Early last year, the Catholic Women’s League of Canada initiated a national Lap Quilting project. Soon afterward, the local St. Joseph’s Parish Council of Smithers organized a work bee to begin making quilts as part of this project. A few members of the League brought their boxes of fabric to the work bee location, chose fabric textures and colors, and took them home to start their quilts. As summer enfolded, the members put their quilts on hold until fall — that is, all except one.
At the November 2017 general meeting, that member, Marge Hemenway, said, “I have about 50 lap quilts made, what do you want to do with them?”
To say the rest of the members were surprised, is an understatement. As a council, they decided to display all 61 of Marge’s quilts in the foyer of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and then distribute all but two of them to the Bulkley Valley District Hospital, RCMP Victim Services program, Bulkley Lodge, The Meadows Assisted Living, and to St. Teresa’s Missions in the Prince George Diocese (care of Father Johmer Faderanga).
The two quilts that were not given away will be raffled off as part of a fundraiser for the CWL Convention that will be held in Smithers from April 20-22.
Marge was invited to a Valentine’s party at The Meadows to deliver a lap quilt gift to each of the 15 residents. Catholic Women’s League president Eileen Bouvier accompanied Marge and provided background information regarding why the lap quilts were made, and told them that Marge had made them all. The residents were overjoyed, some with tears in their eyes and repeated “thank-yous” and hugs from everyone.
One resident exclaimed, “This is the nicest gift I have ever received.” Marge continues to make quilts as she says, “I love to sew and I have boxes of fabric.”