Quilts for Fort McMurray: July Update

Back in May, I put a call out for people to send some quilt blocks so we could make quilts to send to those who were affected by the devastating wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.

Well, the response has been incredible. Unbelieveable, actually!

We have received over 2,000 blocks from quilters all over the world! From coast to coast from Canada and the US (even Hawaii and Alaska); from the UK, Australia, Japan. This outpouring of support from all over is amazing and a testament to the quilting community.

This was much more than we originally anticipated. So, it’s a good thing that I am a member of a very supportive quilt guild! The Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild set up two sew days this summer, for members to come and help sew quilt tops together using the blocks.

Check out all of those quilt blocks… all in stacks by colour!

On Sunday, guild members worked hard all day to put together quilt tops. We also had two members of the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild make the trip out to Ottawa to join us! We estimated that we had at least 18 finished yesterday (I finished two!) with some more taken home with members to finish up.

And check out some of these awesome quilt tops that were finished yesterday! It’s pretty amazing the variety of quilts that can be made with a single quilt block!

We took photos of all of the quilt tops together - and it already looks pretty impressive!  If you would like to see more photos - I’ve put together a Flickr album with all of the photos I took yesterday! You can check it out here!

Because we got such a huge response, we reached out to sponsors for additional materials so we could finish the quilts. Thank you so much to the sponsors, who were so generous in their donations!

  • Aurifil provided thread (that was sent directly from Italy!)
  • Cotton Mill Threadworks provided Superior Thread
  • J.N. Harper, Canadian fabric wholesaler, provided batting and fabric
  • Robert Kaufman provided 3 whole bolts of wide-back fabric for our quilt backings
  • Mad About Patchwork provided a bolt of wide-back fabric (on top of graciously allowing for all of those quilt blocks to be sent to the store!)
  • Individual members of our guild also made generous donations of fabric and batting.

We also have had donations of long-arming time from Whirls N Swirls; and guild member Kim has volunteered to quilt 5 of the quilts.

We still have (lots) more blocks to sew together for quilt tops! We will have another sew day next month, and I hope that we can get a lot more done then. 

Here’s a photo us at the sew day yesterday! (That’s me with the red t-shirt!)

Our schedule is to have the quilts finished and sent to Alberta by the end of October. I’ll post updates along the way - but in the meantime, you can follow along on Instagram with the hashtag #quiltsforFortMac.

One more thank you to all of you around the world who have contributed to this project!

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A couple special thank yous to: Katy / Lethargic Lass who kept track of all the blocks and photographed them (if you’re curious if your blocks made it here, chances are she took a photo of your package when it came in - check her Instagram account!); Julie from Owly Design who has taken care of following up with sponsors for fabric and thread and batting; Jessica @ craftycop who collected and photographed blocks from all over the USA and sent them in a large package to Ottawa; and Amber, the president of our guild who is an all-round guild leader extraordinaire! And – for all of the moral support and chats along the way! THANK YOU!