Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Story Behind A Placemat

A week or so ago my church held an artist fair after services.  There were lots of booths set up in the fellowship hall.  I saw paintings, crafts, quilts, sculptures, jewelry...all kinds of things.  One table was covered in various quilted placemats.  There was an old man standing behind the table.  I figured his wife had made these things, but when I asked him about it I found out he had made them.  He told me he had been quilting since 2008.  That was the year he participated in a research study for a local health group.  The study consisted of teaching elderly people a new skill (in his case quilting) for 3 months while observing and measuring their brain activity.  The study hoped to find ways of fighting dementia and Alzheimer's.  He has been quilting ever since.  I fell in love with this intricate turkey placemat he had made.  He only had 2 of them, so I asked if he minded splitting the set since I only really wanted one.  He didn't mind.  Now I have this gorgeous piece of work with a really neat story behind it.

Come to think of it, quilting is the perfect skill to use in a study like that.  It involves math, color, texture, design, and manual dexterity.  If anything is going to get the brain firing, it's quilting!

I enjoyed getting to know this man and hearing his story.  And it felt good to support him as he does something he truly enjoys!

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