Friday, February 10, 2017

#QuiltsforQC

A few weeks back, B and I went by train to Quebec City for our anniversary. We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac, we ate some delicious food, we walked around the old part of the city, we had drinks at the hotel's swanky cocktail bar, it was a lovely weekend.

Chateau Frontenac looks like Hogwarts!

Then the following weekend, a young man with a gun walked into a Quebec City area mosque during evening prayers and opened fire, killing 6 people and injuring many more. I was already sick of hearing about hate and bigotry in the news following the US election and inauguration, so the news of this shooting was the last straw. I went to bed that night feeling horrible, and woke up feeling... well, still horrible, but determined to do something about it.

I reached out to my fellow MMQG exec members and we all agreed... we needed to do something. So, taking inspiration from the Ottawa MQG's Fort McMurray project and the Orlando MQG's Pulse nightclub project, both of which we had contributed to, we started the #QuiltsforQC project. Because what do quilters do when things get bad? We quilt ;)

We put out a call on our blog for quilters to make up 12.5" square house blocks that we would then collect and make into quilts. Our goal was to have enough quilts to gift one to each of the families that lost a loved one in the shooting, and one to each of the people who were injured. We chose the 'house' theme so as to remind the recipients that this is their home and they have a right to feel safe here, because we as their neighbors and their community love and support them.

It has been heartbreaking to hear about the victims, and the grieving families they leave behind... but it has also been heartwarming to read all of the messages of love and support we have received for the victims from people wanting to help. It has not yet been two weeks since we posted the call to action and we have received offers and support from every Canadian province, at least a dozen different US States and even as far away as Italy! The Italian ladies will be mailing their blocks, although I was sorely tempted to offer to go collect them personally ;) We have received offers from people and guilds wanting to contribute everything from a few blocks, to full quilt tops and even completed quilts! There are even those who do not sew who have contributed funds to help us buy the supplies we will need to finish the quilts.

Last weekend B insisted that I show him how to use the sewing machine so that he could contribute a block, too. It took a while, but he picked out his fabrics, cut all of the pieces and sewed them together. He even did one of the seams on his grandmother's old treadle machine so that she could symbolically participate as well. I don't think he'll be taking up quilting any time soon, but he was pleased with the finished product. Here is his finished block:



If you'd like to see what others are doing, check out the hashtag #QuiltsforQC on Instagram. So far there are over 200 blocks posted publicly!

So as the blocks start to arrive in the mail from all over, our task begins in earnest as we need to start constructing the quilts. We will be holding a sew-in at Atelier Fiber Arts in Verdun on Sunday February 26th to kick things off... if you are local and would like to help out, come on by! If you're not local but still want to help, I encourage you to check out the MMQG's blog for more information.