ELLENBURG CENTER — Quilting was historically an exercise in thrift by women for centuries in this country.
With times hard once again, Our Lady of the Adirondacks House of Prayer is banking on the homespun-textile art to not only offer a communal and practical activity for its neighbors but to sustain the operation of the ministry.
“We have to be self-sufficient,” said Patricia “Pat” Hanley, director of the House of Prayer. “The only funds we get are from people who come on retreats. We have a few benefactors who give monthly. Of course, it’s not enough. Our major expense is heating fuel.”
The House of Prayer’s Board of Directors and Hanley decided to open the Lost Sheep Quilt and Fabric Shop to defray operating costs. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Wares for sale include Moda and Jo Morton fabrics by Andover; pre-cuts; yardage; wool; and kits for penny rugs, thread, batting and patterns.
“Mostly, it’s the quality-quilting cotton,” Hanley said. “We’re giving classes. My first class is Nov. 9. We have some people signed up. We’re hoping that will also bring people in to socialize to get people together for a long winter. We’re fairly rural here. It’s good that local people can come instead of traveling 25 miles to Plattsburgh or Malone.”
Hanley has quilted on and off for 30 years.
“One of the other board members is a quilter, too. There are a lot of women who are quilters who are willing to share their talent to give classes and things like that. We’re doing this in addition to our main ministry, which is still retreat. I have two back-to-back retreats (Ignatian Retreats) coming up the end of October,” she said.
Founded in 1972 by the Rev. Joe Trombley, the House of Prayer’s mission is to promote prayer, recollection, retreat and spiritual development in an environment of peace, quiet, love and helpfulness.