Quilting for Ukraine Project at RiverPointe Senior Community
By Donna Macauley, Director of Marketing, RiverPointe Senior community
and Robert Hamre, Resident ambassador ~
It isn’t that the RiverPointe residents were looking for “busy work”, you know, idle hands and all. The horror of what was transpiring in Ukraine viewed relentlessly on morning and evening news channels felt surreal, like a Hollywood movie was playing before their eyes. They wondered how in the world the “characters” would make it out of such a dire situation. How would the “evil mastermind” Putin, get what’s coming to him. Would he…could he be stopped? Our residents have a full schedule that keeps them as busy but, a group of 25 normally very scheduled women living at RiverPointe decided that they just had to do something… something to help the women, children and elderly who were being displaced by Putin’s attacks. When the pandemic hit, our quilters used fabric to supply everyone with beautiful masks. It seems that there is nothing a quilter can’t do and here again, quilters have banded together to make a quilt to be auctioned off to help the Ukrainian refugees. But as work began, it became clear that one quilt was not enough. Cheryl Lebfrom, the RiverPointe Managing Director realized that these quilters needed room for several sewing machines, ironing boards, large table space and wall space for what was becoming a conveyor belt of quilters. The RiverPointe private dining room has now become something of a sweatshop with stations for residents to come and work as their schedule allows. Remember, early on I mentioned that these residents have very full schedules. They were also doing fundraising events to help the victims of the Marshall fire, donating $500 in gift cards for gas and food to those folks who lost their homes. And they just finished planting trees through the Littleton 2022 Spring Tree Program to with the desire to slow the greenhouse gases brought on by climate change. Amid all this, the Ukrainian quilt project was begun. These quilters now have 5 quilts in various stages of production. The women creating these beloved works of compassion come as both new and longtime residents. A function is found for everyone who wants to participate in this Quilting for Ukraine project. Anna Moen, about to turn 100 (in July) peals the backing off all the ironed squares making them ready for placement. Residents range in age from 75 to 99 and all are high functioning “cogs in the production wheel”.
The 5 quilts vary in size and artistic design, from traditional to abstract. Tiny strips of cloth become elements in elaborate, complex designs that grow on four huge foam design boards that cover most of one wall of the well-lit room. Every bit of surface space, on a table or chair, has a pile of remnants (quilters prefer to call them “scraps”) carefully sorted by shades of color and pattern. Dominant colors are typically blue and yellow-the colors of the Ukrainian flag-plus a scattering of sunflowers, their national flower. We couldn’t share the story of the Ukraine Quilt project without giving thanks to resident Mary Jo Kluth, the visionary, who saw a way to be relevant in the disheartening happenings so far away. Mary Jo is so respected and skilled that all one needs to hear is her seed of an idea and the worker bees become the hands needed to make her dream into a reality!
You can see these exquisite quilts as they “bloom” at RiverPointe, 5225 South Prince Street in Littleton. See how they are painstakingly constructed and get in on the auctions. “Friend us” on Facebook to follow the progression. If you are a business with prominent wall space to display one of these one-of-a-kind quilts, please consider bidding on one of the quilts. We are currently listing interested businesses for contact as the quilts are completed/ Call Donna Macauley at RiverPointe 303-797-0600.