Sunday, March 17, 2019

THIS WELCOMING COMMUNITY OF QUILTING



All of you readers already know this, but I am still fairly new to the quilting community and continue to love and admire how welcoming quilters are with one another and especially with newcomers and novices. 

Saturday, March 16 was National Quilting Day.

Fifteen volunteers gathered from all over MetroWest - from Milton to Holliston to Bellingham to participate in The Power of the Quilt Project and its all-day winter quilt-a-thon event, hosted by the UUAC, First Parish in Sherborn.

In all, 20 completed comfort quilts were brought in by several volunteers who enjoy creating these colorful lap robes in the months between quilt-a-thon events. That gave those volunteers who were hand-sewing quite a busy day!

Two quilt tops were sandwiched and hand-tied. One quilt top was sandwiched with batting and a lovely, pink breast cancer awareness motif cotton flannel to be taken to a professional Longarm for top-stitching.

Other volunteers selected, measured and cut coordinated fabrics to make take home quilt-top kits, machine stitch quilt tops onsite and coordinate a delicious lunch.

Here are a few images from the day, including a great group shot.


Holliston residents all: Vicky Charnock, Cathie Healy and newcomer Martha Bate who created the beauty Cathie is holding and donating it to 
The Power of the Quilt Project.

All smiles: Kace Wilson traveled from Milton to Sherborn (again) to join us. She's dedicating this year to creating "improv" designs and loves playing with fabrics.

Project Coordinator Diane McNamara, Dorothy Ripaldi of Bellingham and Carol Coakley of Dover enjoy the art of hand-tying these comfort quilts.

Taking a quick break before a delicious lunch, organized by Karen Conca of Holliston (at far right). Thanks, Karen!!

Five beauties gracing the Sanctuary.
All quilts will be blessed before being disseminated to area medical facility infusion units.


If you are interested in participating in a future quilt-a-thon event or our summer kit-making party, contact Diane McNamara, project coordinator, at dimcnamara@verizon.net.

Keep your eyes posted for upcoming dates!!!

Happy Sewing.


Monday, January 21, 2019

IN HONOR OF MLK


Despite the chilly weather and icy roads, eight volunteers gathered together on Monday, January 21st, for The Power of the Quilt Project's annual MLK Day community service quilt-a-thon.

Volunteers brought in 11 completed comfort quilts from "take-home" kits and Cindy Levine and Helen Sicotte of Natick, Mass. hand-sewed labels on to ready the quilts for distribution to a Boston-based medical center's infusion unit.




Newcomer Cindy Levine and Helen Sicotte


Karen Conca of Holliston, learned how to hand-tie several "sandwiched" quilts and assembled the great luncheon - a delicious minestrone soup made by PQP Coordinator Diane McNamara along with corn bread, cheese and crackers, etc. 

It sure was nice having something homemade and HOT for lunch on a day that only reached about five degrees.


Karen Conca

Cris Crawford and Dorothy Nail of Sherborn and Ashland, respectively, machine-stitched quilt tops during the event. Cris has come to be known as the problem-solver in our group. If there's a quilt that needs some specific attention, she's happy to take it on and work out any kinks until it's perfect. She also loves designing intricate creations and has a flair for putting together great colorways.


Cris designs a quilt for a youngster, using animal-themed fabrics.


Somehow, Dorothy manages to sew two quilt tops each time she joins us. Something that might take me one or two sessions to finish!

Susan Webber of Hopkinton joined in for a few hours and was kind enough to take three quilts home so that she can affix labels on another day. She will meet Diane at some point and drop off the quilts for distribution.


Susan Webber is also part of the Yarn Spinners
here at the UUAC. Check out the beautiful handmade scarf!


THANK YOU ONE AND ALL FOR A VERY
PRODUCTIVE DAY!!

Helen joined The Power of the Quilt Project
when it first started back in 2003. A close friend, a quilter,
lost her life to breast cancer. 
Helen donated her friend's unused fabrics and has been
creating comfort quilts ever since.



MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR OUR SPRING QUILT-A-THON:
SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2019.

