Fifty plus quilts for Ft. McMurray fire victims were sewn in less than a month by 15 quilters in Forestburg including, from the left, Sandra Cassells, Terri Mancari, Charlotte Stenson, Susan Laurendeau and Pat James. ECA Review/J.Geddes
by Jamie Geddes
A group of local quilters from Flagstaff and surrounding area decided to have a quilting bee to aid the residents of Fort McMurray after a massive fire drove them from their homes and left many with nothing but the things they were able to grab as they fled for safety.
After news of the fires broke, Facebook posts were inundated as uploaded photos and comments of the horror of the fire forced the city to evacuate.
Social media lit up with news from those fleeing prompted Albertans and many across Canada and other countries to leap into action and offer support.
One such post was from a woman in Lethbridge; Wilma Mulder who started a group called Quilts for Fort McMurray.
A local quilter, Joyce Oberg of Forestburg saw this post and soon a group of quilters began to quilt.
Brenda Snethum, Verna Steil, Terri Mancari, Lilyon Lunty, Pat James, June Charlton, Jenn Laurendeau, Charlotte Stenson, Marilyn Knievel, Anna Marie Brown, Kathy Kells, Sandra Cassels, Millie Duncan, and Joyce Oberg joined Laurendeau and leapt into action. There were donations of time, space, and quilt pieces, fabric, batting, and binding.
They devised a system to maximize their efforts to achieve both quality and quantity and in less than a month these quick stitchers made a little over 50 quilts to donate as well as an afghan and some blankets.
Laurendeau took them to Rose Lefler in Edmonton on Tuesday, June 14 to await distribution. Lefler is a volunteer who offered to hold the quilts until the distribution centre was ready for them.
“I’ve just been helping a very short time and over 200 quilts have come to me in just over a week and a half including the ones from Forestburg. There are more of them expected. It’s been wonderful to see this much support.”
The Flagstaff ladies have decided to continue meeting one day per month to create what they call “charity quilts.”
Laurendeau says, “It has been a true collective effort! We decided it is nice to have some quilts on hand to be able to give to someone in need.”