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Leeds, N.D., Lutheran Quilters are keeping the community warm

LEEDS, N.D. -- Staying warm can be a tough task here in North Dakota - especially with the winter we have had. But this week's Gems are using their warm hearts to take care of their neighbors. It's not Sunday - but that doesn't mean all is quiet ...

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LEEDS, N.D. - Staying warm can be a tough task here in North Dakota - especially with the winter we have had.

But this week's Gems are using their warm hearts to take care of their neighbors.

It's not Sunday - but that doesn't mean all is quiet inside this Benson County church.

These grandmas are hanging out, sharing their passion.

The sewing machines are roaring, and the fabric cutters are rolling.

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And of course, the mouths are just as busy.

“A lot of gossip,” said quilter Shirley Young.

But that's not why these ladies are here.

"We are just dedicated to helping other people,” said Irma Dulmage.

These are the Leeds Lutheran Quilters.

Shirley Young is one of the originals. The group started back in the 70s - making quilts for those in the Devils Lake area in need. 

“We are giving to other people, helping them out keeping them warm in the winter, in this climate,” said Young.

Meeting four times a month - except during the summer - these quilting connoisseurs sew about 60 quilts a year.

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They mostly end up in local homeless shelters, abuse shelters and nursing homes. A couple dozen were sent to the Caribbean last year after the hurricanes.

“We keep a good eye out in our community who might be in need,” said Sandy Johnson.

While the dozen or so ladies do this for the community - they couldn't do it without them. Nearly all the fabric is donated - leftovers from people in the area.

“We use what we have, create from that,” said Dulmage.

But that doesn't mean these quilts are stitched without a lot of love and care

“We like to have our quilts look nice too, not just warm and comfortable,” said Johnson.

“It lets them know that we in their home church are thinking of them.”

And in recent years - a new tradition. These princesses of the the needle make a quilt for the congregation's graduating high school seniors. They are made from old jeans.

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“It’s always been said maybe they don't want to use them on their beds but they should put them in their cars for safety,” said Dulmage.

A group of ladies - giving their time and love to those in need  stitch by stitch

“The warmth of the quilt gives warmth to the community,” said Louise Nelson.

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