Victoria’s Quilts provides free handmade quilts to people living with cancer throughout Canada.
Quilt requests and deliveries, however, have slowed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tillsonburg chapter of Victoria’s Quilts, which belongs to the Woodstock branch, has a crew of about 20 quilters who make about 30 to 35 quilts every month, which are sorted by a group of about a dozen volunteers, and then delivered by another group of seven to eight people.
“Under normal circumstances we get that many requests and that’s how many we donate in this area,” said Carol Nant from the Tillsonburg chapter. “Our Tillsonburg group is known for being very productive and my girls don’t want to stop. They do this because it’s a hobby and it’s a really good feeling to build these quilts. We love what we do and think it’s a great cause.”
All quilt requests are made through the Victoria’s Quilts Canada website (victoriasquiltscanada.com) or call 613–843–9212.
“When they’re having chemo, they’re cold and people really love them. Cancer hasn’t stopped, I know that cancer is out there. But nobody is requesting the quilts,” said Nant, noting only three local quilts have been delivered in the last three months.
“It’s just a shame, there are so many of them.”
Nant stressed Victoria’s Quilts are very safe. The quilts are quarantined at least three to five days before delivery, but some quilts were made up to two years ago.
“All of us that work with the quilts are double vaccinated,” Nant noted. “We’ve all been very careful.”
Quilts are made from 100 per cent cotton with flannel backs, machine sewn by the volunteers. Adult sizes are 50 inches by 70 inches, youth five to 16 years 40 inches by 60 inches, and baby 30 inches by 50 inches.”
Each of quilt tote bags includes a large pocket, which can hold books or water bottles.
“All that cotton has been donated. There is a group that builds (quilt) kits, and girls take that kit home and they make the tops and the pattern.”
Quilts come in a wide variety of colours.
“We used to get together once a month but we can’t do that now,” said Nant. “It’s been very heartbreaking to slow them down. We know that cancer’s out there, but people aren’t ordering.”