Tamaqua quilters spread warmth
KATHY KUNKEL/TIMES NEWS "The Needlebugs" of Tamaqua hurry to finish their latest lap quilt in order to present it to Salvation Army worker Esther Stofocik, who is scheduled to undergo knee surgery after the holidays. The quilting circle meets every Wednesday at 10 a.m., at 105 W. Broad St., Tamaqua. New quilters are always welcome beginners and experienced sewers alike.
Fun, fellowship and warmth are three key ingredients that go into the making of every lap blanket created by "The Needlebugs."
The dedicated group of women have managed to warm more than three dozen laps this year, each quilt donated to a person in need of some personal warmth.
The group of women, numbering up to 15 some days, meets once a week, Wednesday mornings, at the Tamaqua Salvation Army Community Center, 105 W. Broad St., Tamaqua.
The hum of the sewing machine is overshadowed by the chatter of excited, laughing voices as the ladies get caught up in each other's lives.
News of the world takes a back seat to the antics of grandchildren, children, spouses and friends.
While someone sews together the swatches of material to create a new lap blanket, others are using embroidery floss to knot the completed layers together.
The knotting not only creates a visual treat, it's also designed to keep the layers from separating and the binding from rolling when the quilt is laundered.
Each project starts with donated material, which is cut into uniform six-inch squares. Sometimes, husbands are cajoled into doing the bulky cutting.
With squares in hand, the group turns creative, laying out the blocks in either a specific pattern or hodgepodge design.
The squares are then stitched together, eight squares wide by nine squares long.
The length and width is compatible with wheelchair use. Anything longer or wider could become a hazard instead of a help.
Completed quilts are then donated to local nursing homes, such as St. Luke's Geriatric Center and the Hometown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
While recipients benefit from the added warmth to their bodies, the ladies feel the warmth in their hearts and souls.
For more information, call Judy at (570) 668-3293.