Come see quilt demonstration at the Itasca County Fair

Pictured, from left, are quilters Carol Kelk, Diane Bailey, Wanda Bunes Neumiller, Julie Worchester, and Trudy Hasbargen

In 2019, Brian Carlson, board member of Itasca County Fair Board, approached New Beginnings about sewing a quilt for a demonstration booth at the Itasca County Fair. New Beginnings agreed and began looking for volunteers that would be willing to make quilt blocks for a “Fair Theme” quilt. Kathy Metzer, who has been the Outreach Coordinator for New Beginnings for about four years, was able to purchase fabric with the help of funds donated by an Action Team Member through Thrivent. Kathy then gave the fabric to several different volunteer quilters. Kathy, who had been a local seamstress for over 20 years, but very new to quilting, designed the quilt with the blocks the volunteers made. This quilt captures many aspects and attractions at the Itasca County Fair from a ferris wheel, to food, to animals, to parking in the whispering pine trees. Here is a little bit about our quilters:

Julie Worcester

I started quilting approximately 15 years ago when someone at church asked if I knew how to sew. I said yes, but I do not quilt. They needed help, so I learned. I have been helping ever since. Today there are 5 of us who meet at the Lawron Presbyterian Church. Our quilts are given to agencies or anyone in need. We give out approximately 150 quilts a year.

Carol Kelk

I was introduced to sewing doll clothes on a treadle Singer machine as a six-year-old. At nine years old I joined 4-H. Seventy years ago, projects for girls were limited, but sewing was a “must” in our house. Fabric was cheaper and I grew up sewing my own clothing and later, sewing for all of my five children’s clothing. My girls grew up sewing also and early in their 4-H years we started saving pieces from everything they made for a quilt pattern each of them had chosen. These were saved for many years, and I put together a quilt top for each of them which I had professionally quilted. In the years before that, I made many patchwork quilts for our home that were tied. A group of women at Redeemer Lutheran Church has met for years to tie many mission quilts and I was active there until COVID shut us down. My projects today are two double wedding ring patterns for my two youngest granddaughters.

Diane Bailey

I began sewing when I was a young child. I started out sewing Barbie clothes and eventually started sewing my own clothes. I now enjoy sewing quilts that I donate to organizations that are working to help make a difference in the lives of individuals.

Wanda Bunes Neumiller

I started quilting when I retired. My two sisters and I began sewing when we were young children. At one point in our youth, we had three treadle sewing machines in our home. Sewing was entertainment during long winters and rainy summer days.

The mission of New Beginnings Pregnancy Center is to offer compassion, hope, and help to empower people and promote life. Through New Beginnings women, men, teens, and families can find confidential support through the many different services that are offered. Free Pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins and ultrasounds are a few of the services available along with educational classes.

Earn While You Learn Program/Bright Course is a unique program for men and women that are expecting a baby or are already parents. With this program you will learn what to expect during your pregnancy and beyond, it is designed to help you be the best parent you can be! As each course is completed, “Parent Points” are earned. These points can then be used in our Baby Boutique. Baby blankets, diapers, wipes, and clothing are a few of the items available to purchase with the earned points.

All the classes available at New Beginnings are also free and can be done one-on-one or in a small group meeting. Some of the classes that are available: Life Skills, Practical Fatherhood, and Her Choice to Heal for those who are still feeling grief from the effects of a past abortion. There is also a course designed for men, A Father’s Silent Cry. Along with the parenting and life skill courses, there is a Bible study available for clients if they are interested.

New Beginnings has Certified Car Seat Safety Technicians that are available to train you in proper installation of your car seat and how to properly adjust the seat for your child’s size. The Center also supplies infant, convertible and combination car seats to those who qualify while supplies last.

As part of the “Safe Sleep” initiative, New Beginnings partners with Cradle of Hope to provide Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) education along with a “Safe-Sleep” Pack-N-Play.

New Beginnings also offers information on adoption, abortion recovery, alternatives to abortion, Sexually Transmitted Infections and has a community-wide referral service.

New Beginnings Pregnancy Center is located at: 605 NW 4th Street, Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Our hours are: Tuesday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Phone: 218-326-0404; Text: 218-256-2341; 24/7 Help Line: 1-800-712-4357

For more information, visit


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