Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Respect for Quilts

I have a new respect for quilts.
Not just the design, the actual effort put in to make it.
They are really works of art!
My new found respect came when a friend of mine suggested I contact Victoria's Quilts Canada.
It is a wonderful non-profit, volunteer based company that makes quilts (for free) for people who are going through chemotherapy. 
How did this get started? *
It actually started in the US. A woman named Victoria Ann Morrison who was going through chemo told her best friend Deborah Rogers - who was also a  cancer patient - that she felt cold while laying in the facility to get treatment. After Victoria's death, Deborah remembered Victoria’s comment about being cold and wanted to do something. Since Victoria made so many quilts in her life time, Deb thought that this would be a good place to start. And she did :)

In August of 1998, Betty Giffin of Ottawa learned about this wonderful work and brought the idea to Canada. She started slowly, inviting a handful of friends to discuss the possibility of groups getting together to make quilts. In its first year, Victoria’s Quilts Canada distributed 16 quilts to people with cancer.

In 2002 and 2003, they expanded to include eight branches outside the Ottawa area. The non-quilting volunteer base grew to include more administrative help. As in the past, the number of quilts grew along with public awareness.
As with most non-profit organizations, they felt the financial pinch brought on by many world disasters, but the volunteers came to aid by developing innovative fundraising ideas.
Donations started coming in, more branches opened, more volunteers joined. 

From humble beginnings, they continue to flourish: more than 800 volunteers meet in 20 groups in Ottawa and close to 30 branches across Canada. 

Each month, they distribute almost 400 quilts across the country. FOUR HUNDRED QUILTS!

After contacting Victoria's Quilts to see if I could get one for my Dad, I received a wonderful email response. And about 2 weeks later, I received a package in the mail. It was a beautiful quilt.  It really took my breath away. This picture does not do it justice. You could actually feel the love and effort put into this blanket. And it really is warm! They sent a lovely card and prayer along with it. I was very touched by the generosity of this organization. As was my Dad. 

If you know someone who is going through chemotherapy, this would be a wonderful gift to them. All you need to do is send an email :)

For my friends in the US, you can visit the US web site at

*Source: Victoria's Quilts Canada website

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