Fort McMurray fire victims getting Alberta-themed quilts thanks to Ottawa campaign
Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild was hoping to get enough material for 10 quilts but will send around 100
A call for help to make special quilts for Fort McMurray fire victims has been answered by quilters across Canada and around the world.
Around the time the northern Alberta city was evacuated because of a devastating wildfire, members of the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild starting asking people to send them "quilt blocks" with a maple leaf design in the colours of the Alberta flag (red, green, yellow, blue and white) so they could make them into quilts and send them to Fort McMurray.
They were hoping for enough blocks to make 10 quilts but will be sending around 100 of them at the end of October.
"The response right away was incredible... we got [quilt blocks] by the hundreds," said Stacey O'Malley, who moved to Ottawa from Edmonton about a year ago.
"We're talking about people who may have lost their homes, may have lost everything, so as quilters we were thinking of something like a hug or a way to show we care."
The group's president said they got blocks and cards from across Canada and the United States, plus Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
"At first it was overwhelming but now I feel extremely proud," said Amber Mitchener.
A lot of the quilt-making has been happening at two "sew-ins" — one in July and another Sunday at the Kanata Recreation Centre in west Ottawa.
By the time the quilts are all finished at the end of October, O'Malley said they'll be taken to Alberta for free thanks to a connection made with a professional mover in Calgary.