NORTHBOROUGH – A Northborough-based quilting group gathered in February to collect and donate over 30 quilts to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and pediatric unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.
Members filed into the meeting room one by one, each bringing a collection of beautiful, unique, and intricate quilts. Once all of the quilts had been collected in the center of the room, the group cheered and admired each one’s design. No quilt was left uncomplemented.
The group, which has roughly 20 members, came up with the idea to donate to the hospital last year. After months of work, the group will donate 30 quilts, each of which took 20 or more hours to create.
“I brought in the idea of doing UMass pediatrics because one of my sons was a junior in high school and was diagnosed with bone cancer, and we spent nine months at UMass,” group member Pat Link told the Community Advocate.
“We wanted to keep it local. For us, we’ve all used the services at UMass for one thing or another,” Terry Crean added.
The group donated the quilts in part to make the community aware of a worthwhile opportunity to make a difference in the local community.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize that you can donate to the hospitals,” group member Amy Graham said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be a group, you can just make a couple of quilts and take them in.”
“I feel strongly that small acts of kindness make a big difference, and we may never understand the ripple effect, but I think that it’s important to do [them],” Crean said.
A community forms
Though the group primarily focuses on creating quilts, they have also formed a tight-knit community.
“One of the wonderful things about a quilting community is how it brings people together from different backgrounds and different levels of experience. We can all share this love of quilting… and then we all find out other things we have in common,” said Crean.
Group members credited Crean with starting the group and creating a welcoming atmosphere for new members.
“Terry is, I like to say, the binding that holds us all together… she’s the one that started it and has graciously invited all of us in, and we invited other people in,” Link mentioned.
For some, like Linda Lauretano, quilting has created a new sense of community.
“To me, it’s marvelous,” she said. “When I moved into town, I didn’t know anybody. So, it was great to be around really nice people.”
The group members share countless laughs and conversations, each excited to both help the community and spend a morning among friends.
Members of the quilting group, all of whom contributed toward the quilting donation, include Jan Brown, Terry Crean, Patricia Cumming, Kathy Daly, Lynn DeAngelis, Barbara Durand, Lisa Ferguson, Amy Graham, Jodi Jones, Linda Lauretano, Pat Link, Wanda Moody, Wendy Morrison, and Sara Schiavi.
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