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Mastering their crafts in St. Anthony

A group of women have been a part of a project for the past few months called “Quilt of Valor.” A quilt they made will be donated to a Canadian war veteran. The quilters are (left to right): Pricilla Mitchelmore, Phyllis Janes, Elizabeth-Ann Critchley, Violet Nabi, Carol Colbourne, Jackie Fowler, Sharon Colbourne, Sharon Kean, Sharon Patey, Wendy Dale Woodford and Donna Hancock. Missing from photo who are a part of the craft group include Rona Hewlin, Liz Budgell, Selma Fowler (who helped with the quilt), Elsie Bromley, Bonnie Andrews, Jan Patey and Stacey Marshall.
A group of women have been a part of a project for the past few months called “Quilt of Valor.” A quilt they made will be donated to a Canadian war veteran. The quilters are (left to right): Pricilla Mitchelmore, Phyllis Janes, Elizabeth-Ann Critchley, Violet Nabi, Carol Colbourne, Jackie Fowler, Sharon Colbourne, Sharon Kean, Sharon Patey, Wendy Dale Woodford and Donna Hancock. Missing from photo who are a part of the craft group include Rona Hewlin, Liz Budgell, Selma Fowler (who helped with the quilt), Elsie Bromley, Bonnie Andrews, Jan Patey and Stacey Marshall.

For two hours every Tuesday, a group of women gather at the Grenfell Interpretation Centre in St. Anthony with an array of colourful and multipurpose items.

It’s craft night, a night of socialization and a chance to get away from daily stresses.

Each member brings their own craft; whether they’re an expert at needlework or a beginner at crocheting, they are welcome.

The setting — the Grenfell Interpretation Centre — is very fitting, says Sharon Kean.

The idea that crafting and working with your hands is a traditional thing that needs to be taught, saved and continued, she said.

During last week’s craft night, Feb. 7, most of the members sat in their usual places, stacked their materials on the table in front of them and began their work.

It’s craft night, a night of socialization and a chance to get away from daily stresses.

Each member brings their own craft; whether they’re an expert at needlework or a beginner at crocheting, they are welcome.

The setting — the Grenfell Interpretation Centre — is very fitting, says Sharon Kean.

The idea that crafting and working with your hands is a traditional thing that needs to be taught, saved and continued, she said.

During last week’s craft night, Feb. 7, most of the members sat in their usual places, stacked their materials on the table in front of them and began their work.

Phyllis Janes works on a quilt during craft night in St. Anthony.

Some chatted while they sewed, others kept quiet and focused on their task. One member was making a rug, others were making quilts and one was making shower loofas by crocheting two circles together and stuffing them with tulle.

“Everyone can do their own thing,” said Donna Hancock. “And if anyone sees something that someone else is doing, and would like to learn, they’re more than willing to help.”

“We have a good group here,” added Kean.

It has been several years since the group began, and it’s at no cost to the participants. Anyone can come and bring along a project, or just come to watch and learn.

“A lot of people don’t want to come because they figure once it’s started they can’t join,” Kean continued.

But that is not the case. The door is always open for others to join in, male or female, with all skill sets and talents.

Some members, like Wendy Dale Woodford, bring along their sewing machines to work on their crafts.

Special project

Each year the group does a project for a group in need, and this year was no exception.

Hancock heard about an organization that donates quilts to injured veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, and thought that would make a great project.

The organization began in 2006, when a woman in Edmonton donated three quilts to injured veterans. And it caught on.

Everyone was on board when Hancock suggested the idea to the local group.

The first night in November, they all started cutting up the pieces of the pattern.

It was the most difficult part of the whole process, laughed Hancock.

It takes a lot of work to cut out dozens of little pieces in different shapes and sizes. But the group made good headway.

Between November and February, the group cut and stitched the quilt. Selma Fowler, who is not in the group, helped finish putting it together. All that is left is the banding.

These maple leafs were stitched into many of the patches of the Quilt of Valor.

The quilt follows a nature theme — with moose, leaves and maple leaves.

The project was one the group is very proud of, and one Hancock hopes they can do again in the future.

Until then, she and Kean encourage anyone in the St. Anthony region to come along Tuesday nights, 7 p.m., bring your material, needles and thread, paints and canvas, your adult colouring books — whatever you wish to craft with — and have fun.

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