Stormont Stitchers use hands to help community By Ryan Métivier Decorative, colourful, warm—a quilt can have many adjectives and uses. For the families and survivors of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in April, they could use some comfort in the aftermath of the incident. When a Saskatchewan fabric shop, Haus of Stiches, put out the word they were looking for fabric and quilts to send to help out—the response was incredible. Not only did materials start flowing in from all around the world, but 4-H’ers were also quick to step up. Kenda Teplate and Fred Stewart run the Stormont Stitchers Club and heard about the call for quilts. The club has been running for four years and with nine members this year ranging in age from nine to 18, they knew they would be able to lend a hand. “I thought what a great opportunity for our girls to give back something that they love to do,” says Teplate. “They were thrilled, even though their beloved squares that they worked hours upon hours on were being given away it did not matter—as in true 4-H fashion the girls recited the pledge and used their hands to give back to the community and country.” Through 15 hours of work the club stitched together three quilt tops. Materials for these quilt tops were donated by Giroux Sewing in Cornwall. Another $20 was given by a patron at the store towards fabric, a past 4-H’er who overheard the conversation to help out Humboldt. Additionally the hall for sewing was donated and the club’s three quilts were quilted by Mrs. Monique Wilson of Apple Hill Design for free. It took a team effort as members stitched the pieces together for the tops, Wilson quilted them together and Stewart finished the binding. The quilts will be given to siblings who have lost their brother in this tragic accident. “The part I liked about creating these quilts was that they were going to a good cause and it made me feel proud and happy to be able to help out,” says club member Maddison Bilmber. “I enjoy being in 4-H and the quilting club because I get to learn about things like ways to help others, loyalty and how to work safely.” Fellow member Aimee Van Loon enjoyed the teamwork displayed by the club and being able to embrace the “Learn To Do By Doing” motto by helping younger members learn to quilt for the first time. “It feels great being able to give to people who need our support,” says Van Loon. “Quilts are priceless. For them to receive something made with love and care by 4-Her’s, hopefully brings them some comfort knowing that there are people who care and will support them through this tragedy.” Van Loon has been in the club since the start four years ago and has now developed a passion for quilting having created 12 of them. “4-H has taught me a lot about leadership and teamwork and I have learned to try new things because you will never know if you like something until you try it,” she says. “There are so many new skills to be learned when joining new clubs. That is why I try new things like the beef club and quilting club.” “Fred and I could not be more proud of this group of very young girls,” says Teplate. “This truly was a project of love and support.”