Three of our charity quilts were recently donated to First Step Options, a pregnancy resource centre in Pembroke ON dedicated to supporting women and couples with unplanned pregnancies.
One quilt will be offered in a silent auction to raise funds for this charity, and the other two will be given to clients.
It was a pleasure for me to recently deliver 4 beautiful Canada-themed quilts from our guild to Quilts of Valour Canada to honour our veterans and Canadian Forces Military Services and to say that we appreciate their service for our country and that we are thankful for our freedom.
These quilts include leftover "slab" blocks from quilt tops assembled for the Canadian Quilters' Association's 2017 Big Quilt Bee that delivered quilts to Ronald McDonald Houses in Canada. Our members completed the tops, added batting and backing, quilted them, and finished them off with binding.
The quilts were gratefully received by the Ottawa Area Region, Quilts of Valour, Canada.
"Your quilted hugs of comfort are given to injured members of our Canadian Forces – male or female; Army, Navy or Air Force; commissioned or non-commissioned – all ranks."
-- Gwen Pennings, VP and Charity Projects
We kicked off the new year with our annual hands on charity project night at our January meeting. It was a very busy evening with three activities to choose from:
Thanks to all of the members who took kits for blocks for the auction quilt at our December meeting and then brought in the completed blocks.
Our guild receives a lot of generously donated fabric so there was lots of fabric to cut up and assemble into kits for wheelchair lap quilts and preemie quilts. It was a whirlwind of activity with many hands (and cutters) at work!
Fabric for preemie quilts is coming together into kits for members to pick up and assemble.
And here are some completed kits for members to pick up to make wheelchair lap quilts
Click on an image in the gallery below to see it in full.
This lovely quilt stand was generously donated to us and won as a door prize by this lucky lady.
And 9 darling preemie quilts were donated bringing our total for the year to 33. Several of them are included in the gallery below. Thanks for your generous donations to this important initiative.
Click on an individual image to see it in full.
On Thursday January 10, 2018, 18 ladies arrived at Providence Point to begin their time of quilting and fellowship. We arrived with the weather fairly mild and left with ice on our cars and cold. We did not let the cold affect our time quilting. The food was delicious and a good time was had by all.
We worked on our individual projects, and we also made some blocks for the quilt that our guild is donating for auction to benefit the Arnprior & DistrictMemorial Hospital.
-- Joanna Vlaming, Program - Retreats
On Thursday January 18th, twelve eager quilters gathered at Island View Suites retirement residence in Arnprior for our second Sew Day to make blocks for the quilt we'll be raffling off at our 2019 quilt show.
Mary deVries and Rennie Hickey are the genii behind this project and its stunning paper pieced wedge shaped blocks. 12 wedges will be joined to make a circle of buildings in the "community" this quilt represents. The quilt will be a real eye-catcher.
While working in the activity room our group of quilters were visited by residents interested to see our work. We enjoyed pizza from Mama Rosa's for lunch.
Thanks to Island View for inviting us to meet without charge. We appreciate the generosity shown to our Guild.
Click/tap on a photo in the gallery below to see it in full.
Sadly our guild has lost a longtime quilter and guild member Edna Snyder who passed away in December at the age of 90. Obituary
Edna and her daughter Marilyn Erskine have been members of our guild since the guild's founding, with her daughter Joyce Murray (our guild treasurer) joining later. Her daughter Jackie has been quilting for many years, and her youngest daughter Lori has just started quilting.
Edna was recognized as our Quilter of Distinction at our 2017 quilt show, and she participated in our recent Sew Day in November along with her daughters Joyce Murray and Marilyn Erskine, both members of our guild.
Joyce and Marilyn have kindly shared some memories of their mom and her passion for quilting.
I remember when Mum started quilting. We didn’t call it quilting then, but just sewing, as she made blankets from old wool coats to keep us warm. Wish I had some of those now. She was always a sewer and would enter shirts, PJs, and dresses in the local (Carberry) fair, and usually win the prizes. My brothers always had matching shirts and PJs, which would be passed on to younger siblings. They never seemed to wear out.
It was much later when times became easier and time more available that she started quilting. She was very proud of her hand quilting and for many years it wasn’t a quilt if it wasn’t hand quilted. No wonder it took me so long to take up quilting myself. I knew I would never hand quilt.
My daughter Kelly is also a quilter with amazing talent for colour choice and fine work. Mother was proud to have a granddaughter involved in the ‘cult’.
-- Joyce Murray
For as long as I can remember Mom was a sewer and a quilter, starting out more from necessity than anything else. Cutting out squares from old wool suits, sewing them together, backing this with flannel was the beginning of her love to sew.
She grew up during the war years where everything had a use. Clothes were repurposed into our new clothes. I remember a blue pinafore dress made for me which won first prize at the local fair. This was a big deal in the 50's.
