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Wrapped in God’s Love: The Making of Christ Church Cranbrook Baptism Quilts
When a child is baptized at Christ Church Cranbrook, they receive numerous gifts – a baptismal cloth the priest blotted their forehead with when they are baptized, a candlelit for the first time on their day of baptism, and a sign of God’s love that is literally wrapped around them – a beautiful handmade baptism quilt.
Who makes these beautiful quilts and what is the story behind them? Meet Amanda Moore, a parishioner since 1963 and Manufacturing Engineer at Design Systems, Inc. Pastor Manisha spoke with her to learn more about the quilts and Amanda’s story.
How did this ministry start?
It began seventeen years ago because I could not keep my mouth shut! Katie, my youngest daughter, was having her first communion, and I was seated at lunch next to Father Ed Mullins, the Rector at the time. I told him I would love to get a teen group interested in making quilts for charity. He had a dream of a blanket ministry for baptisms. We brought our dreams together and came up with baptism quilts.
Is there a significance to the different squares in the quilt?
Father Ed wanted to make sure when the kids would look at their quilt they would remember their baptism. Each quilt tells a story.
How long does it take you to make a quilt?
I make them in stages. Sometimes, I take a whole weekend to cut the squares. On average, each quilt takes about 6 hours.
Where is an unusual place you have made these baptism quilts?
When we have lots of baptisms, I sometimes have to take the materials with me which is not easy. Unlike knitting prayer shawls, I need a sewing machine, bags of fabric, cutting boards, etc. Once I brought all of it to a Girl Scout camp when I was chaperoning for my daughter’s troop.
How many quilts have you made?
On average, between 25-30 quilts a year, so 425 or so.
As you turn over this ministry to future quilters to continue this beautiful tradition, do you have any advice for them?
Have patience, and never be far away from a seam ripper and perhaps a glass of wine!
What did you learn about our life with God through this holy work?
It occurs to me the church is always only one generation away from dying and it is important to have our youngest members feel part of the church and include them as early as possible in our life together.
To give thanks for Amanda’s dedication to this ministry, Father Bill will present Amanda with a limited Maroti print commissioned by Christ Church Cranbrook celebrating the church and dedicated to St. Dunstan who is the patron saint of all artisans.
If you are interested in learning more about the Baptism Quilt Ministry, please contact Pastor Manisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.