If you go
What: Community quilting project
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Colorado State University Extension Office, 539 Barclay St.
• Participants must bring their own sewing machines and quilting kits
• For more information, call 824-5219
Craig As Linda Pinnt walks through the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association offices in Craig, she points out samples of her handiwork.
Miniature quilts she's sewn, sporting vivid colors and multi-patterned swatches, stand out among the cubicles like tropical flowers.
"I'm a fanatic," Pinnt said, referring to her quilts as she weaved her way through the desks to her office. "They get used to it around here."
Recently, though, one color has taken precedence in Pinnt's mind.
Pinnt's recent projects bear various hues of pink in honor of Yampa Valley residents fighting a specific kind of cancer. She creates the blankets, which she calls "comfort quilts," and delivers them to area breast cancer patients.
Quilting became a part of Pinnt's life after her mother's death about 20 years ago when she discovered her mother's fabric cache. Her mother intended to sew the cloth collection into a quilt.
Pinnt remembered thinking, "This has got to be finished."
Since then, she's sewn her own quilts, and through a class she teaches at the Colorado Northwestern Community College's Craig campus helps others complete knitting, sewing and crocheting projects.
When breast cancer hit home for Pinnt last year, she decided to take her art into a different vein.
Her son's companion, Steph Bratton, was diagnosed with the disease last year. Her son, Travis, asked her to make a pink quilt for Bratton to symbolize her battle against breast cancer.
Pinnt accepted, but initially she was at a loss.
"Pink is not one of my colors," she said, adding that she didn't have any pink fabric on hand before she started the project.
So, she asked for help.
She sent a message out to members of an online quilting group, asking them to donate 6-inch swatches of pink fabric for her project.
What she received was a flurry of pink - packages containing swatches in various hues that ranged in size from the requested 6-inch square to 2 yards in length.
Parcels came from across the globe, including Australia, England and Japan. Many included notes of encouragement and hope for Pinnt and Bratton.
"It was like Christmas at my house," she said.
Pinnt made good on her promise and delivered the quilt to Bratton.
Yet, as word spread about her pink handiwork, Pinnt realized her task was not finished.
She soon received another pink quilt request.
To date, she's completed about eight handmade blankets. This weekend, she intends to make more in honor of National Quilting Day.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, residents can join her at the Colorado State University Extension Office at 539 Barclay St. There, she will use donated pink fabric to make more quilts, which she will donate to the Yampa Valley Cancer Center in Steamboat Springs for distribution.
The quilts make a difference, said Jacque Malley, one of Pinnt's co-workers at the VNA.
It's comforting to know "that people from everywhere care about someone who has cancer," she added.
She knows first-hand.
Shortly after being diagnosed with breast cancer last March, Malley received a quilt from Pinnt. She carried it with her into her radiation treatments.
"It's just enough," Malley said.
Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org