Published On: Thu, Jun 29th, 2017

Carlson’s family puts together quilt of love

LAUREL — Hand-made quilts are more than just a blanket. They are made with love.
One extremely blessed lady recently received a Quilt of Love from her family.
Eleanor Carlson is that special lady.
She is known as the “Prayer Warrior” to her family and friends.
With the extreme love of five children, 15 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren, a beautiful quilt was created for Eleanor.
One of her children, Lori Hansen, came up with the idea to make her a quilt.
Eleanor’s daughter-in-law, Judy Carlson, said the work began at the family’s annual Holiday gathering.
“We had our Christmas and Thanksgiving together in the city auditorium. We call it our “Thanksmas”. Most of the family attended. Lori brought plain white sheets of material that were two tables wide.”
Each person wrote special messages on the white material. Some people did pictures, bible verses, wrote “I love you “and “thank you for the prayers” on the material.
“Grandma sat in the middle of all the activity while the family had a great time,” remembered Judy.
Lori planned on making a quilt with the special individual messages from loved ones. But there was one problem. After the family gathering was over and cleaned up, the material was missing. “Lori got very concerned it got thrown out with the garbage,” said Judy. The material was later found wrapped up in a tablecloth they had used. The family was extremely relieved.
“Mom always embroidered tablecloths, place mats and pillow cases for all of her children,” said her son Dick Carlson.
Dick shared his mother’s history.She was born in a blizzard on New Year’s Eve 93 years ago to Elmer and Vanessa Graffis on the family farm north of Laurel. Eleanor’s mother passed away when she was very young. She helped with household chores at age six due to her mother being ill. She attended country school until the eighth grade and graduated from Laurel High School in 1942.
Eleanor married Harold Carlson in February in 1946 at the Logan Center Church. They had many years together farming and milking cows.
She later worked in Sioux City at Zenith and at a café in Laurel where Knuckleheadz is located today.
She is the only Carlson remaining of her husband’s siblings and in-laws.
“Family is most important after God for Eleanor. She is known to pray for every single member of her family. That is where the title of “prayer warrior” comes from,” Judy said.
That is the reason such a beautiful quilt was made for this wonderful loving lady.
Her daughter, Lori, quilted all the love squares to be given as a gift of love.
Eleanor currently resides at Hillcrest Care Center. Her family shared how excited she gets when people come to visit.
“Hello, hello is what she says when she sees people that she hasn’t seen in a while. She always perks up,” said Dick.
Three of her children with many of her grandchildren presented the quilt to her. Family members that couldn’t attend used Facetime to watch the presentation.
“She was so excited and surprised,” said Judy. “She couldn’t wait to get it on her bed.”
Mother Teresa once said, “It’s not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.”
Eleanor Carlson demonstrated that to her family. Her family in turn returned it to her in a quilt made with love.