Guild donates handmade quilts to High Point chemo patients

Sep. 01, 2013 @ 01:00 AM

Doris Wedin has been sewing for most of her 75 years, but few of her projects have been as rewarding as the 26 quilts she’s donated to High Point cancer patients over the past year.
The quilts — which she calls “the chemo quilts” — are given to patients who receive chemotherapy treatments at High Point Regional Health System’s Hayworth Cancer Center, to help them combat the coldness that is a common side effect during their treatments. Wedin’s skillfully made quilts could probably sell for big bucks elsewhere, but the High Point woman says she’d rather give them away than sell them.
“Pay for the chemo quilts comes in satisfaction,” she says.
The chemo quilts are a project of the High Point Quilt Guild, a
1½-year-old organization devoted to the art of quilting. Since the guild began its chemo quilt project last summer, the group has donated more than 120 handmade quilts to High Point-area chemo patients — and more quilts are in the works.
“We started looking for a local charity last summer, and the cancer center was very receptive when I contacted them,” recalls project organizer Lisa Wagner. “In November, we made our first delivery of 33 quilts, and it went over very well. Our next delivery (in March) was 31 quilts. We were doing so many that now we make monthly deliveries.”
Just this past week, the guild delivered a dozen more quilts to the cancer center.
“Our patients are so honored to get these beautiful quilts,” says Jodi Dixon, oncology service line manager at the cancer center. “This is just a really special thing we’ve been able to do for them, and they’ve been very well-received.”
According to Dixon, the quilts are presented to newly diagnosed patients during their first chemo treatment, so they’ll have it to use throughout their treatments.
“They’re wonderful because a lot of patients will get kind of cold during their chemo treatment,” Dixon says. “Of course, we have warm blankets for them, but they like their quilts better.”
Each patient also receives a handmade bag for carrying his or her quilt. The bag is embroidered with “High Point Quilt Guild.”
For the members of the guild, the project is an opportunity to do something they love and make a positive difference in the community at the same time.
“We get a lot of satisfaction from this,” Wagner says. “Everybody has had cancer touch them one way or another — both of my parents died from cancer — and we just feel like this is something we can do as a group to give something back to the community.”
The group has had numerous people donate fabric for the quilts, as well as countless “orphan blocks,” which are leftover quilt blocks that didn’t make it into a quilt project for one reason or another.
Doris Wedin, who’s now busy working on her 27th chemo quilt, says making the quilts gives her a personal sense of satisfaction, knowing she’s helping one of her High Point neighbors.
“It’s a labor of love,” she says. “You’re doing it because you know it’s going to bless people.”
jtomlin@hpe.com | 888-3579