Meet Shannon Ownby, the owner of Fabrics N Quilts in Jamestown, Tennessee. She is always ready for a challenge and committed to giving back to her community. When she heard about the Quilted EMbrace organization, she wanted to get involved herself and bring her customers into it as well. And thus a very special community-service project was born.
Quilted EMbrace is a non-profit organization created by Linda Thielfoldt of the Quilted Goose to honor her sister Em after her death. Seeing for herself the lonely conditions that most seniors live with, Linda created an organization with the goal of providing comfort and support to senior citizens living in nursing homes through the gift of a handmade quilt. Linda calls it “covering our seniors with a hug, one quilt at a time.”
Inspired by Linda’s vision, Shannon wanted to find a way to make quilts for each of the residents of her local senior living facility, Signature Healthcare of Fentress County. She decided that it would be too hard to pick only a few residents to receive a quilt so she decided to embark on a yearlong community service project that would cover every resident with a new quilt.
Since the 138-bed facility also provides in-patient physical rehab, Shannon wanted to make sure to provide few extra quilts to handle turnover. She enlisted the help of over four dozen local quilters to make 145 quilts over the course of a year.
To begin with, the 145 -quilt goal seemed lofty, but as the months ticked by, it was soon clear that they would exceed that goal. The final quilt tally was 162! This was a labor of love for all those involved. Many quilts involved several hands to complete. Most quilt tops were made by one quilter, quilted by a second, bound and labeled by a third. Sometimes even a 4th hand touched the quilt as construction tasks were shared amongst the quilters. Shannon says, “It was an empowering project that blessed me more than I could have ever imagined.”
To see more photos and a list of the quilters that participated, visit the Fabrics N Quilts blog. For a description of the day the quilts were presented, visit the Facebook post by Signature Healthcare.