Saturday, January 23, 2021




Eleven volunteers from six communities recently 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 event was organized by 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.”

Folks logged in at 10 a.m. and dedicated the next five hours to cutting fabrics, making quilt tops, and sandwiching and tying quilts by hand.

“I don’t quilt,” said Susan Weaver of Hopkinton, Mass., “but I can sew, and I like to help. Cris taught me how to stitch together a continuous train of 2.5” 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 Sally Demler of Sherborn, a longtime UUAC member and fellow PQP participant. Demler 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 Mass.

“Every four or five weeks, I make the trip,” said Demler. “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, which began about 15 years ago, 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.

Cris Crawford, pictured here in her sewing studio on MLK Day, 
taught fellow participants an easy way to bind a quilt. Cris organized the first virtual winter quilt-a-thon event Jan 18.

Each lap robe is about 42” by 64” 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 because of the pandemic, quilt-a-thons will continue to be held regularly, until it is safe to meet in person. If you are interested in participating, contact Cris Crawford at To find out more about the Power of the Quilt Project or make a donation to help buy supplies, visit

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

PQP Virtual Quilt-a-thon on Monday, Jan. 18

Join us on Martin Luther King Day, MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2021 for the UUAC's inaugural virtual PQP Quilt-a-thon on Zoom.

Volunteers from surrounding communities will work on existing quilt tops, create quilt kits, and label finished comfort quilts that will, as always, be distributed to men, women, and children undergoing chemotherapy treatments in area hospitals


Bring a smile to someone living with cancer.

To RSVP for this event and receive the link for this event via Zoom, email event organizer Cris Crawford at

Monday, November 11, 2019

JOIN US for the WINTER Quilt-a-thon: MON., JAN. 20


Before I chat about the Fall Quilt-a-thon sponsored by The Power of the Quilt Project at the Unitarian Universalist Area Church in Sherborn, Mass., I wanted to ask that you mark your calendars for the MLK holiday in January which marks our next gathering.

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome! 

We simply ask that you RSVP to Project Coordinator Diane McNamara at, so she will know how many folks to expect for lunch!

Now, on to our event held November 9th!

Thank you to our hard-working volunteers who are adding 
the PQP label to finish each comfort quilt.

Nine volunteers joined in for the day, busily crafting quilt tops, checking their composition on our makeshift "Design Wall" and sandwiching and hand-tying some of the finished tops.

A reporter from The Hometown Weekly News joined us for over an hour and delighted in interviewing folks as to their involvement and what it means to them. For many, the response was "the fellowship experienced" and "the worthiness of the mission." This news outlet has been good to us and the editor calls our event, "the quintessential community news we like to cover."

Eleven (11) colorful lap robes were machine stitched at home by various volunteers and brought in for labeling. Five quilts will be hung in the Church's Sanctuary, after all of them have been blessed.

Claire Morrone of Walpole joined us and created a quilt top 
from one of our kits. Like many, she's a seasoned quilter who loves sewing 
just about every day!!
Fun Fact: Claire is Diane's sister!!!

Diane made an amazing harvest vegetable soup for our lunch and had a delightful array of cheese, crackers, breads and spreads for us. Dessert, too! Everyone enjoyed sharing stories around the Church's kitchen table.

There's not much better than gathering with a wonderful group of caring people who pour their hearts into creating quilts of joy for others who are undergoing difficult challenges.

Monday, July 29, 2019

2019 Annual Report

The Power of the Quilt - 2019 Annual Report

“I am writing to say thank you so much for my beautiful quilt that was given me on my 4th chemotherapy treatment. What a wonderful way to say to so many of us in treatment that you care. God bless all of you angels. 
Always, Grace.”

A modest donation was inside the card with this note. This is just one acknowledgement The Power of the Quilt Project received this year, and it makes all the hours put into the Project worthwhile.

We held three Quilt-a-thons this year—November, January and March, as well as a summer “Kit-Making Party,” with about 35 people participating onsite. Many more quilts are completed in participants’ homes, and the POQ “angels” include those who regularly show up with armfuls of beautiful comfort quilts needing only to be labeled.

We completed 66 quilts, several of which were given to UUAC members and friends for gifting to the too-many loved ones we know who are battling cancer.

I would like to thank all the helpers—the quilters, cutters, finishers, sandwichers, labelers and fabric donors. A special shout-out to Deborah Burke Henderson for her PR work, Karen Conca for handling lunches, Cris Crawford for her incomparable quilting expertise and Sally Demler for distributing quilts at the infusion center while spreading good cheer on behalf of the POQ.

                                                                                -Diane McNamara, POQ Coordinator

Sunday, March 17, 2019


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

Keep your eyes posted for upcoming dates!!!

Happy Sewing.

Monday, January 21, 2019


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!


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.


To RSVP, contact Diane McNamara by email:

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

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 

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 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!


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 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
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!