The Bellevue Quilt Ministry in Owensboro is looking for a new facility to continue its charity work of donating handmade items to local and global causes.

The ministry was started about 2003 at Bellevue Baptist Church by church member Ina Bratcher following a mission trip to Ukraine.

“I was working in the orphanage in Ukraine and the kids just didn’t have anything,” Bratcher said. “We came home and a few of us had been quilting before, doing it on our own, and we just started the ministry and started sending things over there and then it branched out from there.”

Since then, the ministry has grown, she said.

The quilting group got involved with an organization near Chicago, she said, that helped the ministry distribute its quilts and other creations to several Third World countries.

Now, however, she said the group has put a lot of focus into helping provide for local organizations in addition to sending creations to other areas throughout the state and country, as well as abroad.

Some local causes the Bellevue Quilt Ministry supports are Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an organization that helps build beds for children in need, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, veterans and even local animal shelters, according to Melody Delk, who heads the quilting ministry.

The group makes a variety of items, including quilts, baby and adult bibs, clothing, pillowcases, reusable sanitary pads for women in Puerto Rico and Tanzania, burp cloths, wheelchair and walker bags, and well as fidget quilts for individuals in nursing homes who have difficulty keeping their hands still.

The unique fidget quilts have items sewn into them like bells and other objects with which individuals can fidget and keep their hands moving, according to Delk.

The ministry currently resides in Third Baptist Church in Owensboro, taking up six rooms equaling about 3,000 square feet, Delk said. However, she said the group is looking for another space.

Delk said the group hopes to find a new space with a large, open area with about the same amount of space it currently has available.

“Third Baptist has been fantastic to us in allowing us to be there and they’ve just been wonderful,” she said. “God’s always come through for us. And usually, if there’s a reason it’s not happening right now, then somebody else in the equation is not ready yet.”

The group currently has from 40 to 50 regular quilters. Prior to the pandemic, about 25 to 30 people showed up to help with quilting efforts each week. Delk said they are slowly getting back up in weekly numbers.

The quilting group meets every Monday at Third Baptist Church. Delk said anyone is welcome to come, no matter what age, gender or quilting experience. She said the group will help any new quilters learn.

“If someone wanted to learn, they can come and we’ll help them learn,” she said. “If you can tie a knot, you can help us, even if you don’t sew.”

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

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