Keep quilting with a senior parent


My mom started quilting in the 1980s, several years after I started. Fast forward to now, where she is a senior parent who has started to lose the ability to envision the entire process, and needed to do things one step at a time. I realized that she still had a great eye for color, and that there were lots of leftover blocks.

So we took the blocks and arranged them into tops, or table runners, and she helped me pick out sashing and/or borders. And she was just fine with this! The visual component was easy, we weren’t talking at all about the process of cutting and assembling all the bits, and she was very comfortable with organizing and choosing fabrics.

I then put numbers on slips of paper, gathered each row in turn, and pinned the number to it. I took it home, did the cutting and assembled the rows, and brought it back for the last seaming. She could still iron things safely, and we had a regular assembly line going.

The smile on her face when she saw the finished top was the best part of all this. She recognizes the blocks as her own, and feels so useful when I explain the quilts are going to charity. (BTW, she doesn’t seem to recognize the phrase “community quilts” any more.)

Even if you just bring a block and strips to organize for framing a placemat, your senior still gets to plan and mess around with the colors and fabrics, and helps create a finished product. And feels useful. This is SO important to them.

Do try it out with your senior(s), and send in pictures!