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Quilt project designed to bring warmth to nursing home folks

Southwood Elementary fourth grader Harjot Bassi points out the quilt square he designed as part of the class project. Photo by Brenda Sexton -
Southwood Elementary fourth grader Harjot Bassi points out the quilt square he designed as part of the class project. Photo by Brenda Sexton
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By Brenda Sexton

The Courier-Herald

For their holiday celebration in December, Nicole Leahy's fourth-grade students at Southwood Elementary decided to spend some time creating blocks for what would become a quilt the class would give to residents at the Enumclaw Evergreen Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.

Earlier this month, the class got its first glimpse of how all those squares fit together to create not only a blanket, but a work of art expected to brighten the spirits of those who may not see the sunshine or smell the flowers as often as they do.

Brainstorming, Leahy said, the class came up with this community service project.

"We decided to do something different for Christmas, putting the emphasis on the giving rather than the getting," said Dana Davenport, whose daughter Isabella is a student in the class. Davenport was the one, along with fellow quilter Marge Bonczkiewicz, to transfer the children's iron-on crayon drawings to fabric and then stitch them together for the final product.

The quilt's theme was warmth.

"It turned out to be really cool," fourth-grader Chelsea Weinman said. "I made a Teddy bear because when you hold it it's warm. Some people made suns and hearts. It was pretty fun."

The theme, Leahy pointed out, was chosen not just to center on things that keep people warm, but the thought of family warmth too.

No one captured that sentiment better in their fabric square than Christoffer Cruz who drew a picture of his grandfather standing next to his best friend, Pete, who up until recently lived at the nursing home.

Davenport said that was her favorite square. She said, like Cruz, creating the quilt for the nursing home residents held special meaning for her and Bonczkiewicz as well. Davenport's grandmother lives at the facility, and Bonczkiewicz lived with Davenport's grandparents when she was younger and taught Davenport to quilt.

Friday the students were busy putting finishing touches on Valentine cards they will deliver, along with the quilt, to the nursing home on Valentine's Day. The class has also been studying poetry and plans to share a few pieces while they are there.

Brenda Sexton can be reached at bsexton@courierherald.com.

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