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Comfort quilts: Infused with love

by | Mar 11, 2021 | Featured

Quilts

Pictured is a sampling of some of the colorful comfort quilts the Power of the Quilt Project participants create for individuals living with cancer. PHOTO/DEBORAH BURKE HENDERSON

Hopkinton’s Susan Weaver was among those who participated in the Power of the Quilt Project’s inaugural winter quilt-a-thon held virtually on Jan. 18 in celebration of MLK Day and a commitment to service. The project, which began about 15 years ago, is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Area Church, First Parish in Sherborn. The event was organized by church member Cris Crawford.

“I was overwhelmed by the response,” Crawford stated. “With the pandemic, we haven’t been able to hold our in-person events for almost an entire year. It was great to have so many familiar faces greeting one another via Zoom and working together on charity quilts.”

One of those familiar faces was Weaver, a frequent PQP participant, who logged in at 10 a.m. and dedicated the next five hours to joining others who cut fabrics, made quilt tops, and sandwiched and tied quilts by hand.

“I don’t quilt,” said Weaver, “but I can sew, and I like to help. Cris taught me how to stitch together a continuous train of 2.5-inch fabric to make a binding that I will now machine stitch on a sandwiched quilt. The finishing touch is blind-stitching by hand, on the reverse side.”

Once completed, the quilts are dropped off with Sherborn’s Sally Demler, a longtime UUAC member and fellow PQP participant who is living with cancer. She takes the finalized lap robes to the infusion unit she visits regularly for chemotherapy treatments. Some quilts are provided to hospice patients and others to cancer treatment centers throughout Eastern Massachusetts.

“Every four or five weeks I make the trip,” Demler said. “It’s a privilege to be able to be part of this group and to supply others with these beautiful creations. Recipients are overjoyed and typically speechless when the nurse hands them one of these beauties. Every stitch is infused with love.”

The Power of the Quilt Project has been coordinated by a few folks over the years, including Crawford. Since its inception, several thousand cheery quilts have been distributed to men, women and children who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Each lap robe is about 42 inches by 64 inches and backed in flannel to provide some warmth to the patients as they receive their treatments. Quilts created with animal-themed or child-centric fabrics are delivered to Project Linus for youngsters facing hardship who are living in shelters or in a hospital setting.

“These quilts are a bright spot in the lives of people going through a hard time, and the Power of the Quilt Project allows us to share our gifts and caring with others in a very meaningful way,” Weaver said, adding, “It’s a great time of fellowship and support for us as well.”

For now, quilt-a-thons will continue to be held regularly, until it is safe to meet in person. Anyone interested in participating can contact Cris Crawford at crawford.cris@gmail.com.

To find out more about the Power of the Quilt Project or make a donation to help buy supplies, visit uuac.org. Pictures from previous quilt-a-thons may be viewed at powerofthequilt.blogspot.com.

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