During delivery day in 2016 we were asked by Liz to recount how this project came to be. As I told the tale it made me laugh how crazy that first year was. “As the story goes we were making one quilt for each win the Vancouver Canucks had on the way to, what we hoped, would be the Stanley Cup. At the time we only made the quilts as the games were won and that made for a very crazy finish. Joan and I were in Powell River on June 4, 2011 teaching a sewing day. The Canucks played and won that night! While visiting a Neighbours home on Maple Avenue we found her husband hosting a bar-b-que for his crew and watching the game. They were so excited for hockey and our project that they sponsored four quilts on the spot. We started out with five quilters willing to take this on and picked up five more quilters as the Stanley Cup frenzy picked up. The first quilt was started in mid April and the last finished at the end of July, 6 weeks longer than the actual playoffs! We delivered 17 quilts on August 3rd, ending the first I Believe in Blue campaign. And, as the story continues, the enthusiasm by the quilters and sponsors was so awesome that they wanted to keep making quilts for the children and their families. On August 11th, 2016 we delivered 17 more quilts to Canuck Place to bring the total to 100. Such an awesome achievement by all the quilters (22) and sponsors (18) over the past 6 years.
In January 2017 an email went out asking who was still in to make a quilt for the #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaign. Every year the response was the same, they were in. Over the last five years we’ve spent a few days having a quilting/binding marathon. We did things a little differently this year. Jackie was in town and Joan put her to work piecing backings for the quilts she would do on Maybelline in between customer quilts. I quilted a couple at home and made a couple of trips to Tsawwassen to bind & label quilts. Nine quilts were long arm quilted and the other seven done on domestic machines. The Vancouver Canucks were not anywhere near playoff mode. This was all about the children and their families. This year we had one quilt that was hockey related and the rest had cats, penguins, whales, birds, flowers, hearts and angels. What a difference from 2011! We made a delivery of 16 more quilts on September 14th this year.
The quilters loved last years pattern so much that for the first time in eight years we used the same pattern for the 2018 campaign. This was the year that the Sedins would retire. The end of an era and it saw 4 quilts dedicated to the brothers. And each year we seemed to get a little later in our delivery as we would be delivering again in September. Life gets in the way sometimes and we missed the last two years quiltathon where we would bind and label the quilts. This year the quilts went to our Pt Roberts quilt retreat for the finishing touches of binding and labeling. On September 13, 2011 we delivered another 16 quilts.
We were also able to have our quiltathon this year! It’s one of my favourite few days of the year, getting to spend it with Joan & Jackie and making magic for these quilts going to Canuck Place. This year seven quilts arrived completely quilted & bound. That left nine quilts to quilt and bind. This includes making the batting the correct size. Piecing the backings to the correct size. Making some bindings & then applying the binding to the quilts. This is usually where the labels get added to all 16 quilts but they took a trip across the border to Pt Roberts again this year for the finishing touch. Delivery day was September 19, 2019.
We knew going in that the 2020 #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaign would be our last one. And what a strange year it has been. Covid-19. We had to use the services of Canada Post to mail out quilt kits when we usually delivered in person. Joan had to do most of the quilting alone this year. When we have our quiltathon Jackie and I do all the prep work and help with the quilting. We finally got to have a physically distanced stitchathon on September 1st. Joan had only one quilt to finish. Jackie and I did the bindings and labels…it was a marathon stitching day! After a wonderful dinner we watched the Vancouver Canucks win game five 2-1.
We’ve spent 10 years celebrating 25 years of Canuck Place and 50 years of the Vancouver Canucks. We have had an awesome run with our #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaigns, finishing with one hundred and sixty four quilts for the children and families at Canuck Place. Delivery day for 2020 will be Thursday, October 8th. A physically distanced drop off in the gardens at Canuck Place. #LoveHowYouGive #LoveWhatYouDo
I’ve finished The Next Five Years photo book. These two books will be included in the delivery with the quilts. This campaign ended the same way it began in 2011, with the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They made it to game 7 of round two. That’s 10 playoff wins in 2020. Looking forward to more exciting hockey and lots more inspired quilting.
Thanks for making this dream a reality. Happy quilting…Valerie Raye & Joan