WAYNE, Mich. - Got a scrap piece of fabric you’re thinking of tossing out? You should talk to Barb Keeler first. She may be able to use it. Keeler, who provides training support at Michigan Assembly, has been quilting small blankets with scrap material since the mid-1970s. She’s currently in a group of about two dozen women who combine to make more than 1,000 quilts a year for local hospitals and charities in the Detroit area.
“I do it for several reasons,” Keeler said. “Our quilts are used by kids who are hospitalized or in shelters, so the cause is one that I am very passionate about. I enjoy quilting and playing with fabric. Plus, it’s my occupational therapy.” Fabric and supplies come from wherever the group can find them, such as garage and estate sales.
Fellow employees have provided fabric scraps, too. And when excess fabric is trimmed before completing each quilt, the leftover material is used again. Among the beneficiaries are Children’s Hospital, St. John’s Hospital and Catholic Social Services in Southeastern Michigan.