Facebook Group makes quilts for residential school survivors – and you can help!
Update: There is no longer a deadline for blocks, tops, and quilts. Quilts for Survivors will be assembling quilts as long as quilters make them and Survivors need them.
Quilters from all over Canada are making blocks and sending them to Vanessa Génier in Timmins, ON, to be made into quilts for survivors of the residential school system.
Vanessa created the Quilts for Survivors Facebook page on June 27, in reaction to the recent discovery of unmarked graves at several previous residential school sites. The page already has more than 500 followers (3,000 as of October), and quilters engaged in making and donating blocks. Some have already arrived in the mail!
“I believe that this is a way to give back to the communities that are hurt with the recent discovery of remains on former residential schools land,” says Vanessa, who plans to send the finished quilts to as many First Nations communities as possible, for distribution to the survivors.
Seeing Truth, a block designed by Catherine Henderson and donated to Quilts for Survivors.
The request is for 16.5-inch blocks (unfinished size) incorporating at least one orange fabric. Vanessa is also accepting donations of batting, backing fabric, and thread to assemble the lap-size quilts (approximately 48” x 62”). At least one long-armer has offered to finish some of the quilts.
Originally the deadline for blocks was August 1, then October 11, so that all those quilters who are away from their machines for the summer could still participate. There is no longer a deadline; Quilts for Survivors will be assembling and sending quilts to Survivors indefinitely.
The Lone Star block donated by Alice Hertel is a pattern used in Star blankets, which are often used in ceremonies, and given as gifts of honour to the deceased, and to celebrate life events.
This 3D block design called Tumbling Blocks, also donated by Alice Hertel, makes Alice think of all the children who were students at the residential schools.
Vanessa has not only received hundreds of blocks, but also finished quilts, fabric and other donations from quilters, and support from local quilt shops.
For more information about where to send your blocks or finished quilts, and to see more examples of the blocks donated to date, visit the Facebook Group Quilts for Survivors, or the group’s new website launched November 9: www.quiltsforsurvivors.ca.
Congratulations to Vanessa for taking quick action and creating this opportunity for quilters to show their support for Survivors, and provide comfort for grieving families.