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Senior companion keeps busy with quilting, cross-stitch

Linda McCoy, pictured with her sons Tim and Mike

Textile artist Linda McCoy learned about the Art is Ageless® program through her volunteer work as a senior companion at Rolla Presbyterian Manor.

Linda has been quilting and doing needlework for more than 50 years, and she shared some of her creations with staff and residents at Presbyterian Manor.

Joy Parker, the former activities director, encouraged Linda to enter the annual exhibition and competition, which features work by Parsons-area senior artists aged 65 and older.

“She kept egging me on, and finally I brought a few pieces in that I had done,” Linda said. “I was surprised to win first-place ribbons. It totally thrilled me.”

Her quilted piece “The Wave Table Runner” (shown above) appeared in the 2020 Art Is Ageless calendar.

Linda’s favorite mediums are quilting and counted cross-stitch.

Her children’s grandmother made them quilts when they were little, which piqued her interest in learning how to sew herself.

“I started dabbling around, and that’s how I started working with quilts and all things ‘quilty,’ you might say,” Linda said.

She picked up skills informally, by asking questions in quilt shops and talking to other textile aficionados.

Her favorite project is a counted cross-stitch depicting hummingbirds that she completed last year. She entered the piece into the 2020 Art is Ageless competition.

Recently, Linda has enjoyed sharing her passion with her niece, who wanted to make quilts for her own grandchildren.

“I also got her started on counted cross-stitch, and she is excellent at it,” Linda said. “So, she’s followed in my footsteps and actually does a better job at cross-stitch than I do. She’s very good.”

Linda has been with the Phelps County Senior Companion Program for the past several years. The property manager at her apartment complex suggested it when Linda said she needed something to do.

She misses her regular, in-person visits with her friends at Presbyterian Manor, but tries to connect with them once a week by sending a card or dropping by to wave from outside a window.

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