Vt. woman's quilts warm hearts, spread joy - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. woman's quilts warm hearts, spread joy

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Sue Schoolcraft remembers when Mertie Seymour received her homemade quilt.

"She was just waiting and waiting, and when I came she was just so happy. And then everybody who came into the nursing home that day had to go see her quilt whether they were there to see her or not," Schoolcraft said.

The 75-year-old Randolph resident spends her days crafting personalized quilts for the residents at the Menig Extended Care Facility at Gifford Medical Center. She's been doing it for more than seven years.

"It's a real labor of love for me to bring happiness to these people who are near the end of their life," Schoolcraft said.

A lifelong seamstress, Schoolcraft saw an ad in the paper from Menig looking for a homemade touch for its 30 residents. Right away she knew it was the perfect fit.

"It brings them joy," she said. "And I think it brings me happiness and joy making them."

But these are not your average blankets. Schoolcraft meets with every new resident to learn about their hobbies and interests before getting started. She caters to their favorite colors, animals and even heritage.

Reporter Shelby Cashman: You have the shamrock, the Irish cross, the Scottish heritage, but then you add on and do it in a pattern that's also Irish, you really think about everything.

Sue Schoolcraft: I try to!

And those who work with the residents every day say Schoolcraft's work brightens up every room, making every resident feel at home during an often tough lifestyle transition.

"I have actually had the family members reach out to me and overcome with emotion because they will say, Sue has really captured what's important to our mother or father," said Ashley Lincoln of Gifford Medical Center.

Schoolcraft says the amount of time it takes to make a quilt depends on pattern and size. But she says the smiling faces of residents are more than enough to keep her stitching.

Friday night and Saturday, Gifford is holding their ninth annual Last Mile Ride for bikers, walkers and motorcyclists. Part of the money raised goes to Sue Schoolcraft to help buy her quilting materials.

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