Idaho quilters overwhelm prison with donations

sewing machine and quilt
The quilting area at SICI

BOISE, April 24, 2013 — Since issuing a call for donated quilting material on March 14, the inmate quilting program at South Idaho Correctional Institution has received so much fabric it has run out of storage space and can no longer accept new donations.

“Idaho’s quilters are generous and eager to share their passion for quilting,” says Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke. “We never imagined we’d get buried like this.”

So far, quilters have donated enough fabric to fill the beds of at least four, standard-sized pick-up trucks. With much more on the way, the department is taking the unusual step of asking people to stop donating.

“We are truly grateful for all the help, but we just don’t have a place to store more material,” Reinke said.

Reinke says the department especially wants to thank the congregation of Ten Mile Christian Church in Meridian. The church’s quilters provided many of the donations.

SICI’s inmate quilting program is entirely self sufficient. It receives no taxpayer support. The program keeps inmates busy and gives them a way to give to society.

Over the years, inmate quilters have made quilts for Boise’s Ronald McDonald House and other non-profit organizations. The quilts go to needy families or are auctioned to raise money for charitable causes.  Many of the quilts are made of old prison-issued jeans, uniforms and other recycled material.

Story published: 04/24/2013
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