Wednesday, 09 November 2011 13:56

Swift Current quilters give a helping hand

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By Matthew Liebenberg
Swift Current
The whirring of the machines only stopped briefly on Oct. 31 as the Miracle Quilters in Swift Current presented their latest handiwork to the Canadian Cancer Society.


Each of the 12 blocks in the sampler quilt consists of breast cancer awareness fabric with pink ribbons and words such as love, hope, faith, courage and survivor on it. A sampler quilt means each block is different.

“There’s a big line of breast cancer fabric that’s been printed,” Pat Gossard said. “We just happened to be lucky to have some.”

A few years back she saw a similar quilt being done by a group in Yuma, Arizona. Recently Peggy Orsak, another member of the Miracle Quilters, brought back some breast cancer awareness fabric from Yuma.

“She saw them and they were on sale at a really good price,” Gossard explained. “We just decided we’ll do one.”

The members of the group are working on between eight and 10 quilts at a time, but it still did not take them long to complete this one.

“It wasn’t really very long because we have everybody doing sewing on it and doing blocks and stuff,” Gossard said. “We have ironers, cutters, sewers, designers. It’s a really good group.”

Roxana Fryklund, who is the Southwest Unit manager of the Canadian Cancer Society in Saskatchewan, received the quilt. She said the organization has already decided to use the quilt to raise funds during one of their main events of the year.

“I’ve discussed it with our Relay for Life committee and they would like to auction it at Relay for Life 2012,” she mentioned.

The 12-hour event will take place on June 8-9, 2012 in Swift Current to raise funds for cancer research and cancer patients.

“We start at seven at night and then we go until seven the next morning,” she said. “Teams register and participate in this. We honour, celebrate and remember our survivors and cancer people that have passed on or are still going through treatment.”

Fryklund emphasized the importance of support from community groups such as the quilters in providing assistance to cancer patients.

“This quilt will be going to Relay for Life for an auction, but we give many of the quilts that are donated to us to patients that are undergoing cancer treatment or to palliative patients. It makes them feel like somebody cares.”

According to June Schroeder, who is the co-ordinator for the Miracle Quilters, the group was organized in the fall of 2006 to help out with fundraising efforts to build a new Roman Catholic church.

“We’re not all Catholic women, but we just love to sew,” she said. “We welcome anyone that wants to come and join us.”

The group usually meets every Monday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in an upstairs room at the Christ the Redeemer Church, 600 Circle Drive.

Their work sessions are attended by about 18 regular participants.

A large portion of the proceeds from their quilting is still going to the Christ the Redeemer Building Fund. Two of their quilts, including one with a life-size Roughrider football player on it, were on offer in their annual raffle for which the draw date was Nov. 8.

They also have an auction sale every year that has become quite successful.

“We usually have about 70 quilts for that auction,” she said. “We make about $10,000 each auction that we have.”

The group is currently hard at work to make quilts for their next auction that will take place in the spring. In addition to the church building fund, they have quilted for other welfare groups in Swift Current.

“We get a lot of donated material and some of it isn’t suitable for a big quilt,” Schroeder said. “So we make small crib quilts or baby quilts or cottage quilts and we donate them to the Crisis Centre and we make receiving blankets for the Nursing Association for needy babies. We try to make use of all the material that has been donated to us.”


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