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Published February 06, 2013, 05:58 PM

Moorhead woman giving gift of warmth with 5,000 quilts

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - The numbers are dwindling, but every winter in our region, dozens of women gather in church basements to quilt.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - The numbers are dwindling, but every winter in our region, dozens of women gather in church basements to quilt.

The coffee is on, hotdish is in the oven and pieces of cloth are turned into amazing quilts for the needy. But one woman in Moorhead, has reason to celebrate. After more than 40 years of sewing, she is preparing to finish her 5,000th quilt.

In the basement of Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, the sound of a Singer sewing machine. 80-year old Jean Jacobsen, putting the finishing touches on another of her church quilts.

I figured it out, it is about 200 quilts a year. She sews the top part of the quilt at home, then brings it here for quilting day at church.

Jean Jacobsen, Made 5,000 Quilts: “I enjoy the ladies, we have some good laughs.”

When she and the other ladies turn out these beauties, quilts for shelters in Fargo Moorhead, and refugee camps around the world.

Jacobsen: “It is something that is useful for others and i am glad i can share my talent of quilting with them.”

We know Jean is working on her 5-thousandth quilt, because she has kept a journal. Quilts and commentary dating back to the 70's. Besides quilts for church, she has made them for her children, grandchildren, family and school reunions. Thousands of quilts.

Jacobsen: “My cousin once told me a quilt is a gift of love and there is a saying that when life gives scraps, make a quilt.”

Handmade, detailed, always mindful who may receive this gift.

The irony of church quilting is, all this work and the ladies never get to see the looks on the faces of those who may receive this. Across an ocean, in a war torn country perhaps. But that is why they all do this. And why, even after 5,000 quilts, Jean Jacobsen has no plans to stop tying and sewing.

Jacobsen: “I hope I can do it many more years.”

And Jean still uses the same sewing machine her grandmother used.

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