To RSVP, contact Diane McNamara by email:
dimcnamara@verizon.net

































Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Power of the Quilt



Despite the cold, blustery weather, 11 volunteers from 6 area towns gathered together for the day to contribute in different ways to The Power of the Quilt Project and its fall quilt-a-thon (Saturday, November 10).

We welcomed two newcomers, Sarah Miller of Medway and Carol Coakley of Dover who were eager to share their skills and be part of this worthy cause.

Several volunteers had been busy over the summer and early fall months working from take-home kits, as 21 comfort quilts were brought in throughout the day!





Cathi Healey, a PQP "regular," was still smiling, at day's end, while she was hand sewing project labels on the 19th quilt brought in.



Carol Coakley was one of two volunteers who created a quilt top onsite. She loved the colors of the fabric squares (laid out on the table behind her) and added a cheery border design.




Fabric artist, Tobi Hoffman, enjoyed carrying a 1200-inch quilt on her shoulder, as she moved from her sewing machine to the ironing station. You can just tell Tobi is having fun with this!



Six colorful comfort quilts were "sandwiched" during the day's event to be machine stitched by a volunteer at home or to be Longarm-stitched, as a pro bono donation by Creative Longarm Partners of Marlborough.

Several quilts were hand tied and newcomer, Sarah Miller, who is shown below with one of those lap robes, as she works her magic. Karen Conca and Irene Richards were also busy hand tying sandwiched quilts as well.



And let us not forget the amazing homemade chili lunch made by PQP Coordinator Diane McNamara and organized by Karen Conca. Thank you both!!

Hopefully, you have the next quilt-a-thon on your calendar, but if not, please add it in for Monday, January 21, 2019, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

To RSVP, please email Diane McNamara at dimcnamara@verizon.net

We begin at 10 a.m. and end around 3 p.m. And as Sally Demler says to those attending the Yarn Spinner events, "Come for the day or for as long as you are able."

'Til then, happy sewing …


















Thursday, August 2, 2018

JOIN US - SATURDAY, AUGUST 18th for our KIT-MAKING "PARTY"



Join Us 

on Saturday, August 18, 2018

for our 

Kit-Making/Fabric Cutting "Party!"


In preparation for the November 10th Quilt-a-thon, we are hosting a Kit-Making/Fabric Cutting event on Saturday, August 18 in Unity Hall, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Unity Hall is on the lower level of the Unitarian Universalist Area Church, 11 Washington St., Sherborn, MA. There is plenty of free parking.

This is a "drop-in" event, so come whenever you can and stay as long as you want!

We will provide basic patterns to follow, and you will help choose colors and designs to make a kit that will then be used at future Quilt-a-thons. 

(These kits are often taken home by many of the quiltmakers who join our quilt-a-thon events so they can create quilt tops at home in their spare time.)

NOTE: If you have a cutting board, rotary cutter or ruler, please bring them 
           along, but there will be some available for use that day.

We will NOT be sewing and NO experience is necessary.

Lunch is on your own, but we will have light refreshments available.

To RSVP: Contact Diane McNamara, The Power of the Quilt Project coordinator at dimcnamara@verizon.net or 508-868-3984.

This promises to be a fun event and your service work will be greatly appreciated throughout the year!


One of our wonderful volunteers, Susan Mogren of Holliston, has great fun rummaging through our fabric supply to color coordinate materials 
for the quilt-top take-home kits.

This could be you!




Monday, March 19, 2018

Comfort Quilts Filled With Love



A Very Productive Day!

Sixteen volunteers came together on National Quilting Day (March 17) at The Power of the Quilt Project spring quilt-a-thon to lovingly help create handmade comfort quilts for individuals undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
Several first-time volunteers learned the intricacies of hand-tying a sandwiched comfort quilt and coordinated fabric colors, measured, cut and combined materials to create quilt top “take-home” kits. Seasoned sewers machine pieced colorful blocks and borders.

At the event, Vela Sekula (13), mom Trilby Spring and Santi Sekula (11) of Millis learned the vintage art of hand-tying a sandwiched quilt from project coordinator Diane McNamara.

Heidi Wesolowski enjoyed selecting coordinating fabrics and learning to create take-home quilt-top kits. Her son Aidan (5) and daughter Leah (3) gave her a big hug before leaving Ashland to "fill her up with love" so she could pass that love along while she was helping at the quilt-a-thon.


