Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser
BoredPanda Add Post

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

“Welcome To Canada. We Care”: Volunteers Craft Over 300 Quilts For Ukrainian Refugees
118points
1.5K
Art, Good News2 months ago

“Welcome To Canada. We Care”: Volunteers Craft Over 300 Quilts For Ukrainian Refugees

Why hello there, you beautiful Panda! Hope your day is full of bamboo and warmth. Speaking of warmth…

Whether it’s the fond memories of childhood or the imitation of a comforting embrace, the blanket has a significant place in all of our hearts. It’s a hiding place from everything evil that the world can and will throw at you. A place of imagination and play. A companion on cold rainy nights and a picnic blanket for sunny afternoons. For those that have very little or have lost close to everything, it can be a beautiful means of solace. And this is where the story comes in!

Talented ladies from southern Manitoba, Canada, joined together to make quilts for Ukrainian families arriving at the province, adding in notes to say, “Welcome to Canada. We Care!” Get the tissues, this one’s quite wholesome…

Before we start, dearest Pandas, don’t forget to leave your thoughts below, follow the author for more goodful goodness, and upvote the story if you enjoyed it! Thank you and let’s finally get into it!

More info: Facebook

An initiative has taken place to create quilts for Ukrainian refugees coming to Canada, uniting the talent and skill of dozens of volunteers, mostly retirees

Image credits: Maureen Carr

Dozens of volunteers, most of whom are retired women from Carman and surrounding communities, have been working tirelessly for weeks on end to offer the warmest of welcomes to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war.

The initiative was organized by Maureen Carr last month. She told the CBC that she saw a news story about the war in Ukraine and felt compelled to help in any way she could.

An idea presented itself and Maureen phoned the local legion, which immediately offered her use of the hall two days a week for the workshops of making the quilts. Now all she needed were talented hands to help make them.

It was organized by Maureen Carr, who’d seen news coverage on the Russo-Ukrainian war and wanted to help out in some way

Image credits: Maureen Carr

Maureen put out a call for action on Facebook, saying: “We are going to start making quilts at the Legion Aux Hall in Carman on March 15 @ 9:00 am. Please note you don’t have to be a quilter. If you can sew, we can put you to work piecing. If you can’t sew, we can get you tying the quilts, and if you work and are unable to join in, we can always use donations to offset the cost of the batting.” The response was one she did not expect.

Dozens of people came forth with keen interest to participate. Maureen told CBC that she’d had 15-20 volunteers show up at each quilting session, with “about six to twelve women going with the sewing machines on one side,” whilst others helped out by ironing, tying and ‘sandwiching’ layers of cloth into blankets.

She called up the local legion, who allowed her to use the hall for the workshops and one Facebook post later, the volunteers came rushing in

Image credits: Maureen Carr

The initiative united everyone – experts in their craft and excited beginners, helping out by ironing, tying and ‘sandwiching’ layers of cloth into blankets

Image credits: Maureen Carr

I myself have an incredibly limited knowledge of quilting or sewing in general. So I dipped a toe into the bottomless pond of information and boy oh boy, the artistry cannot be underestimated.

Quilting is the process of joining a minimum of three layers of fabric together, inviting for a wide range of effects through the manipulation of material type and thickness, stitch length and style, pattern design, piecing and cutting. From 2D to 3D designs, to adding in elements such as pearls, beads, buttons, sequins, the possibilities seem endless.

Emma Jeffery has detailed all the steps that go into making a simple quilt, let alone one that is highly detailed or fancy and it’s a doozy for the untrained person. But, all can be learnt! Especially when you’re part of a welcoming and warm community such as this.

Quilting is a craft that requires practice, patience and time, yet they exceeded all expectations

Image credits: Maureen Carr

“Many hands make light work” as within just 6 days, the group had made an astounding 130 quilts and afghans

Image credits: Maureen Carr

“Many hands make light work,” said Maureen. Within just six days of launching the effort, the group produced an astounding 130 quilts and afghans (crocheted or knitted blankets).

The quilts and afghans range in patterns, colors and sizes. From baby blankets to queen-size blankets, so that each individual gets their own, rather than giving out just one per family. “They have nothing. These will be something that belongs to them,” Maureen explained.

