WESTFIELD – The First Congregational Church, at its recent “Candy Cane Fair”, named Westfield resident Joan Minicucci as the first “Honored Quilter” at its third annual Quilt Exhibit. Joan started making quilts in 1979 as a way to use up her sewing scraps. After 32 years and more than 50 quilts, her scraps haven’t been used up. Instead of one plastic bin full of fabrics, she now has a roomful of fabrics, quilting gadgets, gizmos, “gotta haves” and UFO’s (unfinished objects). Since retiring, she has completed many of her UFO’s, but has more to go.Her quilts are meant to be used and loved, not heirlooms to be hung on the wall. If they are dragged around, worn out and need repair, that’s okay. She has plenty of fabric to make the repairs!Several years ago, she decided to make all seven of her grandchildren a bed-size quilt since they had all outgrown their crib quilts. Two of the quilts have gone to college and one to prep school. She was happy to see her quilt on her grandson’s bed in his dorm room when she visited his school. One of her current projects is a “tee shirt” quilt for her granddaughter Meagan and will head to college with her. She has not finished making kid quilts as a new granddaughter Anna arrived in April 2011. She is already gathering fabric for her “big bed quilt.”Joan is an active member of the Pioneer Valley Quilt Guild and one of their projects is called “Quilts from the Heart”, which is making quilts for anyone in need of a warm hug with a quilt. The quilts are given to young cancer patients, veterans, and victims of disasters. She enjoys being a part of this group. Her favorite description of quilts is “Quilts are like angel wings; soft, fluffy and filled with love.” Quilts are also called “blankets of love” which she hopes hers are. She has tried many crafts but quilting is her favorite.Quilts exhibited by Jo Smith, Michael Stefanik in memory of his wife Donna, and Ruth LaPrise were also recognized as prize winners in the Church’s Quilt Exhibit.