When MLQ started the I Believe in Blue quilting campaign back in April 2011 there was no plan beyond getting 16 quilts to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and celebrating the Vancouver Canucks winning that 16th game for the Stanley Cup. Well who knew we’d be making 50 more quilts over the next 3 years and still be waiting for the Stanley Cup to belong to the Canucks?!
That first year was a whirlwind of activity as we just kept picking up sponsors after each win and piecing and quilting each one on our domestic machines. That year we had 9 quilters. We had 10 quilters in 2012 & 2013. This year we picked up two more quilters for a total of 12. I start the campaign by designing a pattern in the fall after the quilts are delivered. Joan purchases bolts of Kona cotton and begins to cut the quilt kits early in the new year. Kits are then sent out as the quilter/sponsor money comes in and we give a deadline of June 30th for a finished quilt. Not everyone completes the entire quilt from piecing to binding. Lots of quilters send their quilts out to be quilted and Canuck Quilts are no exception. Only 3 were quilted on domestics in this campaign…way to go Donna A, Liz and Wanda!! For the past 3 years Joan, Jackie and I have spent 3 days marathon quilting, binding and labelling those quilts that have been pieced by me (usually 5 or 6) and 4 or 5 others that come in for quilting. It’s a lot of work but a lot of fun at the same time. I use the machine once every 6 months and believe me when I say it’s not easy! Last January I used the boards which have a groove in them and you follow along with a stylus in the groove. Then in July I’m quilting hockey players that face in two different directions…following arrows with a laser dot…it’s a mind boggler…I’m so glad that I piece and Joan quilts!
On Thursday morning Joan and I took the quilts to Beach Grove school so we could photograph them. A young boy came into the tennis courts on his skateboard and came over to see the quilts. He was impressed with what he saw and where these quilts were going. His mom came in to see what was going on and offered to help take them down, appreciating all the quilts and the reason behind them. The boy’s parting words were “I sure hope the kids like these quilts.” We can’t wait to deliver these quilts in August. It’s a great day and we get to do it all again in 2015.
Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye