By Lisa Carolin
Teamwork and giving are what the C.A.A.D.Y. (Chelsea, Ann Arbor, Dexter, and Ypsilanti-where they are from) Corner Quilters are all about.
During the coronavirus epidemic, members of the Chelsea Senior Center group are letting their collaborative relationship guide them while working from their own homes.
They’ve taken their quilting skills and applied them to making masks for residents and staff at Silver Maples of Chelsea, the Chelsea Retirement Center, the Grass Lake Fire Department, and more.
“We’re quilters, which gives us the basic skills and they translate well,” said C.A.A.D.Y. Corner Quilters member Charlotte Wyche, who is also vice president of the Chelsea Senior Center board of directors. “We use quilters cotton for the masks because it’s tightly woven. Our members have their own stashes of it.”
The C.A.A.D.Y. Corner Quilters have a special relationship with Silver Maples because they do an annual quilt display in January and February at the Silver Maples Gallery 100. Wyche’s sister-in-law resides there as well as many people she knows, which was one of the reasons she wanted to help make the mask production and donation project happen.
Emily Meloche, Silver Maples director of programming and wellness, said, “We’ve been lucky to receive quite a few masks from members of the C.A.A.D.Y. Quilters. This group, that in better days meets weekly at the senior center, has a long-running relationship with Silver Maples. We’ve been offering their homemade masks to residents, and the basket has been emptying as quick as the quilters can fill it!”
Wyche says there’s no one coordinator of the project though she considers herself one of the conduits.
“People drop off masks to me or I pick them up and take them to Silver Maples,” said Wyche. “We’re also making masks for friends and neighbors.”
She’s donating hers to her neighbors at Pierce Lake Village condos.
C.A.A.D.Y. Corner Quilters are also answering a recent request for masks from the Chelsea Senior Center, which specifically needs them for staff and participants of the Meals on Wheels program.
“This is a collaboration of quilters,” said Wyche. “We never put a name on who made a quilt when we displayed them at Silver Maples. We’re a close-knit group and it’s hard being isolated. We’re used to meeting every Tuesday at the senior center for quilting and every Friday for lunch. We’re keeping in contact though.”
Wyche has an added inspiration. She’s the roommate of C.A.A.D.Y. Corner Quilters’ “quilt dog” Marley, who provides her with good company and even has his own mask.