Comfort Quilt workshop

Quesnel Quilters Guild get together every year to make comfort quilts for babies and children

Quilters work on creating comfort quilts for children with medical issues and those traumatized.

As early as 8 a.m. on a late October Saturday morning, members of the Quesnel Quilters’ Guild could be seen lugging sewing machines, rolling chairs and multiple totes full of the tools and equipment needed for a weekend of serious sewing.

This was their yearly Community Comfort Quilt workshop and all who attended came ready to work! This project is near and dear to the Guild – over a typical year, more than 50 quilts are given to children from newborn to 16 years of age who face serious medical issues or any type of emotional trauma which a cuddly quilt might help to ease. We are fortunate to receive donations of fabric from a number of sources – our own collections at home, families of quilters and “increased buying power” from local quilt shops by way of discounted prices. The profit we make every three years on our Quilt Show raffle quilt is used to purchase quilt batting and fabric for backing. We are always on the lookout for quality flannelette for backing, so members travelling far and near can be counted on to check out the local quilt shops for bargains.  And – bargains they find! The labour for these quilts is free.

Anyone who knows a quilter knows how much we look forward to getting together to share our passion for fabric and design, to learn from one another – and to share a laugh or two and have quality time together.  The atmosphere on our Comfort Quilt weekend was electric – and the production level was remarkable.

Most of the 22+ quilters came to sew for two days, although one or two could make it only one of the two days.  One member spent the entire weekend cutting batting and backing for quilts being assembled by her quilting mates – when there was time, she and another quilter co-ordinated fabric from our sizeable “Guild stash” of donated fabric to give us a head start on our quilt production. By noon Sunday, the walls of the Elks Hall were covered by pieced quilt tops – all sizes, all colours, for wee babes, for boys and girls of all ages.  By my estimation, there were at least 50 quilts well on their way to completion – to be machine quilted at home and then have binding and labels added before being handed over to our Community Quilt Coordinators.

We are very fortunate to have a Guild member who is able to donate some sizeable space in her basement for storage of our Community Comfort Quilts and of our stash of fabric, bolts of backing and huge rolls of batting.

As 4 p.m. Sunday approached, the sewing machines, chairs and totes were slowly returned to members’ cars. The energy level had diminished somewhat – we were definitely tired – but the joy of spending time together and the sense of accomplishment that came from the level of production meant we were all smiling as we headed home.

– submitted by Sally Service