Three quilt tops were assembled during the seven-hour event and three more were sandwiched with batting and cozy flannel backings to be brought to Creative Longarm Partners in Marlborough for the Longarm-stitching process. Five of the colorful creations were hung in the Sanctuary, and all quilts will be blessed before being brought to those in need.

Kace (Kathleen) Wilson of Milton enjoys free-motion longarm stitching quilt tops at these events. (How wonderful is that?!)

Longtime project volunteer Cathie Healy of Holliston enjoys hand-sewing the project labels to complete the finished quilts, saying it's a "win-win" for everyone involved.

First-timers Heidi Wesolowski and Irene Richards, both Ashland residents and new UUAC churchgoers, enjoyed the fellowship and fun and the opportunity to learn new things!


****UPCOMING EVENTS****

Diane is planning a "kit-making" party this summer and will be making a date for the fall quilt-a-thon. Be sure to email her at dimcnamara@verizon.net to find out more or RSVP for an event.

All ages and abilities are welcome!



Saturday, January 20, 2018

Serving Joyfully


Sixteen volunteers from surrounding communities (and a far) came together for a community-service quilt-a-thon on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. 

Some brought quilts they had previously completed at home. Others brought in sandwiched quilts from the Veterans Day event, free-motion stitched them at home and bound the quilts with coordinating fabrics; two were Longarm-stitched by Creative Longarm Partners in Marlborough, Mass., (an at-home studio business that has generously offered to Longarm any of these charity quilts as an in-kind donation, because they want to support this worthwhile cause), most of the volunteers worked on or created new comfort quilts during their time onsite while others hand sewed labels or cut borders, bindings and fabric squares for kits.

All in all, a good day ...
  • 18 quilts were finished with a newly-designed Power of the Quilt Project label (they will be blessed at Worship Service and distributed to individuals undergoing chemotherapy),
  • 6 quilt tops were finished onsite,
  • 2 volunteers learned how to hand tie a quilt, honoring the traditional technique of years past - and enjoyed working on a quilt top created with Civil War reproduction fabrics that incorporated 100-year-old block designs (see second picture below),
  • 6 comfort quilts were sandwiched with batting material and cozy flannel backings, to be taken home to be stitched or dropped of at Creative Longarm Partners for pro bono stitching, and 
  • several volunteers eagerly selected from the "take-home" quilt top kits to work on prior to the spring quilt-a-thon event.
Cris Crawford (far left, at table) works on a Log Cabin block while PQP Project Coordinator Diane McNamara and Sally Demler (at right) enjoy showing off many of the 18 comfort quilts Sally will take to the infusion unit of a Boston-based medical center. Demler noted that the nurses who hand out the quilts match the recipients with these colorful handmade creations based on the individual's color and design preferences and interests.

A beautiful example of a "sampler" quilt made with Civil War reproduction fabrics.

Susan Mogren of Holliston made this quilt and works with Diane to hand tie it.

Westwood resident Zelayna "Zee" Rauch enjoys putting together the coordinated blues and green fabric selections from a "take-home" quilt top kit.

Church member Sue Weaver of Hopkinton is a first-time volunteer at the Winter quilt-a-thon, but she hopes to participate at many more!



Join Us for the Spring Quilt-a-thon
Saturday, March 17, 2018
(10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
UUAC, First Parish in Sherborn
11 Washington Street

RSVP to Diane McNamara at
dimcnamara@verizon.net
so we can make our delicious lunch plans!

These events offer fun, fellowship and an opportunity to put your love into action. 









Monday, November 13, 2017

Many Hands and Hearts Support This Charity Quilt Project


Thirteen volunteers gathered together on Saturday, November 11th (Veterans Day) for the fall quilt-a-thon and nearly 30 comfort quilts were completed with The Power of the Quilt Project label!

As participant Cathie Healy (pictured below) said, "It's amazing to see how many hands touch these quilts before they even reach their intended recipients." 



Although not a sewer, Healy has found numerous ways to lend a supportive hand to the project, since its inception in 2003. Cutting, measuring and color coordinating fabrics, making up "take-home" quilt-top kits, pinning, sandwiching and hand tying quilts, and managing the "ironing" station, to name a few. She is the "perfect" volunteer - someone who is willing to learn new things and help out in any way needed.

