“Each quilt should have a variety of distinct textures, such as corduroy, flannel, terrycloth, satin, cotton – the more textures, the better.” Anna Maendel, a teacher at Fairholme Colony instructed. She had come to Elm River last winter to tell us about the quilt project after learning about it at a Special Area Groups (SAG) conference in Winnipeg.
Thinking this an ideal project for Hutterites for a number of reasons, she decided to pursue it. Since Hutterites are avid sewers, there are always lots of leftover pieces around that are just too good to throw out. What better way to use them, than in quilts! Furthermore, we were in the middle of winter, where there’s more time for indoor activities like sewing. There’s just something warm and cosy about a few women getting together to create quilts with the wind howling a sub-zero song outside. Most importantly though, this is a very worthwhile project and would benefit residents of senior's homes for many years.
Many families were involved with this special project, either sewing or contributing material. “I’m so happy that I’ve finally found a way to use those little pieces that keep piling up!” One mother told us enthusiastically. “Of course, I can’t just throw them out.”
This was a project where all ages can be involved; one little girl diligently stacked and sorted the pieces. “I have a dress like this!” she informed my sister, Shirley, an avid quilter sewing nearby. “And this one is like the quilt on my bed.”
“When you’re done, bring the quilts to the living room and I will sew on the buttons,” My mom offered, not allowing the ‘grandmother’ label to slow her down much or stop her from offering her own well-practiced touch. Buttons, thick yarn or even little zippers can be added to the quilts; as seniors enjoy fidgeting with things like that.
After sewing for more than two months last winter, it was extremely gratifying to see a stack of 250 simple, still beautifully pieced lap quilts which the Alzheimer Society than distributed to local senior homes. Just recently we received thank you notes from Lion’s Prairie Manor and The Douglas Campbell Lodge, both in Portage and Third Crossing Manor in Gladstone, expressing their heartfelt gratitude: “Thank you for participating in this project. You have enhanced the quality of life and brought smiles to the faces of those who received these lovely quilts.”
This is an ongoing project. Should you be interested in helping to sew quilts, you may contact the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba, who always gratefully accept vulunteers. email@example.com
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.