Ann Hopkins first learned to sew as a child and stitched up a storm all of her life. She made her own clothes and clothing for her mother, husband and children. It wasn’t until she retired in 1987 that she found time for another passion: quilting.
Now 93 and a resident of Delaware Run, Ann has sewn so many quilts, she’s lost count. “I’ve given away at least 50 quilted pieces to my family and friends, and I’ve made lap quilts, prayer quilts and blankets for all kinds of organizations, including Make a Wish Foundation and other children’s charities.”
Twenty-two of her quilts are on display in the lobby at Willow Brook at Delaware Run until July. They range in size from a queen sized bedspread to wall hangings and throws.
The gorgeous quilts explode with color and feature a variety of subjects – dragon flies, autumn leaves, Christmas trees, flowers and even apple cores.
Visitors to the exhibit, which is open to the public, say they experience feelings of comfort, warmth, home and family.
As she dove into the world of fabric art, Ann enjoyed exploring different patterns and working with all kinds of colors, shapes and materials. Sometimes her ideas worked; sometimes not. “You do a lot of ripping. You never give up the ripping,” she says.
Ann collaborated with other quilters. She sewed the individual pieces, then took them to a seamstress with a long-arm sewing machine. This machine loads three layers — the top, batting and back — into a metal frame and sews the three layers at once. After that, the quilt was returned to Ann to finish.
Ann’s vision is limited now, so she can’t sew anymore, but she remembers the joy she experienced. “It was an avenue for my creativity and gave me a way to express myself. And now, I love being surrounded by all my quilts.”
Known for her fine craftsmanship, Ann has won awards in art contests sponsored by LeadingAge Ohio, an organization representing not-for-profit retirement communities. She is a member of Willow Brook’s Sit & Sew group.