When Wilda Buffo was a child, she used to sit and watch her grandmother quilt by hand. Every grandchild received a quilt for his or her high school graduation.
Buffo was well into adulthood before she decided to take after her grandmother, however. Now, quilting is her favorite pastime. “It’s a nice, peace-of-mind, relaxing hobby for me,” she said.
Buffo’s wall hanging, “Santa’s Bag,” is one of two winning Christmas entries in this year’s system-wide Art is Ageless® competition among local winners from all 18 Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities. Her quilt will be featured in the 2016 Art is Ageless calendar, along with the works of more than 50 artists age 65 and older throughout Kansas and Missouri.
“It was very, very surprising to win, but a great surprise,” said Buffo, who moved to Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor about a year ago. “I was very pleased with this quilt.”
Like her grandmother, Buffo also made full-size quilts for graduation gifts. But, she said, a few years ago she started making crib quilts instead because they don’t take as long, and she wanted to be able to give them to her grandchildren for when they become parents.
Although she hand-pieced some quilts in the past, Buffo machine-quilted the Santa piece. She now takes some projects to other quilters to finish, after she has chosen the materials and designs and pieced them together. And every summer Buffo travels with her local quilting guild to a member’s sprawling lake house in the Ozarks for a quilting retreat.
“Santa’s Bag” is a fixture on Buffo’s wall at home, and she said all of her children have admired it. “They have always said, ‘Mom, when you get rid of that Santa thing, I’d like to have it,'” she said “I don’t know what we’re going to do on that. So I’m going to hang on to it for now.”
A quilt entitled “Route 66” by Donna Thompson, who took the top prize in the quilting category in Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor’s local show, also will appear in the 2016 Art is Ageless calendar.