Sunday, March 3

Palm Beach County group donates dozens of quilts to patients at Delray Medical Center

A group of ladies in Palm Beach County is spending their time giving back to the community in a very special way.

They’ve donated hundreds of quilts to people who need to feel the warmth and comfort these colorful blankets provide, including patients at Delray Medical Center’s Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital.

They delivered about 40 of the handmade quilts Monday morning.

The organization donating them, Quilt Guild by the Sea, is made up of dozens of people who want to give back. They use scraps of fabric to compose beautiful, intricate, and unique pieces. They call them hugs made of fabric.

“We are painting with fabric,” Maureen Drudi, who’s been with the guild for decades said. “That’s what we like to call our quilting.”

They create the guilds in an assembly-line style of crafting. Drudi puts the finishing touches on them while helping out the other women behind the sewing machines and swimming in scraps of fabric of endless colors.

“They need their fabric. They need their thread,” Drudi said. “They need their bedding. They need patterns.”

Making the quilts is just as special as the moment when someone who needs the warmth it provides receives the carefully-crafted cover.

“I do a little bit of thinking about who might be receiving it,” Drudi said. “We do hope that our quilts bring comfort. That’s the main thing we do.”

The doctors and therapists caring for these patients also see the benefits of these hugs made from fabric.

“You’re here in the hospital and in a moment’s notice, the world comes down on them,” occupational therapist John Mandile said. “To actually have this handmade quilt, it’s like a hug. People are comfortable, and then they have more drive to get better and its very nice.”

For the ladies of the guild, it’s also a way to keep going one stitch at a time.

“Sometimes we’ve been in that situation, we may have received something that was comforting, so to be able to return that, and be able to take our passion, which is quilting and use it for something like this that can help other people,” Drudi said. “It’s why we do it.”

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