June Schroeder presents a Building Fund donation to Finance Chair Ted Wallin, December 2007.
Miracle Quilters (Our History)
The idea of making quilts for an auction as a fundraising event for the building of a new Catholic church in Swift Current had its beginnings in early 2006. June Schroeder had been involved in a similar fundraiser in her former community and placed a notice in the bulletin to assess interest in this project. On April 8, 2006 twenty ladies attended a meeting and decided to go ahead with this fundraising effort. A plea was placed in the bulletin requesting fabrics – cottons, flannelette, denim, etc. – and many generous donations were received from church members and others in the community as well as Dawn’s Quilt Shop in Shaunavon. The fabrics were sorted, washed and ironed and used in various sized quilts for our first auction. The sizes and patterns were determined by the amount of suitable fabrics in co-ordinating colours.
Each of the members found opportunities to use her own particular talents – designing, choosing colours, cutting blocks, pinning, sewing, pressing, hand quilting, machine quilting and finishing. A few members with some quilting experience were able to create some specially designed quilts. The goal was to make 50 quilts but the enthusiasm of the group surpassed that goal. Tote bags, placemats, bibs, table runners and other small items were completed as well as the quilts. At one of the quilting sessions, a quilter commented that it was a miracle that the donated fabric could become so many quilts and we became the “Miracle Quilters”.
The first auction was held March 3, 2007 at the Cypress Hills Regional College. Gordon Cameron, a cattle auctioneer, adapted very well to selling quilts. Over $9000 was raised for the building fund! And the group decided to continue quilting and plan for more fundraising events.
The group provides members with an outlet for creativity, an opportunity to share a multitude of talents, and a warm and welcoming place for fellowship, learning and laughter. We meet each week from September to June on Mondays to plan, piece and complete quilts and quilted items. Our group often
includes women from other faith groups who share our love of quilting and unselfishly donate their time and talent to our group.
We began our quilting in the old Sacred Heart Hall, but moved into two rooms on the upper level of Christ the Redeemer Church on a very cold January day in 2011. Our new area is bright and spacious and we are very appreciative of the fact that we don’t have to pack up everything and store it each week. We have room for sewing machines, hand quilting frame, ironing boards, layout table and cupboards for storage although we still use bins for completed quilts and additional fabric. We welcome visitors to come and see the quilters in action.
Over the years the group has met on several occasions to enjoy each other’s company away from the quilting production line. We’ve experienced quilt shop visits, coffee/tea parties in member’s homes, a Christmas pudding making session, garden tours at the Schroeder acreage, volunteering at the church garage sales, a quilting demonstration at the Swift Current Library, and sharing sessions with interested groups from the community.
Since the group began, we have held seven auctions as well as several raffles, Quilt Shows, and silent auctions in the church hall and have sold quilts at the Christmas Spirit Trade Show. We have also made several special request or custom quilts and memory pillows. Many quilts and other items have been donated to the Southwest Crisis Services, Canadian Mental Health Association, Public Health Nursing, the Cancer Lodge, Days for Girls Hygiene Project, Pro-Life, long term care facilities, and our parish CWL and Social Justice ministry for hampers.
We would like to express our thanks and appreciation to the members of our parish community for their support and encouragement. We are pleased to say that our group has contributed about $100,000 to the Building Fund since our first auction in 2007.
Quilts are presently displayed in the North Foyer of the church as well as both Sacred Heart and St. Michael’s Halls. All items are available for purchase.
If you have any questions about our quilts or our group, please call either Camille at 778-6594 or Sheila at 778-2109.
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