Our Guild is involved in charitable work through the donation of quilts that are raffled to raise money for charitable organizations, as well as donating comfort quilts to shelters across the GTA and other organizations involved in emergency relief.
The Community Quilt Workshop group organizes the January YHQG meeting each year, in which we work in teams to assemble blocks to be made into quilts which are then donated or sold. This group also encourages YOUR participation by preparing kits for you to piece a quilt top, for you to quilt a pre-assembled quilt sandwich, or for you to donate a completed quilt made from your own materials. Kits and sandwiches are available at the CQ table at each YHQG meeting.
Our guild now has two groups meeting to sew for Community Quilts. One is at the East York Community Centre and is located at 1081 Pape Ave, just south of O’Connor Drive. This group meets on Tuesdays, starting from 11:15am to 4 pm.
The format for the CQ meetings at EYCC continues as previously: CQ projects one Tuesday and one’s own work on alternate weeks. A schedule, of sorts, has begun with weekly emails to participants notifying them of the project for the upcoming Tuesday. All of the fabric, batting and assembled quilt top inventory is, by necessity being stored in various members’ households. However, storage of sewing machines, mats and the day to day paraphernalia necessary to quilting is in a locked storage closet adjacent to the meeting room.
A number of people have chosen to continue to meet Mondays at the Stan Wadlow Community Centre at 373 Cedarvale Avenue (Cosburn and Woodbine area). This grouop will also be alternating between CQ work and their own projects. Note that ALL the items necessary to work on your project needs to be brought to the centre every week. B. J. Reid will be the contact person for this group.
For members who would like to join either group, please contact our guild president and she will forward your information to the appropriate person.
Comfort Quilts for a new men’s residence
Sixteen striking quilts (60″ x 80″) were created by our members and donated to a new indigenous men’s residence that opened in late 2019 in Toronto. This is yet another example of our focus on reaching across societal boundaries to show we care.
See all the images here.
Community Quilting Annual Report: 2018-2019
The number of quilts made from CQ materials, or from members’ stashes, is the biggest factor in the success of this outreach program. A great big shout-out and thank you to all of the members who contribute their time, talent and material goods. An average of about 25-30 quilts are brought in each month. As they attend our monthly meetings, our members deliver completed quilts, quilted sandwiches, quilt tops and touch quilts for distribution to those in the wider community who need a helping hand (we call these “comfort quilts”). Total number of quilts this year? Somewhere between 200 and 225. Pretty impressive!
A selection of quilts are chosen and then offered to not-for-profit organizations to assist in their fundraising (we call them “auction quilts”).
Maintaining a list of recipient organizations for both the comfort quilts and auction quilts is an ongoing process. Comfort quilts have gone to Sistering, Humewood House, Nellie’s, Na-Me-Res, Winona’s Place and Dr. Roz’s Healing Place in past years. We have also given auction quilts to Wellspring and the Toronto Intergenerational Project.
We encourage our members to think about a favourite not-for-profit organization that might benefit from our creations, and submit the details to Wendy. A kids’ quilt or lap quilt is the kind of item that is offered for either silent or live fundraising auctions.
We have a special relationship with Sistering: for their two holiday parties for their clients, two sets of three quilts (for a Mom, a child & a baby) are supplied for their raffle. These have become much-prized items over the years.
In 2018, an appeal for kids quilts for Nonnina’s Table resulted in 65 beautiful quilts as well as donations of personal care products and some gently used baby clothes for the organization to put in their Holiday Baskets for families at risk. We are hoping to be able to supply a similar number of quilts to this worthy cause again this December.
At the February 2019 guild meeting, fussy-cut circles were prepared for members to appliqué onto bright coloured squares. Sufficient blocks were completed that night (and many more brought to subsequent meetings) to complete at least six quilt tops.
For the coming guild year, we have accepted a new challenge: a request for 16 quilts for a new Toronto Housing Project for indigenous men. This is a tangible way for our quilting community to begin the process of reconciliation with an aboriginal population. Bev will be designing and cutting kits for this project, to be available for members through the summer (contact Wendy) and at the September meeting. If you are interested in participating and want to use your own fabrics, please contact Wendy for the particulars regarding size and colour. It will be a tight turn-around, as we’d like to be able to deliver the quilts by the end of October, before the really cold weather returns!