A SPECIAL TOUCH

We'd like to thank Joe Olinto, owner of Sewfisticated Discount Fabrics in Framingham, Mass. (303 Worcester Rd., Route 9 West), who donated nearly 40 pounds of cotton fabrics to support the event.

Fabric artist and quilter Tobi Hoffman (below) was excited to create a unique, geometric lap robe design onsite using strips from each bolt donated by Sewfisticated.



Seven of the colorful lap robes I created were Longarm stitched by the husband-wife team at Creative Longarm Partners in Marlborough as an in-kind donation - more hands and hearts willing to support this important program. Check out the "Meandering Circle," "Damask," and "Cinnamon Swirl stitch designs in those quilts pictured here.



These comfort quilts and others will be distributed soon to a medical facility in the Boston area for men and women undergoing chemotherapy treatments and children facing hardship who are living in shelters.

Finally, a special word of appreciation to Kathleen "Kace" Wilson of Milton who trekked all the way to Sherborn for the quilt-a-thon. Kace coordinates the donation of teddy bears, pillowcases, toddler blankets and quilts of all sizes created by The Proper Bostonian Quilters Guild to men, women and children in need. She donated four of her own quilt creations this day to support The Power of the Quilt Project. Kace is pictured here "free motion" stitching one of her quilts during the eight-hour event.


If you're interested in participating at an upcoming quilt-a-thon, contact PQP Coordinator Diane McNamara at dimcnamara@verizon.net.

Volunteers of all ages and skill levels are welcome. There are plenty of tasks that don't require sewing or quilting!

If you are a quilter, please bring your sewing machine. Our day usually begins at 9 a.m. and runs to 4 p.m., and light refreshments are always served. Come for as long as you are able, even an hour commitment will help!

The next quilt-a-thon community service event is tentatively planned for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Monday, January 15, 2018.

Happy Sewing!





Monday, September 18, 2017

FALL UUAC QUILT-A-THON DATE: SAT., NOV. 11


MARK YOUR CALENDARS ...

If you love being part of a group working in unity for a wonderful cause, enjoy sewing and love fabrics, please join The Power of the Quilt Project fall quilt-a-thon on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at the Unitarian Universalist Area Church in Sherborn. We will meet in Alliance Hall on the lower level, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Join us for all or part of the day. There is plenty of free parking.

All ages and skill levels are welcome!

We welcome volunteers who enjoy sorting, color coordinating, measuring and cutting fabrics, making up take-home quilt kits, sewing and sandwiching quilt tops, hand-sewing project labels and more.

Light refreshments are provided, from breakfast coffee and muffins to luncheon treats.

Elizabeth Simpson assists in hand-tying a quilt.


A MOMENT OF THANKS AND AN INTRODUCTION ...

Special thanks to Cris Crawford who has devoted the past several years to coordinating The Power of the Quilt Project program. She has now passed the baton on. Diane McNamara, also an active UUAC member who has served the Justice Ministries well and a quilter, has now taken on the coordinator role.

If you have questions about the upcoming event, email Diane at dimcnamara@verizon.net.

On behalf of Diane and Cris, we look forward to seeing you then!










Saturday, April 8, 2017

Our Spring Fling Quilt-a-thon



Today, a dozen volunteer sewers and quilters enjoyed gathering at The Power of the Quilt Project Spring Quilt-a-thon to machine sew quilt tops, hand sew labels on finished comfort quilts and sort, measure and cut colorful, coordinated fabrics to make nearly 40 quilt top kits.


Susan and Catherine spent the day making kits.

At day's end, four comfort quilts were finalized, 16 more were readied for the finishing touch which will be adding a PQP label and five quilt tops were sandwiched and readied for Longarm quilting by Creative Longarm Partners of Marlborough who are generously donating their services to this good cause.

As folks know who read this blog regularly, all completed quilts are delivered to the infusion unit of a Boston-based medical center to be enjoyed by individuals who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments. These colorful, creative works of art, sewn with love and caring, are greatly appreciated by the recipients.
SAVE THE DATE!

