A patchwork of love: Southern Utah woman creates quilts for the homeless, bereaved

ST. GEORGE — The closets inside the home of St. George resident Margie Black are lined with scrap material and shelves, and walls are adorned with handmade quilts.

Margie Black displays a quilt top she has been creating, St. George, Utah, Dec. 23, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News

Art pieces in their own right, each unique creation was meticulously crafted by Black who has been honing her skills and her passion for quilting for 30 plus years.

Black is a member of the Dixie Quilt Guild and helps direct their philanthropic efforts. Bags of quilts created by the many members of the longtime guild sit ready in her home to be delivered to multiple charitable organizations when they are in need.

And still, Black has the desire to do more.

“Once I finish a quilt, I can’t wait to start another one,” she said.

Throughout her three decades of quilting, Black has made hundreds of quilts for nonprofits, friends and family members and has even made legacy quilts for future great-grandchildren.

She started her personal project to make quilts for the homeless and bereaved about eight months ago, she said.

The quilts are made with scrap fabric and lovingly patched together by Black to act as warm arms of comfort for those who may be feeling alone.

Each quilt is placed in a homemade pillowcase with a drawstring and given to Black’s family members and friends to carry with them in their cars and pass out when they see or know of someone in need.

The quilts are accompanied by a label, a note printed on fabric from Black that reads:

I didn’t know your name when I made this quilt but I wanted you to have it to wrap around you and feel loving arms and know that you are not alone. Just remember that God loves you. Margie of St. George, Utah.

Since her efforts began, Black’s daughter, Rhonda Tommer, has been able to give away two of the quilts, an experience she said that was quite emotional.

St. George resident Margie Black works on a comfort quilt in her home, St. George, Utah, Dec. 23, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News

“When I give a quilt away, I don’t just hand it out the window,” Tommer said.

She further explained that both times she has gifted her mother’s quilts, she has taken the time to stop and speak to the recipient and learn more about their life as well as to explain the meaning behind the quilt.

“It is incredibly heartwarming,” Tommer said, adding that taking the extra time to have a conversation with a stranger makes the gift even more special.

Tommer has plans to add bottles of water, some small nonperishable food items and even bags of dry dog food for those homeless she meets who have their canine companions with them.

In addition to the homeless, the quilts are also designed as comfort quilts to be gifted to those who may have recently lost a loved one or been through a tough time.

“You can usually tell when someone really needs it,” Black said.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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