COLUMBUS — Marilyn Nolan sat down to play the piano at The Heritage at Meridian Gardens one day when Sally Schmit stepped out of the elevator.

Schmit was on her way to Picket Fence Cafe to meet with the quilt club she helped start several years earlier.

That's when Nolan suggested the group gather at Meridian Gardens instead of the downtown business.

“We talked about it and thought meeting here would be a lot easier,” Nolan said. “It’s quiet here, and it’s our own space.”

Now the Friendship Star Quilt Club meets every other Saturday morning in the lobby at Meridian Gardens. Refreshments are provided to the 12 members, who are also residents at the senior living facility, and their latest projects are showcased.

“We put on at least one big show a year here,” Nolan said. “But every other Saturday or so we get together and just talk about everything.”

The club is purely about fun. There are no officers, mandatory projects or dues.

Schmit said she and many of the other founding members took a quilting class together.

“In that class some were sisters, sisters-in-law or something, but they all knew each other,” she said. “I didn’t know anyone. But that didn’t matter, I just liked to show up.”

The member with the most experience may be Mary Korte.

She's the former president of a Broken Bow quilting group and used to teach a beginner's quilting course through the Mid-Plains Community College campus there.

“I’ve made a lot of quilts over the years,” Korte said. “It’s good for me because it keeps me busy and my mind occupied.”

For her latest project, Korte created a quilt using a Macaw dress pattern she liked.

Linda McClintic, another club member, owned Linda's Frame Shop and Gallery in Schuyler for 13 years.

“I’ve been quilting for about 15 years,” McClintic said. “With my art background, I always enjoyed color and design. I like art and quilting because it’s a great way to express yourself.”

Some club members have been forced to give up quilting because of medical reasons, but they're still welcome at the meetings.

The active members often work together to create quilts that are given to those who can no longer participate.

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