When Devola resident Midge Miller began busily crafting quilt tops at her home last winter, she was not exactly sure what the outcome would be.
"For a couple of years I've been thinking we should be doing something to give back to those that are in need. What better way to do it than to just make quilts," she said.
Miller turned to her friends in the Crafting Quilters of the Mid-Ohio Valley group. For the past several years, the group has met one day a month to work on personal projects. Several members of the group expressed an interest in the charity quilting project, and have been meeting since February to work on quilts, said Miller.
"We come one day a month and do charity quilts and that day we work harder than we ever work on our own stuff," she said.
Wednesday all that hard work culminated in the donation of 29 quilts to the Washington County Sheriff's Office during a small ceremony at the O'Neill Center. The quilts, in patterns ranging from Mickey Mouse to tie-dye and from skulls to flowers, will be kept in deputy's cruisers and used for victims of domestic violence, house fires and other unfortunate events, said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
"We really appreciate all the hard work you ladies have put into these," Mincks told the members of the charity quilting circle.
When determining who might benefit the most from the quilts, Miller looked to her sister whose church had donated quilts to the local sheriff's office where she lives.
"They go out to pick up people that have been victims of domestic violence. They might leave home without anything. They keep quilts in their car and were able to give them something to wrap up in, " said Miller.
The quilts will be put to good use, said officers.
"You know you might get called to a house fire in the middle of the night," said Washington County Chief Deputy Mark Warden. "It's cold out and these people are standing outside and all their belongings have been destroyed."
The group, which usually consisted of nine quilters, was able to churn out 29 quilts in less than a year thanks to the help of Ginny Guthrie, whose Harmar business, Log Cabin Country Quilts, did all of the machine quilting, said Miller.
"That makes us much more productive," she said.
She added that the group is also accepting donations to help buy more supplies. The group is always in need of batting, she said.
As the quilts were loaded into the back of Deputy Spencer McPeek's cruiser, quilter Micki Shirley mused that she was looking forward to starting a new year of charity quilting in January.
"The O'Neill Center is really nice to have us. They make it real nice for us," said Shirley. "I just love what we do. We like to give back to the community, and we also have a good time."
O'Neill Center Activity Coordinator Nancy Matheny said hosting the quilting group is a pleasure.
"We're just very glad that we have this space where they can work on their quilts. Plus it's a chance to see a lot of new faces come through the doors," she said.
Those interested in donating batting or other supplies can contact the O'Neill Center at 373-3914.