FARGO — Ahhh, taste that? It’s that lemonade I’m pretending to drink while the world has given us a ton of lemons lately. Hello, COVID-19 pandemic, are you listening? I’m talking about you.
It’s been a heartbreaking 18 months or so. We’ve lost friends and loved ones to the disease. The economy has suffered and we’ve gotten into huge fights with friends on social media. On a more personal level, we’ve gained weight, started drinking more and have felt isolated as we quarantine at home. It’s been bleak.
Wow. Isn’t this supposed to be a happy column, Tracy? I’m getting to that, I promise. Meet Hilda and Faith Wanner — a mother and daughter from Fargo who are masters at making the best of a bad situation.
They’ve been busy during the pandemic making quilts together to give to cancer patients. And they’re marking a milestone.
“We are working on our 500th quilt for the Roger Maris Cancer Center,” Faith said.
The truth is, they’ve made charity quilts for years. Hilda, who has been quilting for more than 50 years, made several for the Lisbon Veterans Home.
“I belong to a quilting club and we made 150 patriotic quilts when the new home opened,” Hilda said.
But the pandemic just increased their production.
“We probably do about 12 a month, so this is 108 of them so far this year,” Faith said.
The women make the quilts in a garage across the hall from the apartment they share at Riverview Place in Fargo. They work on them about three hours a day — Faith doing the planning, cutting and pinning, while Hilda does the sewing.
And while they hope the lap quilts, which measure 44 inches by 57 inches, keep the patients warm during chemotherapy and other times, working on them has also been therapeutic for the Wanners during this difficult year.
“It gave us purpose in life,” Faith said. "We wanted to do something other than sit around the apartment. Of course we could read or watch TV, but it was an outlet for us.”
“And we just really like to sew,” Hilda said.
The mother and daughter said they enjoy the time they spend together, and Hilda said they’ve received some “loving responses” from patients who’ve commented that the quilts brought them comfort.
While we can all hope the pandemic won’t last much longer, the Wanners have no plans to stop their personal quilt factory.
“We can knock 'em out pretty fast” Faith said.
“We work pretty well together,” Hilda added.