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Quilting for a cause: Henderson women craft quilts for those in need


Erin Dostal

Louise Walder and Maria De Walsh prepare to make quilts at Heritage Park Senior Center in Henderson on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. The women belong to a group that makes quilts to give to those in need.

Quilting Group at Heritage Park Senior Center

Members of a quilting group at the Heritage Park Senior Center in Henderson pose for a photo on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. The group makes quilts and donates them to those in need. In front, from left: Ann Kosewicz, Louise Walder, Blossom Lee; in back, from left: Barbara Collins, Phyllis Ragle, Maria Dissinger, Maria De Walsh. Launch slideshow »

Map of Heritage Park Senior Facility Library

Heritage Park Senior Facility Library

300 S. Racetrack Road, Henderson

When Blossom Lee moved to Henderson with her husband in 2002, she wanted to get involved with her community. It didn’t take long for Lee, now 93, to start quilting with a group of women she met at a Henderson senior center.

In eight years, that group has grown into about 10 women who meet weekly to make quilts for those in need. Their latest endeavor is making 35 quilts to give to the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City before Christmas.

“I’m here to keep busy, otherwise, you get senile,” Lee said, laughing, after deftly lacing thread through the eye of a needle on her sewing machine. “They take good care of me.”

The women meet from 9 a.m. to noon every Thursday at the Heritage Park Senior Facility. They chat, eat homemade treats – on a recent Thursday, it was chocolate cupcakes made by member Maria Dissinger – and drink tea. All the while, of course, they’re making quilts.

“All the ladies here, they are very kind,” quilter Maria De Walsh said while sewing fabric squares together by hand. “The friendship … The ladies teach what they know.”

Barbara Collins, who has been sewing since she was 12, joined the group this past summer. She joined, she said, to take her sewing skills in a new direction, and to learn something new to her – quilting.

Ann Kosewicz said she enjoys the rapport the women have with each other; they just enjoy each others’ company as much as they enjoy quilting.

“I like to be busy and I like to sew,” Kosewicz said. “I also like to volunteer … It’s just rewarding to put a smile on someone’s face.”

Louise Walder, the group’s organizer, has been quilting for about six years. The group got a quilting machine in last December, she said, allowing them to make more quilts, more quickly.

In order to make money to buy their supplies to make quilts – needles, fabric, and thread – the women raffle off quilts the senior center. Sometimes, they use the raffles to make money to donate to Meals on Wheels.

“My favorite part is for me to give,” Walder said, adding that her group has already donated to several hospitals throughout the valley. “We’re just getting started.”

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