Warming hearts with human kindness: My Brother’s Keeper celebrates 1,000th quilt

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The 100th quilt!
The 100th quilt!

MANCHESTER, NH – My Brother’s Keeper Quilting group celebrated the creation of their 1,000th quilt on Nov. 5. The group, which began in 1998 and meets twice a month at the Plaistow public library, sews quilts and quilted sleeping bags for the homeless.

Manchester’s own Liberty House, a transitional home for veterans, and New Horizons, an emergency shelter, are two beneficiaries of the group’s labor of love.

My Brother's Keeper founder Linda Heminway cuts the celebratory cake.
My Brother’s Keeper founder Linda Heminway cuts the cake.

“It takes around eight hours of work to produce one quilt,” says founder Linda Heminway. “When I began this group in 1998 it was just myself and a handful of others. I kept the entire contents of our work in a tote bag.”

Heminway began the group after relocating from New York as a way to make friends after reading about other similar groups in a magazine. “I saw it and said ‘This is for me. This is what I can do,” Heminway said.

Sally Coleman of Kingston, NH, feels similarly.

“It’s a family. We’ve had several women go into treatment for cancer and we made sure they had rides to the hospital. We take care of each other,” Coleman said.

Keith Howard, Executive Director of Liberty House, and Charlie Sherman, Executive Director of New Horizons, attended the luncheon on Wednesday, held to commemorate the 1,000th quilt.

“They have met a true physical need, not just for veterans but for all homeless in Manchester, and an emotional need in that the fruit of human labors were used to meet the whole of human need,” Howard said.

Three cheers for these dedicated quilters.
Three cheers for these dedicated quilters.

Sherman added, “We go through so many blankets in the shelter, they have to be washed every morning and the ones we buy just don’t hold up as well as the quilts. Many of the people that come to us don’t have nice things and it means so much to them to be given a quilt that someone made for them.”

They've made the quilts. Now, let them eat cake!
They’ve made the quilts. Now, let them eat cake!

Each member was presented with a “Pride of Plaistow” certificate by town manager Sean Fitzgerald.

“I never dreamed it would go on this length of time,” said Heminway. “We’ve all done things for each other and none of us knew each other before we came in the door. I have all faith that we’ll get to 2,000 quilts one day.”

The My Brother’s Keeper quilting group meets the first and third Wednesday of every month at the Plaistow library and all are welcome. For more information, contact Linda Heminway at ibquiltn@comcast.net.

About Carol Robidoux 5449 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.