Sewing group breathes life into small-town Sask. seniors home

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Sewing group breathes life into small-town Sask. seniors home

A sewing group in Craik, Sask., is churning out quilts and scarves for people in need while bettering the lives of the community's seniors in the process.

Every Wednesday, the local Angels for Warmth group heads to the Midlakes Manor seniors citizens' home to get residents involved with various projects.

"The socializing is wonderful. We look forward to it every week," says 94-year-old Joyce Mills.

"They make us work, but that's all right," she continues with a laugh.

The group makes everything from quilts to twiddle muffs — a hand muff with things like buttons attached inside and out, designed to provide stimulation for patients suffering from dementia.

But it's the sense of camaraderie, as much as the sewing, that brings the ladies back each week.

"It's a time to catch up with the girls. I've known most of these ladies most of my life," Mills adds.

"I'd be bored to death without it ... because there is nothing else going on in here, and I'm used to doing things."

'Catching up with the ladies'

The laughter in the room drowns out the sewing machines as the women talk with one another and recount their week.

"I live on my own, and lots of people can't get out, so I hear a lot of things around me, so I come right here and tell them all the gossip," jokes 95-year-old Elva McDougall.

According to McDougall, the best part of the group is "catching up with the ladies," because "it's definitely all women."

McDougall teases that men "run" through once in a while, but none of the ladies "are picking up yet."

'It's like coming home'

"I love sewing and knitting and crocheting, and the activity is good, but it's associating with other women that I really love," says 81-year-old Joan Gower.

Gower has only missed one meeting to date, when she was in the hospital.

"I've lived in this community more than 70 years, so coming here, with all these people, it's like coming home."

The constant chatter isn't slowing the Angels for Warmth Group down, though. The group estimates it's producing at least six quilts and afghans a week, along with 20 or 30 tuques, scarves, and mitts.

Most of what the group makes is sent to hospitals, homeless shelters, and women's shelters in Regina and Saskatoon.