“If they’re just watching TV or reading a book, they’ve got this quilt to put around them, and be comforted that someone does care.” The seamstresses included a message on the flip side of every quilt: a little heart-shaped patch that reads “Welcome to Canada. We care.”

I don’t think there are many gifts as full of love as a handmade quilt that can be passed down from one generation to the next. A beautiful gift indeed.

Image credits: Maureen Carr

“These will be something that belongs to them,” Maureen explained. “They’ve got this quilt to put around them, and be comforted that someone does care”

Image credits: Maureen Carr

Image credits: Maureen Carr

A small exhibit of their works took place earlier this April, attracting over 140 curious people, who not only praised the quilts, but also donated some of their own

Image credits: Maureen Carr

Earlier this April, the volunteers did a small exhibit of their works at the Carman Active Living Center, where over 140 people came through to carefully examine and admire the handiwork on display, but that’s not all. Several people brought in their own finished quilts & afghans, others donating fabric for future pieces.

Maureen said in a Facebook post that “the generosity has been overwhelming. I really can’t think how to thank everyone. When we had our quilt display people were very generous with donations and any money left over at the end of this project will go directly to help the Ukrainian refugees.”

Image credits: Maureen Carr

“I’m awestruck by the way the community works together here,” said Nigel Bart, an artist who looks after the gallery at the Golden Prairie Arts Council in Carman. He continued to say that “there’s this hive intelligence. They’re really in tune. Quilts are immensely symbolic.”

“You’re sewing patches, different fabrics together. This is what multiculturalism here in Canada is about.” He will continue to take pictures of the works and will put them all online once the initiative is finished for us all to see.

The main question was how would they get the quilts into the hands of Ukrainians, but they’ve come up with a solution

Image credits: Maureen Carr

The one fork in the road was actually figuring out how to get the quilts into the hands of Ukrainians. They recently got in touch with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ branch in Winnipeg, which will alert them when it hears of new arrivals.

The current plan is to get people with empty vehicles to stop at Maureen’s home and fill them up with blankets. One of their couriers includes a Ukrainian Orthodox priest who holds services in the Carman area twice a month, as well as hockey fans heading to Jets games.

Image credits: Maureen Carr

The initiative continues, truly showing the power we have once we come together. We wish them all the best of luck and happy sewing!

Image credits: Maureen Carr

The initiative continues. The most recent post revealed that they’re currently at 331 quilts and afghans. Maureen encouraged one and all to join in, saying, “Anyone who wants to come and help, you’re more than welcome,” before adding with a chuckle: “If you don’t quilt or sew at all, we can get you sewing if you really want to.”

The quilting group meets every Monday and Tuesday at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 18 in Carman. Donations of cash and fabric are accepted, and everyone is welcome to pitch in!

The war continues to upheave the lives of innocent people, so if you’d like to support Ukraine, here is a list of resources.

I hope you all have enjoyed this story and I look forward to reading your thoughts. Have a wonderful day, dearest Pandas! See you all in the next one and happy crafting!

People have been touched by this initiative and the sharing of love. Leave us your thoughts below!

Share on Facebook
You May Like
Popular on Bored Panda
Hey pandas, what do you think?
Beth Ellis
Community Member
2 months ago

Blankets are not useless as some might want to suggest. They can actually go a long way to giving people who are scared, traumatized or struggling mentally a bit of physical comfort as well as warmth. One of the reasons why you see accident victims covered in blankets. I think its a lovely gesture.

Ktlar
Community Member
2 months ago

These are art

H Moore
Community Member
2 months ago

Ok I guess...but my mum was a refugee a long time ago. She had nothing, no home, no money, no furniture, no clothes....a quilt? Pretty but not that helpful. Give money

Load More Comments
Beth Ellis
Community Member
2 months ago

Blankets are not useless as some might want to suggest. They can actually go a long way to giving people who are scared, traumatized or struggling mentally a bit of physical comfort as well as warmth. One of the reasons why you see accident victims covered in blankets. I think its a lovely gesture.

Ktlar
Community Member
2 months ago

These are art

H Moore
Community Member
2 months ago

Ok I guess...but my mum was a refugee a long time ago. She had nothing, no home, no money, no furniture, no clothes....a quilt? Pretty but not that helpful. Give money

Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Popular on Bored Panda
User Submissions
Also on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda