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Quilters stitch therapy into their blankets
Bob Zellar/Gazette Staff Nimble Thimble Quilters Louise LaRue, Janet Ganson and Margie Hay work on a quilt at their weekly meeting at First Congregational Church

Every Monday the ladies of the Nimble Thimble Quilters meet at First Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Billings for their "therapy" session.

A majority of the group's 16 members sit around large wooden frames helping quilt a brightly colored piece of art put together by one of the women.

"What would we do with our Mondays without it," one quilter asked as she deftly stitched a pattern in a corner of one of the two quilts spread out in the church basement.

"We talk, we exchange recipes, if someone wants to know about a doctor, we share information," said Louise LaRue, a club member for 20 years. "We also learn new things about quilting."

Most recently, club members have been working on kaleidoscope patterns, some of which will be on display at the show.

Last Monday, the quilters were preparing for their biannual quilt show that runs April 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the church basement. The raffle quilt they have been working on since the last show in 2000 was displayed in all its glory on a table. It's a beautiful red-bordered, nine-patch queen-sized quilt. This year, instead of blind tying the centerpiece of the show, the ladies quilted it by machine.

"We decided it's all right to do something new," LaRue said. "We're in a new century now."

Myrt Wittenberg gave fellow club members lessons in using the machine made available by Butterfly Fabric and Quilting Creations at 501 Hansen Lane.

Raffle tickets for the quilt and other prizes can be purchased at the door for $1 each or six for $5. Winners will be drawn at 3 p.m.

The club hopes to have at least 100 examples of quilting on display during the show. No entrance fee will be charged. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

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