Mom's Singer Featherweight was always running. Clothes for seven children, home accessories and Christmas gifts. One gift for Christmas that I still have is a reversible red corduroy/black felt skating outfit. (Wish I could still fit that.)
So more formal quilting was a natural progression to her love of sewing. After our father died in 1983, she moved back to Arnprior, joined Emmanuel Anglican Church to sing and the Arnprior Quilt Guild to sew. The quilts began to come, fast and furious. In the following years she made no less than sixty full size quilts, many wall hangings and dozens of baby quilts. Her favourites were the most colourful. Every child (7), grandchild (20), and great-grandchild (16), received a piece of her work. Many more quilts for “Quilts of Valour”, women’s shelter, and little preemie quilts for the babies in the neo-natal unit at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital were sewn.
Always busy, criticizing herself if she didn’t have a project on the go. Like all quilters her home was full of material, unfinished patterns and accessories. She used that Singer Featherweight as her main machine until she died. The more modern Husqvarna never did work properly!
The greatest gift our mother gave me was this love of sewing. At ten years of age I received my first sewing machine. She taught me how to copy a pattern and we would sew together at the large kitchen table, she with her Singer and I with my manual machine. By twelve I was allowed to use her Singer.
So with Mom's passing, there’s many unfinished projects for us to finish for her. All that material was split up between four daughters and charities. Have we got our work cut out for us!
Mom was a true Worker Bee, quietly doing what needed to be done, never expecting anything in return. She loved going out, anywhere, but certainly mostly to material shops.
Mom surprised a daughter of mine with her own Singer Featherweight and was quite anxious to know how she liked it. Now there’s another sewer/future quilter in our midst and so the tradition continues.
-- Marilyn Erskine
Edna's four daughters surprised her with this beautiful family memory quilt for her 90th birthday in April 2017. This gift of love was pieced by Marilyn and Joyce, quilted by Jackie, and Lori helped with the binding.
Grandson David Snyder's quilt always hangs in his living room in Australia to remember his grandmother Edna.
Our quilt guild closed out 2017 with our annual Christmas potluck dinner and meeting. As always, there was an extensive and delicious selection of main course foods and desserts.
The hall was festively decorated with a Christmas tree and several of our members' Christmas and holiday themed quilts.
After dinner we welcomed special guest Reverend Andrew Love of Grace St. Andrew's United Church in Arnprior who introduced us to "Arms for Hugging", a project for the seriously ill that we will be working on in 2018.
A huge thank you is extended to all of the guild members who completed wheelchair lap quilts for residents of The Grove Nursing Home in Arnprior. Several of these colourful and creative quilts are pictured below.
And a big thank you to guild members who have been making little preemie quilts for the babies in the Rich Little Special Care Nursery at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital.
by Gwen Pennings
Thank you for all the wonderful quilted placemats you made this past fall which I was very honoured to deliver just before Christmas.
15 placemats to the Arnprior Meals on Wheels program to be given with the Christmas meal.
10 placemats to be given with freezer meals to seniors in the Fitzroy Harbour and Constance Bay areas by the West Carleton Community Service Centres in affiliation with the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC).
It took everyone’s individual work to make such a big impact on our community.
I want to share this note that I received:
Gwen, I wanted to send an email to express my thanks on behalf of Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre and some lucky seniors in our community for the beautiful placemats made by your quilting group. The last week before Christmas I had the opportunity to deliver meals and soup and your beautiful placemats to many seniors in our community. The placemats added such a warm and personal touch, the seniors who received them were surprised and genuinely pleased someone had gone to so much work to make such a pretty gift for them. I am sure that as those folks sat down to eat their meals over the holidays they were able to look down at those placemats only to be reminded we are a caring community and their day would have been brighter for it.
Service Coordinator-West Carleton
Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre
by Gwen Pennings
Thank you for the 16 wonderful quilted wheelchair lap quilts you made this past fall which I was very honoured to deliver for the residents of The Grove Nursing Home in Arnprior just before Christmas.
'Twas the night before Christmas, Quilters version
'Twas the night before Christmas,
And the quilts were not made.
The threads were all tangled, the cookies delayed.
The stockings weren't hung, the pantry was bare.
The poor weary Quilter, was tearing her hair.
Stacks of fat quarters, tipped over in streams.
Visions of Log Cabins, had turned into dreams.
When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But a bus full of quilters with all of their gear.
They went straight to work with just a few mutters,
Sorting and stitching and brandishing cutters.
The patterns emerged from all of the clutter,
Like magic the fabrics arranged in a flutter.
Log Cabins, Lone Stars, Flying Geese & Bear Tracks
Each quilt was a beauty-even the backs.
Her house how it twinkled, her quilts how they glowed.
The cookies were baking, the stockings were sewed.
Their work was all done, so they folded their frames,
And packed up their needles, without giving their names.
They boarded the bus, and checked the next address.
More quilts to be made, another quilter in distress.
She heard one voice echo, as they drove out of sight,
Happy quilting to all and to all a good night!