16 October 2006

Snow and Blankets ...

Yup, there was a covering of snow on the ground, this morning. On the back lawn, there's a circle of fallen leaves under the Mountain Ash ... there was a ring of green grass, about 10cm wide around it, then white all around that. Very pretty! It's all melted, now, but it's still (barely) snowing.

I've been knitting and dropping off squares for Blankets for Canada for about three years, thinking I'd drop in to one of their work bees (held the second Saturday of each month, quite close by) one of these days.

October is the eighth anniversary of Blankets for Canada, and Saturday was the Edmonton Chapter's open house, so I went. I had visions of a bunch of folks sitting about in a dingy church basement, knitting, crocheting, and joining squares, probably drinking awful coffee urn coffee and yacking.

I was met at the door by the Edmonton Chapter Leader and taken upstairs, to a big, bright work room, where a couple of women (Shelly was one of them) were knitting, one was crocheting squares together, a couple more were talking to others who'd dropped in, and several were hovering about a couple of big work tables, hands flying about, doing something mysterious. Eileen took me for a tour, showing me the one hundred thirty-some blankets that were going out that day (more than usual, as it was the anniversary, she said, usually more like eighty to one hundred each month ... whoosh!) ... and the room full of bags of sorted squares awaiting joining, shelves of sorted and measured and tagged fabrics ... more shelves of fabric awaiting cutting for quilt tops ... batting, craft supplies, sewing machines, bins of yarn, boxes of unsorted stuff, etc. ... and the classroom next to it, where fabric was being measured and tagged and cut ... and the church's storage room, half of which was full of more fabric and sewing machines ... then back to the work room, where she showed me some of the blankets and quilts and quilt tops (waiting to be made into quilts that very day). The next thing I knew, I was helping a couple of women (who come in all the way from Legal for these work days and work on stuff for Blankets at home as well) pin quilts together (The quilts are assembled from a top, a piece of fabric from the shelves that's about the right size for the back, and a flannelette sheet or other piece of fabric in the middle. There were so many quilt tops to be made into quilts ... one of the Communities in Bloom groups made quilt tops for Blankets over the past year - something like 120 of them, 101 of which were made by one woman!) for the president of Blankets to take home to machine quilt ... this is the mysterious activity that was going on at the big work tables. This wasn't what I'd imagined at all! I'm sure I took in only a small fraction of all the information that was tossed at me and of everything that was going on around me. What a busy, dedicated bunch of people!

I'll go back again next month ... and take my camera. In the meantime, look at a few pictures on Edmonton Chapter's photos page. I'm going to go to the yarn store in Ft. Saskatchewan next Saturday, to help join some squares, I think.

One needn't have the first clue how to knit, crochet, quilt or sew to be able to help out at these things. I'm told there are about a dozen or so who turn up most times, and another half-dozen who come sometimes, and that there's room for another twenty before folx'd even have to start watching their elbows.

Know anyone who's interested? The Edmonton Chapter meets at the Avonmore Community of Christ church just off Argyll, on the second Saturday of each month. There are chapters all over the country, as well as plenty of yarn stores that collect squares for them.
Live south of the 49th and want to help? You can send squares to either Blankets for Canada or Warm Up America. Michael's collects squares for Blankets in Canada and Warm Up America in the U.S.

1 comment:

Vince/Shaky said...

What an amazing thing to be able to take part in.. And I can't think of anything cooler to be doing.

Miss you