Meet the “Quilting Angels” of Central Florida, providing hand-crafted comfort for families in need

ORLANDO, Fla. — A group of Central Florida women have spent decades providing handmade quilts to local charities, anonymously and free of charge.

Kate Elliott is a retired nurse who now spends her time as one of a dozen women who call themselves the “Quilting Angels” of Central Florida, taking hours out of each day making colorful pieces of comfort for the community.

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“It just really warms my heart to know that something I made is being used,” Elliott says. “It makes me very happy.”

Maggie Klingele is another Quilting Angel. She says their quilts have gone to families in need all over Central Florida.

“We currently give to Harbor House. We give to Annabel’s Closet, and those are related by domestic violence,” Klingele says. “We support three pregnancy centers. We support Guardian ad Litem, who manages the newborns who are addicted. We support seniors, which is Meals on Wheels. And The Only House, which are children that are temporarily needing assistance because of their family situation.”

The Quilting Angels started in the early 1990s, and by their count, they’ve donated almost 5,000 quilts to children, and anyone else in need of some warmth.

The angels even use their scraps to make beds for pet shelters, and they do it all anonymously.

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“We know when I make a quilt, like a baby quilt, I’ll say ‘some little kid’s really gonna like this,’ and that’s enough for me,” Elliott says.

“It’s gotta warm your heart,” Klingele says. “To know that when somebody’s searching for comfort, they may be out there reaching for something that you made with your own hands.”

From the first cut to the final stitch, the angels say each quilt can take about 30 to 40 hours to complete.

And while the need for comfort has increased during the pandemic, so has their ability to provide it, with more than 300 quilts donated just in 2020.

Each member has their own supply of fabric and thread.  Their only shared expense is the batting, or the stuffing that goes inside the quilt.

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The angels say they go through about $2,000 worth of it each year.

Anyone interested in helping can reach out to Klingele by e-mail at mklingele@mindspring.com

Joe Kepner

Joe Kepner, WFTV.com

I unloaded the U-Haul in Orlando in 2008, just in time to cover the Magic's run to the 2009 NBA Finals.