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Putting the pieces together

Lifelong quilter finds balance in life and in art

Created date

June 25th, 2013

As a girl, Ann s Choice resident Judy Coyle learned to quilt from her grandmother. Her grandmother was a scrap quilter who layered her quilts with old blankets because batting was expensive. Judy, a prolific quilter herself, has some of those quilts and treasures them. When she decided to move from a three-bedroom townhouse in N. Wales, Pa., to Erickson Living s community in Bucks County, Judy wanted space to pursue her passion. She found it in a Gibson floor plan, a beautiful one-bedroom home with a spacious great room and a den that became her quilting studio.

Just the right amount of space

Two bedrooms would have been too large, Judy says. And a second bedroom would have required window treatments. It would have meant another room to decorate and keep neat. Because the den is tucked behind the kitchen instead of opening to Judy s living room, she can leave her quilts in mid-project but out of sight. The room accommodates her long sewing/cutting table, sewing machine, and fabric-storage units with space to spare. Its two generous-sized closets store her other supplies; quilters can t have too much storage. The Gibson s overall size and arrangement suits Judy. After my husband passed away, I was by myself. It was quiet, and I was lonely. Conversations with neighbors, limited to perfunctory greetings, proved frustrating to a people-person like Judy. Plus, she d tired of driving to her activities and had started limiting her involvements. I felt like I was stagnating, she says. At Ann s Choice, she can choose among more than 155 on-site clubs and activities and has only to walk down a hallway to find herself in real conversations with her neighbors.

The lifestyle she wanted

Judy moved in last year, received a warm welcome from the campus Sit n Stitch group, and quickly volunteered to hand-quilt its Underground Railroad quilt. She participates in the group s other ventures, too. Members fashion handcrafted items to sell at campus craft shows and donate the proceeds to the Ann s Choice scholarship fund. But Judy doesn t just sit and stitch. She s a regular for workouts and water aerobics classes at Ann s Choice s fitness and aquatics center. Water aerobics is wonderful, she says, no joint jostling. And she s joined the Rock n Rollers, which holds dinner and dancing get-togethers on campus. That s my era, she says. I like the music, and it s always fun. Most of the Rock n Rollers attended the community s New Year s Eve party, and we had a great time. Whatever fills her schedule, at day s end she s guaranteed a restful night thanks to the peace of mind provided by Ann s Choice s round-the-clock security team. In the townhouse, I d wake up all night hearing noises, she says. Now I sleep like a rock.