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Prayers & Squares quilts go to those in need

TUCSON, Ariz.–Prayer is knotted into every quilt produced by a small group of women at Mountain Shadows Presbyterian Church.

The women of Prayers&Squares leave the yarn on their quilts untied so other parishioners can tie knots as they pray silently for those who will receive the quilts.

The knots tie the layers of the quilt together.

“The prayers that go into it are much more important than the quilts themselves,”Prayers&Squares member Cheron Mayhall said.

Mayhall started Mountain Shadows’chapter of Prayers&Squares in early 2008. The first group began in 1992 at a Methodist church in California.

Mayhall’s previous church in Port Townsend, Wash., also had a chapter and she thought the outreach organization would fit in well at Mountain Shadows, which is off North Oracle Road in Catalina.

“It seemed to be such a meaningful ministry both for the makers and the receivers at our other church. That is true of the movement,”Mayhall said.

Quilts also are blessed during church services.

The group has distributed about 30 lap quilts to friends of the church and people who need support and extra prayers.

Recipients have included women with breast cancer, stroke victims, people recovering from surgeries and a 3-year-old girl who suffered multiple injuries when she was hit by a vehicle.

Prayers&Squares member McDee–she goes by just one name–was a recipient of her very own quilt in February after she had neck surgery.

“I love it. I love it,”she said.”It matches the green in my carpet and the maroon in my chairs.”

Mountain Shadows’Prayers&Squares group has 10 members. It meets monthly–the last meeting was Feb. 22–to construct quilts.

Women also work on quilts on their own time.

Supplies are donated by members of the group and other church members. They mostly use fabric scraps to create the quilts, which can take more than 20 hours to complete.

“My favorite is the scrap quilt,”Mayhall said.”I hate for things that are useful to be discarded. I take home the squares and make something beautiful with them.”

Joining Prayers&Squares was a natural fit for Kathy Rogers.

“I could quilt all day, every day. And I do,”she said.

Rogers jokes that the group is a boisterous one, and said members love what they do.

Member Pamela Schultz likes how informal the group is when members get together to quilt.

“We are productive, but if we don’t feel like being productive we can visit,”she said.

Members say they find a lot of purpose in the group.

Nan Nasser joined even though she doesn’t consider herself a quilter.

“I like the concept. It’s very nice to be able to generate something that brings peace and happiness,”she said.”It brings comfort when you wrap yourself up in the prayers of a lot of people.”

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Coastal awareness