250 quilts, 500 yards of fabric and 400 man-hours each year.
The Parkway Place quilting group is a force to be reckoned with.
Every Tuesday, Jane Wulf, Margaret Parker, Lena Pinckney and Jean Klipple gather in the Parkway Place craft room. This small but mighty tribe of residents spends the next two hours quietly tying knots and squares together, creating colorful lap-sized quilts for donation.
The quilting group has been a staple at Parkway Place since the community opened its doors to Houston seniors in 1997. At first, outside volunteers helped residents collect and prepare materials, but for the last eight years, Wulf has led the group herself.
“It’s something I enjoy,” Wulf said. “It gives me a goal each day for something constructive to do.”
Wulf, 93, drives at least once a month to the craft store, selects enough new fabric for 20 quilts, then returns to her independent living apartment to carefully wash, iron and prepare the squares. But the lengthy process is nothing new to Wulf. She’s been sewing most of her life and remembers helping her mom quilt even in elementary school.
“It’s like a lot of things in life, I benefit from it more than the people I give the quilts to,” Wulf said. “People always say to find something that you like to do and that helps others. I do like to sew and it does help others. It enriches my life to be able to do it.”
Of the roughly 250 quilts they sew each year, Wulf’s crew sells half and keeps half. The proceeds from the sales go directly to local charitable organizations. The quilts they keep mostly stay in-house, as each new skilled and long-term nursing resident at Parkway Place receives one of these handcrafted lap-sized treasures.
“I feel like the new residents really appreciate this gesture of a homemade quilt to welcome them to Parkway Place,” Wulf said.
Recently, Wulf and the team donated their extra proceeds to Buckner Senior Care and Assistance, a program that helps qualifying residents pay for their stay at Parkway Place should they run out of money.
“I wanted to be a part of something when I got here,” said Parker, who had never quilted before. “It’s been very nice and makes me feel like I’m contributing something worthwhile.”