Wanda Walker was ten years old when she was gifted her first sewing machine. That long ago birthday gift began a life-long hobby that has brought joy to her and countless others over the years.
Wanda and her husband, Mike, moved to the Broadway area during the 2020 pandemic. The couple retired from the mission field in 2014. The Walkers served with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board in Ghana, West Africa for 17 years and then in Johannesburg, South Africa for 4 years. During their time overseas, Wanda taught several women how to sew and how to turn small scraps of fabric into beautiful quilts.
Her most recent venture involves making hospice quilts with the Shenandoah Valley Quilters Guild. Wanda joined the Guild because of their focus on service. The Guild dedicates two meetings per year to collecting/sharing how to make quilts and other articles for Hospice. She has since made many friends and has become a valuable contributor to the hospice project. “My goal this year was to make thirty lap quilts, but I believe my total will be closer to forty.”
Wanda says that children’s’ quilts are an increasing need for area hospice groups. She chooses bright, vibrant colors for the quilts she creates for young children. She often prays over the quilts as she sews, asking for comfort and peace for the folks receiving the lap blankets. She wants her quilts to bring comfort to those facing illness and trauma, and to give a parent or child a smile.
The Shenandoah Valley Quilters Guild donates quilts to three area hospices – Blue Ridge Hospice, Hospice of the Shenandoah, and Sentara Hospice. They provide a wide variety of colors and styles. Wanda says, “Our veterans are often given red, white, and blue quilts Wanda’s bright, sunny sewing room is filled with yards and yards of fabric of all patterns and styles. She has made many quilts for family and friends and has experimented with lots of colors, patterns, and fabrics. And each quilt has its own story. She showed me a dragonfly quilt she made for her mother after the passing of her father. The beautifully colored quilt had a personal message stitched into the corner, “It’s time to fly, Mom.”
Who would have thought that a little girl’s gift many years ago would help create a legacy of beautiful quilts! Wanda is truly a shining example of using ones gifts to serve others.