There is something about a quilt that says ‘home’ or maybe ‘comfort,’ but usually it will always say ‘love.’
Most people over the age of maybe 50 probably remember a quilt that was either theirs or on their parents' bed.
I have a quilt made by my grandmother for a double bed. But when I married, we had a queen size bed, so the ladies group at the church, who I knew, put another border on it so it could be used on the new bed. That quilt means a lot to me as it has pieces of most of the clothes I used to wear and I know there was a lot of love that went into making it.
Victoria's Quilts are that way. They won’t have the person’s clothing bits in it, but they can be made with the person’s favourite colour schemes or themes like wildlife or teapots or fishing scenes. They are made to order but they are seasoned with a big dose of love. These quilts cannot be purchased and not just anyone can have one. They are given only to comfort people while they receive their cancer treatments. Children, adults, male or female, it matters not.
They are lined with a cozy warm material that will warm the cockles of the patient’s heart, with comfort and love and also keep them warm during the treatments.
Victoria had cancer and unfortunately died, but her sister-in-law Deb Rogers realized comfort in the following verse from Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Deb also knew how to give comfort to people being treated and because she was a quilter, she made special quilts. That happened a couple of decades ago in the United States and in 1999 Betty Griffin, who was seeking a way to share her faith and love of quilting, got Deb’s blessing and started Victoria’s Quilts Canada. They have now reached the 50,000 quilt milestone in Canada.
All the quilts are quilted by volunteers. They are delivered by volunteers. The group has no religious affiliation and not one person makes money. All names are kept private. You need only call and they will deliver a quilt anywhere in the country, usually with in a week or two! Wow!
I had a wonderful visit with Harold and Dianne Moore of Tillsonburg, who got involved with this program after a family member had cancer. During their treatments they received a quilt and they are quite enthusiastic about it.
We have not only the Woodstock-Oxford Branch of Victoria’s Quilts, but also a sub group or 'Friends' group right here in Tillsonburg. The Tillsonburg quilters work at Cherished Pieces on Broadway. Because these quilts are needed immediately, they are not hand-done, so if you are a sewer quilter, give Carol Nant a call at 519-554-1414 to find out what day they meet to sew a quilt. Grab your sewing machine and join others who will sew all the comfort and love into a one-day quilt! There are quilters in every town and if you are one, or know one, let them know about this project.
150 quilts cost $9,000 and, of course, not every quilter can afford to do this, so the only fundraising is for materials, thread and assorted other items one needs in quilting. Another wonderful group, 100 Women Who Care - Oxford recently donated funds to make quilts that will be delivered in our area. Other service clubs, church groups or anyone who cares can help with fundraising.
If you know someone taking treatments now you can email the Woodstock branch firstname.lastname@example.org, call 613-843-9212, or email email@example.com. If a request is made for a place with no quilter group involved, they will mail one from Ottawa.
If you like the idea of the project but can’t quilt, perhaps you would like to be a deliverer. At the moment there are about eight people delivering in our area. One route delivers about 15 per month to the Delhi, Aylmer and Port Burwell areas.
Once the request is made, and the quilt is ready to be delivered, the recipient is contacted by you, so they know what is happening and won’t be upset when a stranger makes the delivery. Sometimes those delivering are invited in and other times they are accepted at the door. But no matter how it is done, the recipients are usually overwhelmed that someone asked for a quilt to be made for them, and that perfect strangers gave their time and energy, for them.
I asked why I had never heard of this wonderful program and discovered that since it was relatively new in our area, they didn’t want a big campaign (they wouldn’t be able to keep up to the requests), but now they are ready for the public to know, and I am honoured that they asked me to help deliver the message to you.
If you have more question, please call Harold Moore at 519 842 3332 or visit www.victoriasquiltscanada.com. I sent one to a friend out west. It is very easy to do.