivery.

This past Monday was the group’s last gathering.

“They really worked very hard,” said Michael Fuller, Dixieland manager. “They even stitch pillow cases for the children. They do a lot of good for the community, even donate to local shelters.”

Ruthie, a native of Wisconsin who has lived in Harlingen for 16 years, credits the residents at Dixieland for the success of the quilt campaign, which has been organized for the last 10 years.

“We accept donations of fabric from the community throughout the year. It’s a small group here, but everyone is very appreciative and helps,” she said.