November 2018 – Show & Share of some of the quilts received for donation
Oct 2018 Tables of quilt “sandwiches” for members to take home and quilt.
Guild members handing in quilts pieced and some waiting to be quilted,, all so lovingly put together for donations.
Here is an update by Wendy on the fabulous work our guild has been doing
Feb 2019 Report click here
In May 2018 YHQG gave two quilts to a very grateful YWCA. Here is a photo of the quilts:
Sistering hosts two Holiday Parties for their clients and children. This is the fourth year that YHQG has given them two sets of three quilts (adult, child & baby) that are given out by a free raffle. They tell us that these quilts are prized by the recipients.
Quilts were made specifically for this donation by guild members Jacinta Bennell, Jane Cramer and Judy Messenger. The baby quilts were from CQ kits that members pieced and quilted. Here is a look at some of the quilts our guild donated:
The AWHL (Assaulted Women’s Helpline) held its 14th annual helpline gala Friday November 17th 2017 and they were very happy with the turnout. To maximize the proceeds from a quilt donated by YHQG, they used it in a raffle which ended up raising $458.00!!
They told us: “We are thrilled that the quilt brought in that much money, and we cannot thank the York Heritage Quilt Guild for their generous donation!”
In September 2017 our guild made a donation of 21 quilts to NaMeRes, a safe place for counselling and learning for men in the aboriginal community. Click here to see the thank-you email they sent.
In January 2017 YHQG donated 32 comfort quilts to Seven Oaks, a long-term care facility in Scarborough. Here is the thank-you they sent:
“I wanted to thank you and you members for the wonderful and very generous donation of the beautiful quilts. Our new residents are enjoying them as well we have displayed some on the walls of our 5 resident units and will be having quilt draws to raise money for resident programs.
On behalf of the residents of Seven Oaks we really cannot thank you enough.”
Guild members have been so generous with time, energy and supplies in creating quilts or using CQ kits and/or quilt sandwiches to make quilts to be donated….to Syrian newcomers, residents of Fort Mac or women in shelters. Bev Stevens has already started cutting new kits for members to piece for even more beautiful quilts for distribution next year!
The grand total for the quilt year 2016 is at least 68 quilts. The response by membership for quilts to be distributed to Syrian newcomers was remarkable. In April, it was announced that going forward, CQ would return to the usual distribution to shelters with about 30-35 held for further Syrian newcomers.
35 quilts were sent to Fort MacMurray via the Hobby Horse in Georgetown. This was just in time for the call for actual quilts (beyond the need for cash donations), when the residents were advised that the process for returning/rebuilding could start.
Here are some of the comfort quilts made recently by our guild members (click for larger view):
A dedicated group of volunteers meet weekly on Mondays to coordinate the making of the quilts. These quilts are then donated to various charitable organizations across the GTA. The group meets on Mondays between the hours of 9:30am and 3:00pm at the Stan Wadlow Centre at 373 Cedarvale Avenue (map below). At present, we are at capacity for volunteer space here. However, we would love your help! Community Quilts has quilt top kits to be pieced and pre-sandwiched quilts to be quilted, and these are on offer at the CQ table at YHQG meetings. Take some home and work on them there… or you can donate a quilt made from your own materials if you wish. All sizes and styles welcome. Questions?Contact Wendy Dines for details.
Supplies to make the quilts come from bequests, individual members and businesses. Recently, CQ has made its extensive fabric stash available for purchase by the membership, and this fundraising initiative has been especially helpful with the purchase of batting.
Comfort quilts are distributed to organizations that provide emergency shelter or temporary residential facilities. Women’s shelters, shelters for new immigrants, nursing homes and the Linus project have all been beneficiaries of YHQG comfort quilts.
Is your group interested in receiving a quilt? If you would like more information on how to apply for and receive a YHQG community quilt for your fundraising project, please contact Wendy Dines.
A couple of years ago, guild member Nancy Webster started a quilting outreach project at Sanctuary. Here is a photo of some of the participants hand stitching on a ‘4-boards/4-clamps’ frame. This is their third group quilt in such a short time. What a wonderful way to bring quilting to a wider audience.