Who would commit to the time, trouble and expense of making a quilt only to give it away?
The Avon River Quilters have regularly done just that with more than 10 quilts.
The group recently donated a Puppy Patches quilt to Glenn and Virginia Deering, owners of the newly opened Barking Bean Café in Hantsport.
Tickets will be sold for the quilt to raise money for the Misfit Manor Dog Rescue organization.
The quilters have gifted a quilt to Brooklyn Elementary to help with their playground improvements and a calico cat quilt to the SPCA.
They’ve also completed two Quilts of Valor. These quilts are presented to injured or ill members of the Armed Forces, past or present.
Evelyn O’Brien, a long-time member of the group, said the quilters also made six quilts for the families affected by a fire on King St. in Windsor.
“During the spring of this year, two families in Windsor lost everything in a devastating fire. It occurred on the same day as we met for one of our SewDays. It was almost immediately agreed upon that we would make a quilt for each of the six children involved” said O’Brien.
The group formed almost 20 years ago in the Windsor/Falmouth area of the Annapolis Valley, said O’Brien.
“In the beginning we were a small group of about 15 ladies. We grew a bit larger over the next number of years. Because we were a fairly large group, we were able to bring in guest speakers and instructors and put on events, such as large quilt show and a Tea and Sale. However, our membership has become fewer over time, as many groups do,” she said.
“Two years ago, we each made a number of individual blocks that were then sent to the Canadian Quilters Association of Canada. Those blocks were made into quilts for all the Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada. This got us interested in making donation quilts.”
O’Brien says what she loves the relationships formed within the tight-knit group.
“The thing about any group is the friendship of like-minded people. You inspire one another. You share thoughts and ideas about what you love. You learn from each other, challenge each other.”
Debbie Morden has been a member for about two years and enjoys sewing the quilts.
“We feel we are giving back to our community but, truthfully, we just share the time together doing something we love. I am sure everyone has their own reason for loving quilting. For me, it’s a sense of accomplishment and I love color. More recently, it has been the great times spent with some wonderful ladies” said Morden.
The group meets and works in space donated by the Hants West Wildlife Association.
“We are in the process of using up what are called orphan blocks. These may be practice pieces or blocks from a quilt that was started and never completed for one reason or another. We surprised ourselves when we realized we had the makings of at least four more quilt tops,” said O’Brien of an ongoing project.
The quilters find joy in giving away their creations.
“Belonging to this group gives me, personally, a feeling of joy and happiness. I love finding new patterns and fabrics. It is rewarding to give back to the community. We are a small but mighty group of like-minded ladies” said O’Brien.
- Story by Anita Flowers