As the summer turned to fall and Thanksgiving approached, a senior at Henley High School was busy quilting for others.

Lindsey Castle, who will graduate from Henley this coming June, decided to make quilts for her senior project and donate them to Klamath Basin Behavioral Health. A few of the quilts have already been delivered to KBBH’s transitional housing program, and she is on track to finish her goal of 60 quilts by the time she graduates.

“I think you need to step in the door to feel the weight of this project,” Castle said.

With a steady hand, Castle methodically guided a Gammill longarm quilting machine named “Linda” at a workshop that sits on a farmstead in Tulelake. The machine and workshop belong to Castle’s project mentor, Debbie Worch, who has been quilting for decades, and decided to take Castle under her wing as she learns the craft.

But when it comes to quilting, this is not Castle’s first rodeo. And she is in very good hands.

Castle is the youngest member of the esteemed Dorris quilting circle that managed to pump out 85 beautiful quilts for the Klamath Falls Gospel Mission in September. Those quilts now cover the beds and walls at the Gospel Mission’s Recovery Center, providing a sense of comfort and warmth to those who stay there.

Now, Castle is at work making the 60 quilts for KBBH, and has the quilting circle — which includes her mother, Shawna Castle, and Worch — behind her.

Castle works at Worch’s shop a couple days a week after school and over the weekend, and enjoys learning from the ladies in the quilting circle. Castle said they like having her around, too, because they say Castle makes them feel young.

“They are a great bunch of women,” Castle said. “Their stories and what they’ve been through in their lives. They teach me so much. About life, sewing and things I need to improve on.”

According to Castle, the idea to make quilts and donate them to KBBH came to her when she went with her mother to Worch’s workshop. After meeting Worch, the two became friends. And the idea was born.

“I could not do this without Deb,” Castle said. “She’s a wonderful mentor.”

Worch remarked on how ambitious the project is, but is confident they are on track to finish before May 1. The quilters are determined to help Castle reach her goal.

For Castle, quilting is about giving — she has never made one for herself. Instead, she said, she prefers someone else make a quilt for her and for her to make one for someone else. The gift of a handmade quilt is what makes the craft special, she said.

Castle said she started quilting as a child, following after her mother.

“Over time as a kid you kind of pick up on it when you see your parents doing it,” she said. “My mom encouraged it, and bought me my first sewing machine when I was eight. I would take her scraps and sew them together.”

Castle’s quilting style incorporates bright colors and patterns, and she said flannels and soft fabrics are her favorite to work with.

“I feel like anyone can figure (quilting) out if they are creative. I feel like each of us is creative, and it’s all about your style and what you like,” Castle said.

Castle added her plan after graduating is to attend Oregon Tech, and then possibly transfer to study to become a nurse practitioner.

— Reporter Joe Siess can be reached at (541) 885-4481 or Follow him on Twitter @jomsiess