For a family here in East Tennessee, retirement is no reason to rest easy. They keep their hands busy making blankets: Blankets of Luv.
Pearl Masser creates blankets on her mother's 1940 sewing machine.
"I've been sewing for 70 years. I just love doing it. I can't imagine now that when I was eight that I could do that treadle," she said.
She loves to sew.
"I can't just sit down and watch TV. I have to do something," she said.
After she retired in Maryland, Pearl Masser made blankets for a Christian group that shipped blankets around the world.
Then she moved to Powell and started her own handmade blanket giveaway effort.
"I love making blankets and I love people so I just called it Blankets of Luv. L-U-V," she said.
Her Blankets of Luv include quilts with fabrics for men, women and kids. Her fleece blankets are warm so she gives them to cancer patients who are often cold.
"It just warms people's hearts. And it's good for me. It's good for my mind," she said.
Pearl puts in 35 to 40 hours a week on the quilts. Her daughter, Jeanette Warkentin, also helps. She ties knots on the blankets and prepares squares of fabric for Pearl to sew together.
"I've always liked tying the blankets. And making people feel warm and happy with these blankets," Jeanette said.
They are part of an outreach ministry at Wallace Memorial Church where their role is distributing their blankets to the poor, the sick and the elderly.
"Mom was giving a lady in a wheelchair a blanket and she really was excited to see the blanket and happy," Jeanette said.
Pearl also gives them away spontaneously at stores or wherever she sees someone in need.
"My mother was there in a nursing home and this lady was there in a wheelchair with her family. I usually carry one with me and so I just gave it to her and in a couple of weeks I get a thank you and I thought now who is this and then I remember," Pearl said.
She's earned plenty of ribbons for her quilts and even received the President's Volunteer Service Award for the thousands of hours she has dedicated to sewing for strangers.
But her real reward is the grateful smiles of those warmed by these handmade Blankets of Luv.
"I'm not going to quit. You just keep going. You sew a little bit and then you start to feel better," she said.
© 2017 WBIR.COM