DeKALB – Eldina Oberg loves to sew – and she loves to help others in the community.
Oberg has been combining these loves for more than 50 years with The Project Group at First Lutheran Church, 324 N. Third St. in DeKalb.
Oberg is one of nine members in the group, which meets at the church on Tuesdays from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The women work together to create quilts and lap robes to donate to local nursing homes and Safe Passage.
Earlier this month, the group donated about 60 items to Bethany Rehabilitation and Health Care Center and the DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center for their patients.
MidWeek reporter Katrina Milton met with Oberg to discuss The Project Group and the pieces they make.
Milton: Tell me about your involvement in The Project Group.
Oberg: I was born and raised in DeKalb. I’ve been a member of the church for at least 50 years. The Project Group started out as a group of women meeting to quilt and sew. Back then, there were about 30 women in the group. Upstairs, they made intricate, hand-stitched quilts. They were just beautiful, so ornate. Downstairs, we worked on lap robes.
Milton: How has the group changed through the years?
Oberg: Now there are nine members – we’re a small group. Most of us come when we can. We meet Tuesdays from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., unless there’s a church event, a funeral luncheon or it’s a holiday.
Milton: How are the lap robes made?
Oberg: First, we cut out 6-inch squares. The lap robes measure six by seven squares, so 42 squares total. We arrange them into a pattern or design, pin the squares together and then they’re sewn. At the end, we add a backing and maybe yarn ties or a border.
Milton: How is the process of making a quilt different?
Oberg: With a quilt, there is a filler inside. Two of our members have long-arm quilting machines. All of our work is sewn by machine, nothing is sewn by hand.
Milton: Does the group receive donations?
Oberg: We use all donated material. If we need a color fabric that we don’t have, we buy some from the monetary donations we’ve received. We also use monetary donations to repair the machines. People can make donations or drop off any fabric, thread or yarn in the church office.
Milton: Why do you sew?
Oberg: I’ve always loved to sew, and after I retired, I wanted something to do. I’ve always done a lot of sewing, and being a member of the church, I thought it was the perfect place to come. Through the years, it’s become more than just sewing, there’s friendship and fellowship. I love the chitter chatter and sharing things. Not only is a charitable work, it’s a work of self-expression. There’s no particular pattern or color scheme, we can be creative. It’s just a lot of fun.