Woman sews pillowcases for fellow Forest Glen residents

Published 7:50 am Wednesday, April 10, 2019

DOWAGIAC — Monday morning, 90-year-old Forest Glen Assisted Living Facility resident Victoria Dufor smiled as she held up a pillowcase decorated with world maps and Eiffel Towers.

“This has all the places l have been,” she said, pointing at specific spots on the pillowcase map. “Rome, Paris, Yugoslavia — every state in Europe.”

Dufor is just one of several residents of Forest Glen who are sleeping in style thanks to the efforts of a fellow resident.

Forest Glen resident Evelyn Williams, 96, has been working with the facility’s life enrichment director Robin Moser to sew pillowcases for each resident of the facility. Williams came up with the idea after reading about a similar project in a magazine. The pillowcases are tailored to the likes and interests of each resident. In total, Williams and Moser will be making 18 pillowcases.

“I shop for all the materials, and Evelyn sews the pillowcases,” Moser said as she flipped through a bag of different styles of fabric — camouflage, Snoopy, Minnie Mouse and several others. “We make sure that the pillowcase fits the likes of the resident.”

Moser said she believes the pillowcases benefit the residents of Forest Glen by giving them something of their own that was made with them in mind.

“It makes them smile, and I am all about making everyone smile,” Moser said. “This is something of their own that does not belong to Forest Glen. They can put it on their pillow, or they can put it in their drawer. It is theirs. But most have put them on their pillows right away.”

For the residents who have received the pillowcases, they said they thought it was a nice gesture.

For resident Lois Fox, 99, her pillowcase — a purple creation covered in butterflies — calls to mind memories of her childhood when she would collect butterflies on her family’s farm.

Another resident, John Sorensen, smiled Monday widely when he was presented with the fabric that will soon make up his pillowcase. Covered in musical notes and guitars, he said the fabric reminded him of his youth when he used to play in a band.

For her part, Dufor said her travel-themed pillowcase touched her heart and reminded her of the voyages she made when she was younger, having visited several continents.

“I love [the pillowcase],” she said. “It is my favorite pillowcase.”

Moser and Williams have been working on the pillowcases for several weeks and still have many more to construct before the project is finished. Though making the pillowcases can be hard and tiring work, Williams, who has been sewing since she was 10 years old, said that she believes it is worth the effort.

“It’s very rewarding to me,” she said.

As they work to complete the pillowcases for the remaining residents, Moser and Williams said they hope that residents continue to enjoy them and that they can bring smiles to people’s faces.

“I love doing things they like,” Moser said of her residents. “I’ll do anything to make my people happy.”