In Fall 2019, we began a charity quilt initiative, devising an all-in-one, not-for-profit quilt kit that contains everything necessary to make a quilt—including binding, and even a label. With the goal of encouraging people to make children’s quilts that could be donated to local charities, these kits were then sold within every province across Canada.
Over 20 “sew-in” events—including lunch and goodies to ensure a fun day of sewing with friends—were held at quilt stores across Canada and generous quilters spent hours finishing their quilts. Our wonderful customers jumped at the chance to host these events for their customers. These events were held in churches, shop classrooms and town halls to provide the opportunity for quilters to come together. In the space of just a few months, over 200 quilts were made for charity. While some quilts were donated to various local shelters and hospitals, most were earmarked for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
One wonderful and prolific quilter, Joan O’Leary, made between 16 and 20 quilts a month, and over the decades donated a total of 3,000 quilts to RMHC in Hamilton for patients and their families to love and take home after their stay. The quilt kit program has allowed this tradition of quilt-giving to continue, and we’ve been honoured to provide the charity with 136 quilts, lovingly stitched at seven quilt stores in the area.
Four stores in BC also took part sewing quilts from our kits, making 50 quilts for the Vancouver location; bringing the total of quilts for RMHC to a total of 186. These quilts are intended to provide a child with comfort during their stay, and they are encouraged to take their quilt home afterwards.
RMHC Vancouver is huge, with 73 rooms divided up into four areas to create a homey feel for the families that live there, if only for short periods of time. The houses serve around 2,000 families a year from all over Canada, and while an average stay is about 11 days, needs can vary considerably: one family, for example, stayed for over a year at this particular facility.
Families who stay with RMHC Vancouver are there in difficult circumstances with sick children, so the staff tries to make their stays as fun and comfortable as possible by offering many features that a typical family wouldn’t necessarily have at home. Great examples of this include a room with a Lego wall, a submarine filled with marine fish, and a slide in the main entrance that’s enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
The Hamilton location offers 41 rooms to stay in, with numerous thoughtful comforts that include a play room with an aquarium, a large rec room with games, a movie theatre, and a fully-equipped gym.
We hope that our quilts can offer children a warm fabric hug they can wrap around themselves during challenging times. We are honoured to be able to help this fantastic initiative in our small way.
We are looking forward to partnering with more stores in 2020 and continue to donate. If you would like to take part in a sew-in this year, ask your local quilt store to participate!
You can find out more about Ronald McDonald House Charities in Canada at www.rmhccanada.ca.
TrendTex Fabrics is proud to supply Canadian stores with all your favourite quilting products and fabrics. Touch, feel, and experience the fabric you’ll use for your next creative project at your local quilt store.