23 June, 2014
Just One Slab 1 Year Later
The last of the Just One Slab quilts are making piles in my little studio. That is 15 finished quilts right there. Handfuls are in various states of completion - waiting for binding, quilting, or still assembly. This is not to dismiss the probably 50 or so that were assembled by volunteers through Traditional Pastimes, a local store, then paired with a backing and sent out to long armers. Those quilts, as finished, have been donated to flood victims.
So, if you sent a slab, or twenty, know that they are all either in a finished quilt or already giving a big hug to those who need it. Anything in this last group will get photographed by me and posted here. Not all the quilts assembled and quilted by other volunteers got a snapshot, so you may not see your block. But, again, I assure you that they've all been used and made into quilts for donation.
This past weekend marked the 1 year anniversary of the flood. In the week leading up to it we had rain, rain, and more rain. Here in Calgary it didn't amount to much, thankfully. Many communities in Southern Alberta, however, did have overland flooding, sewage issues, and washouts. No one needs that. And when nerves were already raw too.
One of the local stores, My Sewing Room, has been working all year on gathering, finishing, and giving out quilts for flood victims. The focus of their giving has been on the community of High River. So, on Saturday, they had a volunteer appreciation day for the quilters who worked on donations. I went out to meet more quilters (and sign books). But one of the things I loved about the day was the scrolling images of recipients on the store's 3 TVs. The huge grins on the kids' faces, the shy smile of some men, the look of relief on others. Anne, the store owner, told me of all the tears shed by volunteers, staff, and recipients.
As quilters we know the value of a homemade quilt. And it isn't just the time. Think about the excitement you feel as you create, the giddiness of looking at the finally finished project, the anticipation of the recipient's reaction. Knowing all that, think about a moment, if you've been lucky to have it, where someone gave you a quilt. Because you know what that feels like you know how much love you immediately feel.
For the recipients of the Just One Slab quilts, and all other thousands donated after the flood, this is the feeling they get. I remember from the donation day back in September and from stories I still hear about people feeling they don't deserve the quilt, or that it should go to someone who needs it more than they do. Well, I say that everyone deserves to feel loved, and that's what these quilts do.
With the help of more volunteers - many of my friends in the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild are helping out - the last of the Just One Slab quilts will be done shortly. The plan is to donate them to seniors still displaced from their homes in High River. I will share pictures of all the quilts I've got before then, as well as donation details.
Thank you so much to absolutely everyone who donated fabric, time, slabs, and extra hands to get these quilts to the people who deserve to feel that love.