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4-H projects brings generations together

| Monday, May 14, 2012, 8:21 a.m.

Something special happens when the different generations work together toward a common goal. New ideas combine with the wisdom of experience and both can learn important lessons.

A special project at the Golden Heights Personal Care Home in Harrison City brought five 4-H members together with nearly 30 residents to make a quilt.

'I was visiting my mother, Gladys Maybury, when I noticed all of the craft activities the residents were doing,' said Anne Lail, a leader of 4-H Westmoreland County. 'I knew they had sewing machines donated to the activities department and thought this project would be a good idea to use them.'

Lail coordinated this extra project for five Norwin School District students, Lauren Lail, Gayle Roycroft, Rebecca Roycroft, Holly Woods and Callie Paul.

In February 2000, the girls started to go to Golden Heights one Tuesday a month to work with the residents. At first only a few residents attended the activity, but by the end of the 18-month project, the room was crowded.

All of the materials were donated and participants got to choose what colors and textures they wanted to use. Once the quilt began to take shape, Debbie Werner, activities director, noticed the different sections started to take on attributes of the seasons.

One area was covered in fall colors and another looked like spring. Without planning it, the quilters had designed a perfect name for the project. The Seasons of the Golden Years now hangs on a sitting room wall.

'We got the idea to hang it on the wall because our chapel is covered in hanging banners,' said Werner, who often arranges craft activities for the residents.

The 4-H members used the project as a lesson in textile science. They learned how to work with patterns, materials, sewing and tailoring. As the months wore on, the girls realized they were going to have extra material so they began to make gifts for their new friends at Golden Heights.

They made adult clothing protectors, wheelchair and walker bags. The older residents passed down their skills to the girls.

'They were just great, everyone cooperated,' said Miriam Warnick, resident. 'Getting together is what made it all worthwhile.'

The young girls were not the only ones learning something new each day. Warnick had never made a quilt before, had never done crafts before she came to live at Golden Heights. Now she has learned to go beyond the basic knowledge she already had.

Lois Daniels watched her mother make quilts when she was a child, but had never made one of her own.

'This was different than Mother's quilts because her quilts were made bigger for beds,' she said. 'I thought this was pretty nice.'

'I would work on a quilt project again.'

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