The Blanket Angels, which is coordinated or managed by Laurie Karl, of Buffalo Lake, have made more than 3,600 large quilts and more than 700 baby quilts in the last 20 years. The quilts are given to families at baptisms, graduations, and those going through difficult times because of illness, tornado, flood or fire. Quilts went to refugee camps in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Honduras where children were freezing.
Who are the Blanket Angels According to Laurie Karl, “We have many people working together to create these quilts, not only do they donate their time and their talents, but also their love goes into each one. We are made of women, men, and kids. Our men cut squares and sew tops. Our eight teens sew some of the children’s quilts … plus help us haul them. The women cut squares, sew tops, tie tops, hem and label our finished product. Each quilt is sewn with care and love. Our workers are young and old. Some work strictly at home, while others work at Zion Lutheran Church and at home. Most of our group comes from a 15-mile radius of Zion Lutheran and other churches. We have a man from St. Peter sewing tops for us. He isn’t a relative and he wasn’t a friend — a complete stranger that was brought to us out of the clear blue. We are all so blessed to have Howard Anderson.”
Karl, who lives on a farm in rural Buffalo Lake and is a member of the Zion Lutheran Church, has been managing the group for the past 20 years. She schedules nine sessions starting in January and wraps things up by the second week of April because that is when the farm fieldwork starts. In that three and a half months, they finish 200 large quilts. They use about 1,600 yards of material, most of which is donated as unused fabric and scraps delivered to the church by angels dropping off boxes for them so they can keep sewing. “She’s a slave driver,” said Marion Fenske in jest referring to Karl. Eleanor Michelson, who turned 86 and helps with the quilting process, complimented Karl by saying “She took it over and made it grow. We are grateful for the work she has put into this quilting.”
Laurie Karl and the Blanket Angels, We would like to thank you for your support of our family after the fire. The four quilts you gave to us are a stunning reminder of God’s care and love for us. We have been truly blessed as friends and neighbors have reached out to us. Thank you. (signed, the Witters, Leon, Cathy, Cole)
“All of us, who meet, enjoy our time together. It’s work, but doing it together makes it fun. It’s a labor of love. We enjoy putting our hands and hearts together to help others,” Karl said.