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Local senior’s talent for quilting has far-reaching impact

Dale Link shows the rector’s and deacon’s stoles she quilted that received a gold medal in the recent Senior Games/SilverArts competition.

Local senior’s talent for quilting has far-reaching impact
May 16
00:00 2019

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

It was by chance that Dale Link’s quilting talents were recognized recently with a gold medal at the Piedmont Plus Senior Games/SilverArts competition. Although she had been sewing since she was in junior high school in the 1950s and quilting since the ‘70s, she hadn’t intended to make the rector’s and deacon’s stoles that won her a gold medal.

Link recalled, “I saw where Ginny was coming (Ginny Wilder had just accepted the call as rector of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church) and I started following her on Facebook. She posted a picture of herself with a piece of orange fabric she was going to wear in support of ending gun violence week. It looked really pathetic. I Facebooked her and said I would make her a special stole so she could wear it for the first Sunday in June, which is the End Gun Violence day.”

Link said she found fabrics in shades of orange, yellows and black to make the stoles. She said the deacon’s stole was much harder to make because it crosses the body, where the rector’s stole just hangs around the shoulders.

The Ending Gun Violence campaign is dear to Link’s heart. “I have been so emotionally distraught over Sandy Hook. By making these stoles, it was a way I could make awareness of the fact that churches are standing up to gun violence and showing support for victims.”

Link was encouraged by a church member to enter the stoles in the SilverArts competition and was surprised to find she had won a gold medal. She can now enter the stoles in the state Senior Games competition held in Raleigh in September.

Link’s quilting talent has also been making children happy for many years. Link said, “Over ten years ago, a friend told me about being a tutor and her student was facing so many issues and she was so proud of what she had accomplished. She said so many students are poor readers, not athletic, and not recognized at school.” Link decided to do something about this. She asked if she could make a quilt for the student and embroider her name on it. The tutor was part of the Augustine project, which she had heard of, and Link knew how important reading is to a student’s future success. She had read that the average reading level of people incarcerated is at the 4th grade level.

“I realized that reading is more than just reading, it was crime prevention. I knew these children needed to know they’re worth something.”

Link talked with the Augustine project coordinators and offered to make quilts for the students if she could make them in honor of her two children, David and Bonnie, who had died young from cystic fibrosis. Since that time, she has been making quilts for the students who go through the program. Tutors give her descriptions of what their students like and Link makes each individual quilt to fit the student’s personality. “These students have been in the program for four years, working with their tutors twice a week. They are all from Title I schools.”

Link said she has made ten quilts this year, the most ever. She says there is a strong bond that develops between the student and tutor, and that the tutors are as excited as the students when they receive their special quilts.

“I get to see their faces when they get their quilts. Some have said this is the nicest gift they have ever received.”

If you would like to help Dale Link make quilts for students, please contact her at 336-306-0583 or email dlinksews@nullgmail.com.

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