A number of Homestead Village residents are expressing their creative spirit—and sharing their talents and creations with others. From woodworking to cooking, baking and candy-making to gardening and flower arranging, active adults within our Life Plan Community are finding all kinds of ways to stay engaged and exercise their creativity.
In case you haven’t noticed, the most recent craze to hit Homestead Village is quilting, crafting, and knitting (and crocheting).
Homestead Village resident Phyllis Thompson is a member of the Highland Presbyterian Quilters. The quilters group is passionate about not only creating pieces for their own family and friends but also for the community, using their skillset to improve the lives of others.
Walking into Phyllis’ home is like entering a quilter’s haven, with every room suffused with color and the warmth of quilts—on the beds, on the walls, and in her quilting workshop. Some of the pieces are playful (cats playing hide-and-seek), and others so creative, they could be framed as modern art.
Phyllis explained, “My mother introduced me to embroidery, and I started quilting in 1976, making my first quilt from a pattern in Better Homes & Gardens. I’ve always been a tactile person. I was a weaver; I knit; I made all my daughter’s clothing. When we moved to Lancaster, I saw traditional quilts—that’s all you saw in the seventies. Then I discovered the Red Rose Quilt Guild, attended a lot of classes and seminars and learned a lot.” There’s ample evidence of the mastery she gained along the way!
Phyllis’ work was displayed at The Quilt Shop at Miller’s and featured in Amish Country News. The publication has this to say about their work:
“We’re thrilled to be showcasing the beautiful work of the Highland Quilters of the Highland Presbyterian Church. A local quilting group formed in 2006, they have worked their magic with quilting projects to support those in need locally and internationally. Their quilts have gone around the world with Mission Projects in Peru, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and El Salvador. Quilts have gone with the Church Disaster Team to provide comfort to victims of Hurricanes Hugo, Andrew, Sandy, and Katrina. Locally, the Veterans Hospice Program, the Stork Nest, and Nurse Partnership Program for first-time moms have received quilts to support their work. Money raised at craft shows has funded scholarships for girls in Ghana and has been used to buy sewing machines in poor countries.”
In addition to quilting, Homestead Village is home to tons of crafters.
As Art & Craft Group Chair of the Homestead Village Crafters’ Group, Cheryl Amey is the go-to lead idea generator for crafting projects at Homestead Village. She was tapped for the role in 2019, and since then, she’s gotten both regulars and those who drop into the craft room involved throughout the community.
“I came up with the concept and everyone helps!” Cheryl said.
While there have been craft sales to raise money in the past, the Homestead Village Crafter’s Group projects are now focused on creating things for the Homestead Village community, from table decorations for the Ladies Auxiliary luncheon to special projects for Apostles Center for Care.
Homestead Village Life Enrichment Director, Karen Braun, said: “The Homestead Crafters Group made patriotic stars that were presented to each veteran in the ACC and Westvue as a tribute to the veterans service, adorning the veterans room as a token of our community’s appreciation. The group also made ‘fidget blankets,’ and colorful quilted blankets that provide sensory interaction for the residents of Fickes House.”
A group of residents—naming themselves as the Knitters—began gathering informally in Peggy Neff’s Homestead Village Mews home a few years ago.
Knitters members Patti Olsen explained, “It started as fellowship and a nice excuse to get together as we knit. Over time, we’ve shared patterns and taught each other techniques (I brought along my pom-pom machine!) and yarn finds—beautiful yarns from local shops and online sites.”
Joni Soost, another Knitters member, added, “We get together because we have something in common. Everyone has a different project. Some of us have made sweaters or scarves. My wintertime project was knitting fingerless mittens in marvelous colors for all my dog-walking friends!”
Patti added with a smile, “Knitting is good for brain health—the challenge of learning new patterns and techniques, figuring out new stitches, and pushing yourself to make a new pattern.”
*Adapted from an original article by Cynnie King