Quilter’s Christmas Gift

Gift of Love

Front left to Right: Branin Thompson,Occupational Therapy Supervisor at the Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre and Board Member, Joyce Blackwwell Back: Eileen Elligott, Joyce Berger, Betty Ohman and Amy Dreichel Health Foundation Board Member

 For a video interview between Branin Thompson and Eileen Elligott CLICK HERE 

    It seems a shame to use a quilt for the purpose for which it is intended; a bed cover or a blanket for a chair. Each quilt is the result of hours, weeks, months and sometimes even years of work and devotion.  A quilt is a clever transformation of cloth ranging from a box full of scraps to very expensive imported cloth,  into a beautiful work of art. Each project is different and requires decisions on intricate designs, artistic matching of colors and selecting appropriate material to produce another beautiful masterpiece.  
Wetaskiwin Quilters Group donate a quilt and $500 to Long Term Care
    Representatives of the Wetaskiwin Quilters Group, Joyce Berger, Betty Ohman, Joyce Blackwell and Eileen Elligott were present at the Wetaskiwin Hospital Long Term Care facility on November 27th to present one of their cherished quilts to the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation for use by residents of Long Term Care. But it didn’t end there. They also presented the Foundation with a cheque for $500.  “ I think I can speak for all our members”, stated Eileen Elligott, Treasurer of the Quilters Group, “ in saying that we feel it is very important to support not only local healthcare but also those less fortunate whether it is in the form of quilts or monetary donations.” 
    The Wetaskiwin Quilters Group was formed in 1999 and currently has approximately 20 members who meet twice monthly at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Home. Although the main purpose of the Group is to share their love of quilting, their recreational craft has evolved to include supporting the Wetaskiwin community. The Group provides comfort to community organizations through quilt donations, as well as two $500 donations each year for various needs in and around the community.  Donated quilts and or cash have benefited  more than 20 organizations in Wetaskiwin and region. “We always look forward to showcasing local talent, promoting our heritage city and providing the public with another aspect of the caring community that we are.”
    The Quilters raise funds through a quilt show and quilt raffle they host every second year. “ In 2009, we decided to have all our members list their favourite charity or organization who they would like to see the cash donations go to. We then made draws for the order in which they were to be paid out.” To date the Quilters have given monetary donations to: Stars, Edmonton Base; Nutricious Beginnings (Health Unit program; Wetaskiwin & District Victim Services ; Alberta Cancer Society (Ovarian Cancer); Operation Christmas Child, Wetaskiwin; Good Shephard, Wetaskiwin (Alzheimer Unit) ; Wetaskiwin Health Foundation (Womens Health);  Neighbors Outreach, Wetaskiwin; Salvation Army, Wetaskiwin and Long Term Care, Wetaskiwin (Recreation Therapy).
    Branin Thompson, Occupational Therapy Supervisor at the Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre and Board Member of the Wetaskiwin Hospital Foundation, thanked the quilters for supporting healthcare in Wetaskiwin with the generous donation. As she admired and accepted a quilt on behalf of the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation and Hospital, she graciously told the ladies, “The quilt is just beautiful and generous donations  like your quilting  group made go a long way to assisting Hospital staff with providing enhanced healthcare services ”
    Historically, quilts have often become associated with important life events such as marriage, the birth of a child or a family member or close friend leaving home. The considerable time and effort required to make a quilt is cherished by those who are fortunate enough to be gifted with a one on that special occasion. Eileen Elligott, treasurer of the Wetaskiwin Quilters Group describes her warmth for the hobby. “I especially enjoy making baby quilts. And when the mother receives it I really enjoy her reaction. I think all of us really enjoy making quilts and quilted items for Long Term Care because we know they are in need of them and they really appreciate them.”  
    Quilts are timeless treasures of art so cherished they are handed down through generations.  Modern quilts are not always intended for use as bedding, and may be used as wall hangings, table runners or decorations on couches and chairs.
    Fortunately in Wetaskiwin there is a group of quilt lovers whose devoted interest in quilts will continue to pass their love for this pastime on to future generations. Those patches of fabric, the stitches and the multitude of quilts the Wetaskiwin Quilters Group distribute to fortunate recipients are all symbolic of their friendship and love for others

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