You probably think of quilting as something folks in your grandmother or great-grandmother's time did in order to keep their families warm. They sat around a large wooden frame for hours sewing by hand.
One local group of women keeps the tradition alive hoping to add a little healing in each stitch. Members of the Bonnie Hunter Quilting Club meet once a month at Mary's Quilt Shop in Bedford. They set up a sort of assembly line and crank out more than 200 scrappy quilts a year.
They work with scraps of cloth they've brought in and material left over from other projects at the quilt shop. Scrappy doesn't mean scruffy. The beautiful coverings could go for big bucks, but the quilters don't sell their creations, they give them away.
Quilt Shop Owner Mary Koval says, "we're thinking about the people we're making them for, even though we don't know who they are."
Quilter Bonnie Doran adds,"so many times we're touched by cancer or by tragedy,if not ourselves, someone in our family or friends and we do this to help out."
A large pile of colorful quilts is headed for UPMC Altoona, where each one will comfort a cancer patient going through chemotherapy.
Forty-eight-year-old Lori Keller of Sinking Valley, Blair County, calls her new quilt a pick me up. "It's awful special, awful special, makes me feel like we live in a good world," she says.
While it's not as good as having her children around her, Lori , who's fighting breast cancer says having the quilt makes her feel like she's home.
That's more than enough thanks for the ladies who made it for her. Koval says,"we make quilts and give it to them so that they're comforted and kept warm."
One of these quilters has a daughter who works at UPMC Altoona and through her daughter, the group offered to make quilts for cancer patients. The club also gives quilts to police and firefighters to comfort children in bad situations.