From left: Westshore Quilters Guild members Patti Haney

Local quilters step up big time for Fort McMurray

Response to call for quilts amazes West Shore organizers

Helping those in need has been stitched into the fabric of the Westshore Quilters Guild since its inception more than 10 years ago.

So when Westshore Quilters Guild founder and current president Jan Peever heard that a store in Alberta was collecting quilts to assist people dealing with devastating loss due to the fires in the Fort McMurray area, she thought the guild would try and come up with 50 or 60.

“My daughter and her family live in Alberta, so I have been to Lori’s Country Cottage quilt store in Sherwood Park 10 times in the past five years,” explained Peever, who was in the midst of packing up the last of the boxes of 187 quilts collected within a few weeks. “When I saw the notice from Lori’s in a newsletter, I talked to a couple of our members and phoned to see if the store wanted anyone to collect quilts for them on Vancouver Island.”

After getting the green light, the guild formed a committee, including Peever and members Patti Haney and Lynda Hasanen, and got to work. They put up signs at a Victoria Quilt show and at the Westshore Quilters Guild booth at the Mother’s Day paint-In at Royal Roads.

“The response has been truly amazing,” Hasenen said. “It really just kept mushrooming.”

Peever got a call from the Nanaimo Quilters Guild saying they had 40. “By the time we arranged to pick up the quilts in Duncan it had grown to 87,” Peever said. “I think Fort Mac really touched everyone deeply.”

Someone who had just started quilting donated her mom’s quilting blocks in memory of her mother.

“There’s seems to be a story behind every quilt and some have brought tears to our eyes,” said Haney, who is photographing the quilts and the names of who made them to post on the guild’s website.

“It’s always gratifying to help someone,” Hasanen noted. “The generosity has been overwhelming.”

Peever was scheduled to take a truck to deliver the quilts they have collected to Alberta on June 2. Haney, Peever and Hasanen were all quick to add that “this is one of the most rewarding things we’ve ever done.”

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

The Westshore Quilters Guild

The Westshore Quilters Guild, which has 135 members, will celebrate its eleventh anniversary in September.  It is a licensed charity under the Society Act of B.C., and the majority of funds raised during their annual quilt show goes toward assisting others.

The guild donates up to 150 quilts a year to the Cridge Transition House for Women, which assists women and children dealing with relationship violence and abuse. They also sent 40 quilts to help people in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“We are always looking for new members,” president Jan Peever said.

“It’s a great way to make new friends and keep your love of quilting alive,” guild member Patti Haney noted.

Lynda Hasanen added, “You’re always learning something new because everyone’s happy to share what they know.”

Membership costs $40 a year. Visit westshorequiltersguild.ca for more information.

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