Our next quilt-a-thon is scheduled for Saturday, October 28, 2017
. We welcome volunteers of all abilities and ages. If you enjoy making charity quilts and fellowship with some wonderful people, please join us!

Fun, laughter, food and refreshments are always part of our 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. day.

For more information about the Project or the next quilt-a-thon, contact Cris Crawford, coordinator of The Power of the Quilt Project at cris@theworld.com.




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Longarm, Big Heart



Kate and Tom Wellen opened Creative Longarm Partners as a home-based studio in Marlborough, Mass. in 2015, and as a two-person team, they can provide fast turnaround and professional design services.

Kate has been sewing and quilting for more than 50 years. Her passion for sewing shows in the quality and creativity of every item she touches. Her husband and co-owner, Tom, is a retired financial officer who now enjoys being a professional Gammill Statler Stitcher quilter.

"We offer hundreds of stitch designs," Tom said, "and each pattern can result in 30,000 to nearly 70,000 stitches per quilt. These designs add a kind of 3-D quality to any piece that makes the final product even more special."


Kate and Tom Wellen of Creative Longarm Partners are happy to help.



Together, they will customize designs and tweak stitch patterns to get just the right finishing touch for your special project.

A close-up of Tom's handiwork (Ocean Waves) on one comfort quilt.


Kate and Tom also believe in giving back to the community when they can. Recently, the couple learned about The Power of the Quilt Project, sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Area Church, First Parish in Sherborn and offered to Longarm two to three quilts each month at no charge.

"If quilters are donating their time and talent to such a good cause, we're happy to help with that," Kate added, after learning that the Project donates handmade comfort quilts yearlong to individuals undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

"We are grateful for the support of Creative Longarm Partners and the generosity of co-owners Kate and Tom Wellen," Cris Crawford, The Power of the Quilt Project coordinator remarked. "This partnership is very meaningful and we welcome it."

To learn more about the many services of Creative Longarm Partners, visit the company's website at www.creativelongarmpartners.com. To schedule an appointment for their professional quilting services, call 508-451-0749.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

With Joyful Hearts


Many thanks to the 15 volunteers who joined us yesterday at the annual MLK Day community service quilt-a-thon from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Area Church, First Parish of Sherborn.

  • 7 colorful quilt tops were created
  • 14 comfort quilts were finished and PQP labels hand sewn on each
  • Quilts will be delivered to the infusion unit at a Boston-based medical center in the weeks ahead by project member Sally Demler.
  • Some quilts will go to Project Linus for young children facing hardship who are staying in hospitals and shelters.
  • Our youngest volunteer, (almost 10-year-old) Hadley Cohen (see below) learned some quilting how to tips from mentor Helen Sicotte who has been with the project since its inception.

Young Hadley, an accomplished sewer in her own right, was excited to learn so many new things and thoroughly enjoyed color coordinating bright materials with her kitten-themed fabric squares. She plans to finish her first quilt top at the April 8 spring quilt-a-thon.



Many of our MLK Day volunteers.

Helen Sicotte at left in the yellow fleece has been a member of
The Power of the Quilt Project since its inception in 2003.
She teaches quilting at a nearly senior center and enjoys helping mentor beginners of all ages.


Hadley and her mom, Sarah. 

Beginning the fun process of piecing colorful squares together.



Talented fabric artist, Tobi Hoffman, shows off this amazing
"10-minute block" quilt top created during the quilt-a-thon.


Elizabeth Simpson, also a longtime PQP volunteer works
at hand tying a quilt top.


NOTE:
MARK YOUR CALENDARS

APRIL 8, 2017
NEXT QUILT-A-THON

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (lunch provided!)
AT THE UUAC IN SHERBORN, MASS.

To RSVP, contact PQP Coordinator Cris Crawford at
cris@theworld.com



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

SAVE THE MLK JR HOLIDAY FOR OUR NEXT QUILT-A-THON



JOIN US!

Monday, January 16, 2017, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, is our next scheduled community-service quilt-a-thon.

It will be held at Alliance Hall from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Area Church, First Parish in Sherborn, 11 Washington Street, Sherborn, Mass.

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

For those who can, please bring your sewing machine.