By Jackie Nelson
In Honor of the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale, Schowalter Villa hosted two days of activates for residents and children at the Child Care Center.
On Thursday, several local bakers came to the Villa and prepared MCC Sale favorite, New Years Cookies.
On Friday, residents and children came together for a quilt display.
Schowalter Villa residents donated quilts, afghans and wall hangings for the exhibition.
Many of the quilts came with historical information from their owners.
One of the oldest pieces at the exhibit was a quilt that was hand-pieced and hand quilted by a gentleman’s mother nearly100 years ago.
“This resident is in his 90’s, and he told us he remembers his mother piecing quilts near the north window of their home,” said Cherie Wohlgemuth, one of the coordinators for the event.
Wohlgemuth said the quilt show provided an opportunity to share the MCC Sale atmosphere with those at the Villa.
“Many of our residents grew up with the MCC Sale. Since we can’t take all of them to the Sale, this is a way for them to have a bit of that experience here,” she said.
Those who took part in the quilting display were happy to provide pieces for show.
Grace Histande had several wall hangings on display and said quilting has been part of her life since early childhood.
“I just enjoy sewing. I made my first quilt when I was about four-years old. It was for the dog,” she said.
Resident Ruth Base is still an avid quilter.
“I quilt because it was something we all did in Sewing Circle. I still love to quilt,” she said.
Base said the camaraderie of quilters is an element she will always remember.
“I think it’s the gathering of all the ladies and all working on a quilt was just an enjoyable time,” she said.
Hettie Conrad, also a Showalter Villa Resident, said she not only enjoyed the display, but continues to take a very hands-on approach to quilting.
“I quilt every day for about six-and-a-half hours,” she said.
Conrad finds the work enjoyable and gives her purpose.
“I just do it. I’ve quilted for a long time. It’s something to do here. I don’t have any outside work – they do my laundry and clean my apartment. So I come and quilt,” she said.
Conrad said quilting is not challenging in and of itself, but many people cannot find the time needed.
“It takes a lot of time and patience. Lots of people think they can’t quilt because they don’t have the patience,” said Conrad.
While the work is time-consuming, it gives Conrad and other quilters time to chat and work together.
“If people quilt with you, it is a good form of fellowship,” she said.