Inspired Service

Deborah Burke Henderson, Contributing Writer
Charity quilt-a-thon brings joy to those who give and those who receive
At the MLK Day charity quilt-a-thon, Helen Sicotte (at right) and newcomer Cindy Levine happily hand-sewed project labels to completed comfort quilts that will be distributed later to a Boston-based infusion unit. (Photo/Deborah Burke Henderson)
Issue Date: 
March, 2019
Article Body: 

Despite the chilly temperatures and icy roads, eight women, including Natick residents Cindy Levine and Helen Sicotte, gathered together to work on and create handmade comfort quilts at The Power of the Quilt Project’s annual MLK Day of community service quilt-a-thon at the Unitarian Universalist Area Church, First Parish of Sherborn.
“I have so many friends who have been touched in one way or another by cancer,” Levine said, “and today is the perfect inspiration for community service.”

Over the course of the day, volunteers machine-stitched four quilt tops, measured and cut fabric for “take-home” kits, hand-tied quilts that had been “sandwiched” with batting and a cozy flannel backing and hand-sewed project labels to the 11 colorful lap-robe-sized quilts that had been made previously at home.
Throughout the day, volunteers commented about the meaningfulness of the project’s mission and shared how much they enjoyed the fellowship experienced during this community service event. They are eager to participate again at the spring quilt-a-thon to be held on Saturday, March 16, 2019, National Quilting Day.
The completed quilts are blessed during Sunday worship and will be immediately distributed to men and women undergoing chemotherapy treatments at a Boston-based medical center. “The nurse at the medical facility enjoys matching the right quilt and recipient, based on colors, interests and designs,” Project Coordinator Diane McNamara noted.
The Power of the Quilt Project, first established in 2003, is one of the UUAC’s many service and justice ministries. Volunteers of all skill levels are welcomed. The work of volunteer piecers and quilters from area towns contribute to making more than 100 comfort quilts for distribution annually. Quilts with animal-themed or youth-oriented fabrics are created especially for Project Linus to bring warmth and comfort to young children facing hardship who are staying in hospitals or shelters.
“I lost a friend to breast cancer years ago,” Helen Sicotte said. “She was a quilter, and I brought her unused fabrics here when the Project was just up and running. It’s such a worthy cause.”
To RSVP for the March 16 quilt-a-thon, contact The Power of the Quilt Project Coordinator Diane McNamara at [email protected]. For more information about the project and to see volunteers in action, visit the PQP blog at