With the encouragement of a fellow quilter from her quilting group at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Hammond, Bethany Retreat House director Sister Joyce Diltz entered the quilting division of the Lake County Fair this year, expecting only the satisfaction of sharing some of her better work. What she didn’t expect was to sweep the first, second, and third place awards for the pieces she entered.
She doesn’t do it for the prize money; the cash prize was only $5.00. Yes, you read that correctly, $5.00. “I love to quilt. A good day has quilting in it,” Sister Joyce said. “I don’t feel competitive, but it was nice to find out I won,” she added. Her sweep included a first place win for a house and tree appliqued tote; second place for a teacup appliqued sweatshirt; and third place for a double bed quilt, which graces the Lazarus bedroom at Bethany Retreat House.
What she loves about quilting is immersing herself in the color and design of the project. Choosing the colors is the beginning of the creative process for Sister Joyce, only then does she incorporates the design, which is built around the colors. She looked as far away as North Carolina for the right shade for a new batik quilt she’s currently working on. After those pieces of the project are figured out, she finds the process centering and relaxing. “It’s my prayer for the world while I stitch and watch the TV news,” Sister Joyce said. “It’s centering to make something beautiful, and I enjoy the rhythm of the stitches,” she added. Congratulations Sister Joyce!