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Quilting for friendship and a cure for Alzheimer’s

By: Country Meadows |

It’s been said that quilts are like friends—a great source of comfort.

At Country Meadows of York-South, six residents led by Community Life Associate Diana Kistler, spent six years working on a colorful pinwheel quilt. Finally complete, they are selling the custom quilt to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association to fund research to find a cure.

Six residents at Country Meadows of York-South, spent six years creating a colorful custom pinwheel quilt. The group decided to sell the quilt to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

The project began when a new resident, Emma Statella, who had made many quilts during her lifetime, moved to Country Meadows. “When Emma first moved in, she didn’t come out of her room very often. Her daughter suggested we work on a quilt. It helped. It provided a purpose for her to come out of her room,” says Kistler.

Click here to watch a video of the group working on the quilt.

Kistler realized that quilting together would provide residents who once enjoyed sewing with an opportunity to get to know each other. She recruited Statella to teach them how to make “pinwheel” sections for the quilt design by cutting fabric circles, sewing two circles together and joining them to make the quilt. The quilters then sewed the pinwheels together.

“I like this, and it’s good for me,” says resident Liz Tomlinson. “My daughter says to keep doing things like this to keep your mind alert.”

Residents made 2,250 pinwheels all sewn together to create a beautiful and colorful custom quilt.

Fellow resident Joan Molesworth, agrees. “It gives you something other to do than watch television. Keep as active as you can be, that’s the main thing. Don’t’ just sit in your room and do nothing.”

Molesworth even got her husband involved in the quilting project. “He threaded the needles for us,” she says, continuing, “He threaded many, many needles and I knotted and wrapped them.”

In addition to creating a beautiful custom quilt, the group also created beautiful friendships.

Country Meadows residents gather to sew pinwheels to create a custom quilt.

According to Statella, “We are different ages, come from different background and we all became very good friends.”

“We’d sit, we’d sew, we’d talk and play music,” shares Kistler. “It was a way to get to know each other and work together. It was really cool.”

After six years, the quilt is finally complete. It features 2,250 handmade pinwheels sewed to a cotton-rich 420 thread count fabric and measures 7’2″ by 8’4″.

There is a superstition among quilters that the first person who sleeps under a new quilt will have his or her dreams come true. The quilting group’s dream is for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. As the group pondered what to do with the finished quilt, Kistler suggested selling it for charity.

“I feel very passionate about the Alzheimer’s Association,” she says, adding, “We need all of the testing and resources that we can get fight this terrible disease.”

Deb Beaverson, seven-year co-worker at Country Meadows of Leader Heights, submitted the winning bid of $525. Left to right: Quilter Liz Tomlinson, Deb Beaverson, quilter Beatrice Roth, quilt leader and co-worker Diana Kistler.

The group agreed and chose to sell their labor of love to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association to support Alzheimer’s research via an online silent auction. Deb Beaverson, a seven-year co-worker at the Leader Heights campus, submitted the winning bid of $525. Her grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease and she took care of her. She says supporting Alzheimer’s research is a cause very near and dear to her heart. The ladies agree that auctioning their six-year project to benefit a worthy organization makes them happy.

Molesworth notes, “If you’re not happy, then you can’t make someone smile.”



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