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
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.


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

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



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.


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

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.

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

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 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.


APRIL 8, 2017

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (lunch provided!)

To RSVP, contact PQP Coordinator Cris Crawford at

Wednesday, December 21, 2016



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.

Monday, November 21, 2016


Twelve volunteers from six different communities gathered together on Saturday, November 5th, for an all-day quilt-a-thon.

As always, the results were amazing!

Nine colorful quilts were finished, carrying The Power of the Quilt Project label.

Several others were taken home by volunteers to hand-sew the binding and machine-stitch the quilts. These will be returned at the January 16, 2017 quilt-a-thon, held on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, and will receive a hand-sewn PQP label as the finishing touch.

UUAC member Barbie Breer has been part of
this project since its inception in 2003.

PQP Coordinator Cris Crawford
Joanne Beaupre loves to sew.

Several of the quilters are also members of the Rhododendron Needlers Quilt Guild, a joint partner of The Power of the Quilt Project.

The Power of the Quilt Project is one of the many service and justice ministries of the Unitarian Universalist Area Church, First Parish in Sherborn, Mass.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

SAVE THE DATE for our FALL QUILT-A-THON - Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mark your calendars now, and plan to join us on Saturday, November 5th for the next Power of the Quilt Project Quilt-a-thon.

Stay all day or for as long as you wish!

Time:       9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Lunch and refreshments provided!

Location:  Unitarian Universalist Area Church, First Parish in Sherborn
                11 Washington Street, Sherborn, MA 01770
                Plenty of parking.

This is a great service project and quilters of all ages and abilities are invited.

Even if you've never quilted before, there will be hand-sewing tasks to be completed, ensuring each finished quilt bears a Power of the Quilt Project label.

Cris Crawford and Sally Demler show off some of the quilts recently distributed to patients undergoing chemotherapy in the Greater Boston and Metrowest areas.

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Touching Moment

I had the honor of delivering one of the Power of the Quilt Project's lap robes to a dear friend this summer. This was a new experience for me.

I've known him for most of my life - so that's about 50 years or so now - and he is married to my very best friend.

Cris Crawford, our PQP coordinator, selected a handsome navy blue, white, and gold lap robe that was beautifully made. It just so happened that I had been part of the "pinning" group when the backing material was added. The material was dark, with a whimsical series of Betty Boop cartoons in white all over. Betty was on a motorcycle, Betty was driving in an old car, Betty was up to all kinds of shinanigans in this print!

Betty Boop happened to be my mother's favorite cartoon character, and my friend enjoyed my mother a lot over the years. He also used to ride a motorcycle and loves old cars. I felt sure that this quilt would bring a smile his way, despite all that he is going through, living with cancer.

Because I had helped make this quilt (granted, in an incredibly small way), I was eager to deliver it to my friend at his home.

He was moved beyond words.

That's all I can say. He loved it ,and he loves that the church is involved in this special ministry, providing people like him with such an incredibly amazing personal gift - bringing a smile to his face, joy to his heart, and a tear to his eye.

I don't know who created the majority of this quilt, but if you're reading this blog, and it sounds familiar, thank you for your work of art. A labor of love, I know.

You may never know the impact of your gift, but rest assured, an impact is made!

God bless the quilters involved in this program, for they are bringing joy to others through their service work.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring Quilt-A-Thon a Success!

In total, 17 volunteers from surrounding communities gathered together for the recent Power of the Quilt Project (PQP) all-day spring quilt-a-thon held at the Unitarian Universalist Area Church in Sherborn, Mass. 

Natick Girl Scout Leader Christine Schell arranged for several Scouts to participate. Pictured below (l to r) are Schell with Chelsea Eaton, Savannah Kaltofen and Z Peverill-Conti. (Not pictured: Scout Ellie Schelleng)

Natick Girl Scouts learn how to build quilt kits during the spring
quilt-a-thon as part of their Fiber Arts Merit Badge.

Each quilt - a unique work of art.

Each of 20 quilts was hand-finished with the cloth label that describes the project as a joint partnership between the UUAC and the Rhododendron Needlers Quilt Guild of Walpole. 

Afterwards, a sampling of the completed quilts was hung for a week’s display in the church sanctuary.

PQP Coordinator Cris Crawford gets in some machine time.

Since the Power of the Quilt Project’s inception in 2003, 2,120 colorful quilts have been assembled and disseminated to individuals undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Donna Allen shows us this quilt's colorful design.

A quilt is a tangible connection from the giver to the recipient which says he or she is a person worth caring for. The power of this caring can provide hope during a scary and lonely time. Even quilt recipients who are part of a large community of friends and family members find peace and comfort snuggled up with a homemade quilt.

Thanks to everyone who shared the day with us! 

Quilt on!!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Most Recent Comfort Quilt Donation

Pictured below are Cris Crawford, coordinator of the Power of the Quilt Project at the Unitarian Universalist Area Church, First Parish in Sherborn, along with Sally Demler, holding two of the recently-finished comfort quilts. Twelve cheerful-looking cozy quilts were donated in early March to the Harvard Vanguard Cancer Treatment Center in Kenmore Square, Boston. 

We know these lovely quilts will be enjoyed by the men and women there who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Sally is also the leader of the Yarn Spinners, a group of volunteers who meet monthly at the church to knit and crochet baby caps and blankets for children facing hardship. The unique items created by this group are distributed regularly through Project Linus.

Cris and Sally love showing off everyone's handiwork!