The Maple Leaf Quilters have lovingly crafted unique quilts for Canuck Place families since 2011. Their blue and green quilts are a common sight on Canuck Place beds, and these dedicated quilters recently dropped off their 100th quilt.
“I used to work with the Powell River Association for Community Living,” explained Val. “There was a young fellow I used to have with me every weekend, he was a part of our family. After he passed, I knew I had to do something.”
The timing just happened to coincide with the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Being a huge Canucks fan, Val decided to recruit some friends and make one quilt for every win. The Canucks only ended up winning 15 games that year, but the momentum was in place, and her team delivered 17 quilts to Canuck Place.
The Canucks haven’t had a long playoff run since, but that didn’t damper the enthusiasm of the quilters. Each year Val designs a new pattern, and starts recruiting quilters and sponsors to purchase the quilt supplies.
Each quilter is given a kit in March, and are encouraged to add their own details to personalize each quilt. Some choose hockey themes, others choose butterflies or other animals. The variety gives kids staying at Canuck Place the opportunity to choose one that reflects their own interests. When a child finds a favourite quilt, they often end up taking it home, so the annual resupply is an important gift.
In 2016, 13 quilters made 17 quilts. Each one takes approximately 11 hours to make, in addition to a three-day binding marathon, organized by Val to add finishing touches.
This years quilts included an Olympic theme, a Poppy quilt, and a Jake Virtanen quilt.
The 100th quilt featured Alex Burrows, sponsored by Val’s son. The two of them are big Burrows fans and wanted to honour his friendship with Luc Bourdon. The quilt features hands showing “Friends” in American Sign Language, a sign that Val thought all the kids at Canuck Place could relate to.
Valerie and Joan would like to thank all of the quilters and sponsors who make their annual quilting extravaganza possible:
Joan Nicholson, Valerie Almas, Patricia Rose, Jackie Hatfield, Wanda Shortridge, Doris Beckthold, Kayla Arnold, Donna Arnold, Larry Romanovitch, Juli Bartholet, Lynn White, Liz Tuis, Angela Bell, Ethan & Sawyer Bell, Ruth McIntosh, Lorraine Stanley, Donna Lund, Kathy Campbell, Deborah Snider, Patti Bried, and Dawn Felden
Sean Almas, Mickey Daniels, Denise Jury, Judy Hickling, Debbie & Jamie Levangie, Carol Clapperton, Fred Beckthold, Kenny Ferguson, Samantha Watson, Lawrence Petri, Sean Bain, Andre Denis, the Hoffman family, and the Strueby family.