Chelsea Retirement Community Resident Jean Ketcham Sews Love into Quilts

Chelsea Retirement Community (CRC) resident and Pontiac native, Jean Ketcham, started quilting about forty years ago at the encouragement of her daughter, herself a quilter, while living in North Carolina. A graduate of Michigan State’s home economics department, Jean was a natural and joined an active group of 250 quilters.  One of her favorite projects was a “pass-around” quilt.  Jean says she sewed the middle pieces together, then each month another member of the group would add a row around it with a specific theme.  “One month might be triangles, the next month could be appliqué,” explains Jean.  This quilt and others made by her daughter are proudly displayed in her apartment.

Jean, who will turn 98 in March, isn’t ready to put away her needle and thread. About four years ago, Jean joined the local C.A.A.D.Y. (Chelsea, Ann Arbor, Dexter, Ypsilanti) Corner Quilters.  Jean says she enjoys the camaraderie of the group.  “Everyone is very nice and friendly, and quite professional,” says Jean.  The quilters meet every Tuesday afternoon at the Chelsea Senior Center and all day on the last Tuesday of the month.  Jean is there every week.

The quilts, which Jean says are “big enough to wrap yourself up in,” are donated to local organizations such as the University of Michigan’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Faith in Action, and the St. Louis Center. Last year, over 50 quilts were donated.

Twenty-five of the group’s quilts are currently on display at Silver Maples of Chelsea through the end of February.

For more information about Chelsea Retirement Community or Silver Maples of Chelsea, visit