Some of the Echo Centre Sunshine Club quilters

Quilters spread cheer with handmade gifts

The Echo Sunshine Club quilters together created 100 placemats to donate to Meals on Wheels in Port Alberni.

The Echo Centre Sunshine Club quilters are bringing some Christmas cheer to the Valley by donating handmade placemats to Meals on Wheels.

The Sunshine Club quilters together created 100 placemats to donate to Meals on Wheels, a non-profit organization that delivers meals and friendly visits to home-bound people.

There are about 25 members of the quilting club, and they each commit to making several of the placemats every year. The length of time spent the placemats depends on the project.

This year, the quilters tried a challenge called “mile a minute,” where they were challenged to do something unique with a block of fabric. “It was fun for us,” said quilter Dianne Monteith.

“It doesn’t take gobs and gobs of effort for lots and lots of reward,” she added.

The quilters try to personalize some of their crafts. Some placemats feature animals, others feature flowers or bright colours and patterns. Meals on Wheels coordinator Janet Buchanan says she tries to match the placemat to the recipient based on personality.

“The people we deliver to don’t usually have gifts at Christmastime,” said Buchanan. “They are so appreciative to have something made specially for them.” Buchanan said the placemats get lots of use.

Leftover fabric scraps from the quilts are donated to the SPCA for dog and cat beds. The club also donates quilts to relief efforts, to raffles and to the Alberni Valley Hospice Society.

This is the Sunshine Club’s sixth year donating placemats to Meals on Wheels.

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