Caring Hearts Couple Helps Create Hundreds of Quilts for Kids an - KOAM TV 7

Caring Hearts Couple Helps Create Hundreds of Quilts for Kids and Seniors

Joplin, MO -

Christmas is a time for giving. But for a southeast Kansas couple it's  something they do all winter long. The Bradleys and the Caring Hearts quilt group  turn their craft into Christmas treasures and gifts that are a comfort to those in need.

Nimble fingers tied quilt tops to fleece backing. Members of the Caring Hearts quilt group are preparing hundreds of quilts to simply giveaway.
It’s an effort that started in Virginia and Jack Bradley’s home.

Virginia explained, "My daughter works at Children’s Center  and there was a need for quilts cause they give every child that comes through a quilt.  I have always sewed  and I had  a bunch of scraps and I told my daughter I’ll just start making some tops."  

Her husband, Jack, who's hobby was construction and career was teaching math, found a way to apply both.

Jack while pointing to a red, white and blue quilt said, “You've got to know what dimensions, how much cuts off,  how do you get the corners out. There’s a lot of math involved in it and construction designing it, figuring out how many squares you need.

Virginia chimed in saying, “He started out just cutting  out squares for me and I sewed. And one day I missed  him  and he was back in the sewing room sewing.” That got them both laughing.

Jack's the only male in the group.  He said, "I enjoy that." More laughs.

In the past the Bradleys have made up to four hundred quilts in a winter. This year many are going to nursing homes. 
(Carthage Salvation Army Capt. Chuck Cook said they made a great gift.   "It’s kind of hard with seniors.  When  you grow up, you kind of have everything you need.  But this was nice.  This was handmade and had a   lot care and concern and compassion put into those blankets."

The Carthage Salvation Army received one hundred fifty caring hearts quilts. So besides nursing homes, they included blankets to forty seniors and individuals getting Christmas food baskets.
Cheryl Hobbs, a recipient was grateful. "That just that thrills my heart!  I love quilts! My grandmother made me one when I was young and its hand sewn.”

That personal touch makes it unique. She said, “Very special. Somebody made that.And they wanted somebody that was less fortunate to have it."

Even making a simple quilt  top with little extra stitching takes about eight to fourteen hours  for jack and two others in the group. They hunt flea markets and rummage sales for scraps.
Virginia added, "And once in a while we get a donation to buy  fleece with, but we just use scraps that  we can get.  I call them  Dolly Parton quilts. Quilts of many colors."


Ninety-two year old  Caring Hearts member  Sue Nell Casteel used to tie quilts with her mother. And said they contain more than fabric.
Casteel said, “Love in. It is put in the quilt with the love as they're making it.
It's fun  time together for the Bradleys but more about giving.
Virginia said, "I  just  like the feeling I get knowing some little child who is cold gets one of these quilts."
And Jack added, "If there’s a need  out there you like to fill it."


The Bradleys, both in their seventies, keep busy in the summer with a big garden. Anyone interested in helping with sewing, fabric or financial assistance for fleece can contact them at  417-529-2329.

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