North Carolina quilt creators support communities all over the world with thousands of blanket donations, according to MaryAnn Bufalini, one of the about 200 members of the Durham-Orange Quilters Guild.
She said quilters show their support through hours of cutting, sewing and thinking of those in need, such as those affected by tragic events like the attacks on 9/11 and the nuclear accident in Fukushima.
"There are unspoken people in the communities all around you whose heart and soul are with you, even though you might not know it," she said.
Bufalini has been quilting since she was 12-years-old. What started out as a hobby snowballed into a side business that allowed her to show off her creativity.
She has found community in the Durham-Orange Quilters Guild ever since.
"I hadn't missed a meeting, probably not more than two or three in 16 years," she said. "It just is in my heart and soul."
She found her niche creating memory quilts, which are made from collections of old baby clothing or t-shirts. Along with making several quilts for her grandchildren, Bufalini commissions them for customers who hear about her through word of mouth.
Patty Dudek, the treasurer of the Triangle chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild, said there is a lot of thoughtfulness that goes into creating a quilt.
"If anybody gives you a quilt as a gift, you should feel like you're getting a hug from them because they spent an enormous amount of hours sewing that quilt," Dudek said.