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Quilting bee breaks record

800 quilts made on colony
Quilting bee
Hundreds of quilts were completed during the week-long event at Acadia Colony near Carberry.

Each year Acadia Hutterite Colony, located north-east of Carberry, hosts a week-long quilting event for Christian Aid. The ladies gather in the school gym to work through the process of layering quilt tops, batting, backing and quilting them. Each day they are joined by members from three or four other colonies.

A record-setting 800 plus quilts were completed this year.

On Wednesday, Feb. 7, members from the Virden quilting group, the Crazy Stitchers, had the opportunity to visit Acadia and see for themselves the process involved in completing such a large quantity of quilts.

“In awe of what we saw”

Betty Bender, President of the Crazy Stitchers, said, “We were in awe of what we saw when entering the gym and seeing all the ladies working on so many quilts. So many rolls of batting and so many busy hands. The piles of quilts were everywhere and just kept piling up.”

Marian Waldner of Acadia explained, “In the past we would spend the first two or three days sewing tops but decided that the tops could be made in advance so we could focus on the quilting aspect of the process.”

The Acadia ladies began after Christmas making tops using scraps of fabric they have on hand. Other colonies also donated quilt tops. The batting and backing are all purchased.

From about 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the gym is filled with the sound of many sewing machines and socializing as well – catching up on news and sharing sewing tips.

There is a job for ladies of all ages – senior ladies and those too young to use a sewing machine are kept busy removing the pins when the final quilting is done.

While many of the quilts are sent to Christian Aid based in Ontario, there is also a need for quilts in Manitoba. Some will make their way to organizations in Winnipeg. Last year, quilts were made for the new homes at Lake St. Martin, devastated by flooding in 2011. 

For the Virden quilters it was a memorable day.

“Going to Acadia was a great experience. It was so well organized and ran like a well-oiled machine. They even did some singing,” said Betty Bender.