March 18, 2019
Quilting in Richmond
In a quilt the stitching is the glue that holds the different fabrics together, it’s the common thread. Dominion Senior Living in Richmond recently found a common thread among a few residents and Donna Dillman, a resident’s wife in an interest to sew.
Dillman approached Life Enrichment Director, Mariah Smith, with an idea to bring seniors together with a sewing circle. A time for residents to gather and discuss projects they had done in years past, go through a trunk of old patterns, and perhaps, a resident would want to try to use a needle and thread with a piece of fabric.
During the first meeting, residents traced a hexagon template, started cutting fabric, and baste stitching to create pieces for a quilt. Dillman and Smith stood in amazement over the table of quilters, at how quickly each resident picked up a needle and thread and started working on the project; as though they had never stopped sewing. Resident Peggy Brooks stated; “We will have to have a sewing room now, to keep these ladies inspired!”
The quilters reminisced of past gifts they had made, and previous jobs of working in clothing stores. We were able to see a glimpse of their previous passions and joys come to life before dementia, a stroke, a fall, or Alzheimer’s disease. Residents and families donated an old sewing machine, fabric, thread, scissors, pins, and needles to the group.
Each week residents are able to pick up where they left off the week before creating pieces to be added to the quilt.
Every Wednesday morning you are able to see residents Nell Boyd’s perfect focus and precision with each stitch in the fabric; Mitsu York’s love of art and culture picking flawless fabric combinations and asking for her Japanese thimble; and Beulah Penn’s face gleaming with pride and excitement to see her new friend Donna to work on the quilt. For Donna, her passion is to witness the “Sweet Stitchers” thriving with purpose each Wednesday.
Dominion Senior Living of Richmond is crafted much like a quilt; it is composed of individual pieces; our residents and family members, staff, volunteers, and visitors that are all connected through a common thread of community and fellowship and when complete is a treasured gift that is passed on to others.