Islanders participating in Canada’s biggest quilting bee, Quilt Canada

MANITOULIN—Quilting groups around Manitoulin Island are taking part in Quilt Canada 2017- Canada’s biggest quilting bee, to help provide for 1,000 quilts being given to children at Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada.

“With the Quilt Canada conference set to take place in June, we are going to put all our quilts together, and send them on, probably about 10 quilts from our groups, and they will be going toward the Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada,” said Lauren MacDonald of the Happy Quilters. She pointed out the  the Little Current Quilters Guild and Stitchery group, Island Quilters, and Gore Bay Happy Quilters are taking part.

A Canadian Quilter release states, “1,000 quilts for Ronald McDonald houses across Canada. Take part in Canada’s biggest quilting bee! Let’s make Canada’s 150th birthday one to remember! We know that Canadian quilters like to get involved. Help the Canadian Quilters Association/Association canadienne de la courtepointe (CQA/ACC) pull off Canada’s biggest quilting bee from June 14 to 17, during Quilt Canada 2017 at The International Centre, Toronto, Ontario!”

“Everyone is invited to bring blocks to Quilt Canada 2017, where there will be a chance to work on quilts-in-progress during the Big Quilt Bee,” the release notes. “Sponsors have donated sewing machines and longarms, and we need an army of quilters to make quilts from stacks of blocks donated by hundreds of quilters. Our goal is to distribute 1,000 quilts to families of sick children, who are staying at the 15 Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada.”

“It can be surprising to know that 70 percent of Canadians live outside a city with a children’s hospital. This means that when a child becomes sick, families must often travel hundreds of kilometers to get the care their sick childs needs. The Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family rooms in Canada help to keep 30,000 families, from over 440 communities, close to their sick child and the care they need each year. The 15 Ronald McDonald Houses provide out of town families with a home to stay at while their child is being treated at a nearby hospital, while the 16 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide a comfortable place for families to rest and recharge, right inside hospitals.”

Shown is one of the quilts made by a local quilter.

In the project, each block in a quilt must have at least one piece of a special Canada birthday fabric on it. “We will be forwarding our quilts this summer,” said Ms. MacDonald. “In mid-June the quilts will be collected at Quilt Canada and then delivered to the Ronald McDonald houses.”

“Each block on a quilt has to have at least one piece of Canadian in it,” said Ms. MacDonald. “Our association wanted to do something for the Canada 150 birthday celebrations. The Victoria (B.C.) guild made 50 quilts, based on the slab block invented by a Canadian modern quilter Cheryl Atkinson,  of Calgary, Alberta, who gave us permission to use  this. I sent directions to everyone on the slab blocks, and all our groups are working on the quilts. People all over the country are making these quilts.”