BISMARCK, N.D. — A group of 17 women gathers each Tuesday morning to piece together swatches of cloth, elaborate stitching and bright colors to create pieces of art in the form of quilts.
Many of them have been a part of the Caring Heart Quilters of Church of Corpus Christi since the group's inception about 14 years ago. Others are newbies who want to practice their sewing skills as well as see familiar faces and build community.
"It has brought women together that didn't know each other before," Susan Tschider said. "We have bonded over quilting."
The group will have its annual show from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 3 at the church.
"We do show quilts from people of our parish, new quilts and family treasures, plus we will sell quilts we made," Tschider said.
Other craft items will be for sale as well, and refreshments will be served.
More than 100 quilts have been made for the show. Each year, the group donates quilts after the show to a variety of nonprofits in the community, such as Ruth Meiers Hospitality House and Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, Tschider said.
Much of what the women work with are donated materials and donated machines at Corpus Christi. A quilting company in Mandan also helps them with the quilting part of their work, as well as machine repairs, Tschider said.
Some of the women have been quilting for a long time. Others wanted a new way to use their sewing skills.
The group meets from 9 to 11 a.m. every Tuesday from September through May.
Quilting is a multi-generational affair for some of the quilters. Janet Erbstoesser's granddaughters, Hanna Karevold, 18, and Emily Karevold, 14, will be showcasing some of their quilts at the show.
"It's something you can pass along to other people," Erbstoesser said. "And you get to play with different fabrics and color. It's play."
Surekha Murthy said she was asked to come to the group about five years ago and she decided to give it one week. Then one week turned into the next week and she's been coming ever since.
"Each one (quilt) is a beauty by itself," she said. "The ladies are awesome and the camaraderie is great."
Josephine Mosbrucker jokes that she is the queen of polyester because she chooses to work in the material for her quilts — not many do, but she finds the material more forgiving.
She's been part of the group for 10 years and loves to sew a variety of projects, including a parka that made its way to Alaska.
"I like a challenge," she said.
Tschider said quilts have even been taken to former members in the nursing home.