May 12, 2009
Florence volunteer cheers patients at Methodist Rehabilitation Center with her handmade quilts
By Susan Christensen
Health and Research News Service
Warm and caring.
Those words describe Inge Thibodeaux, and the work she does, as well.
Her handmade quilts ward away the cold, and are a source of great comfort for patients of Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.
Rebecca Harper of Florence was delighted when she recently received one of Thibodeaux’s creations, a fetching patchwork of colorful fabrics.
“I think it’s beautiful,” said the retired teacher, who taught English at Sumner Junior High in Clinton. “It’s a quilt of many purposes. I’m going to use it over my shoulders and across my lap. And I might even use it to wrap up my little grandbaby.”
A Florence retiree, Thibodeaux said she was in need of a hobby when she took up quilting 10 years ago. Once she began volunteering at Methodist two years ago, she realized her creations might be a way to encourage people who were recovering from disabling injuries and illnesses.
“People donate fabric and I turn around and make the quilts,” she said. Most go to Methodist Rehab, but she also donates to community fund-raisers or to people battling cancer.
Thibodeaux seldom uses a pattern for the comfy lap quilts. “I sit down with a fabric and I have no idea where it’s going to,” she said. “Sometimes I think: This is so hideous. But by the time I get through, I think it’s kind of nice.”
Most of the time, Thibodeaux lets someone else deliver her quilts to patients. “I like to stay in the background,” she said. But she has two scrapbooks filled with photos of her quilts, and she’s likes to think of how they have brightened someone’s day.
“I enjoy making them,” she says. “And I get a kick out of giving them away and making someone happy.”
Inge Thibodeaux enjoys creating handmade quilts for the patients at Methodist Rehab.