The Cariboo Piecemakers Quilt Club showed this holiday season its talents extend far beyond the realm of quilting.
At its Not Just Quilts Christmas Market last month, members proudly displayed their wide range of talents in the form of quilts, card making, crocheting, knitting, ornament making, wreath making, pot holders, baby nests, slippers, hats, toques, bags, wallets, pillows, table runners, cookies and baking, woodwork, aprons and more, running the gamut of things to gift someone special this holiday season.
The tight-knit group meets every first and third Tuesday of each month from September through May at the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Centre, and has a history of churning out some fine pieces of craftsmanship.
Elaine Watt and Leona Lang are two of the club’s longstanding members and offered a glimpse into the club’s history and present.
While some contention surrounds when the group was actually formed, Lang said it was some time in the 1980s. By the mid 90s members regularly met to share their ideas and work at Anne Stevenson secondary (now Thompson Rivers University) before later finding a home in the late 90s at the CCACC.
The CPQC was formed by Jean Andersen, Laura Gunderson and Jean Turner at its inception with upwards of 60 people now members of the group.
“The great thing about this group is everyone is welcome,” Watt said. “We do lots of show and tell, programs once a month for people and it’s sometimes a bit of a business meeting.”
The group also regularly tries to give back to the community by creating ‘Comfort Quilts’ annually to hand out to those in need, such as pregnancy outreach, hospice, the Hough Memorial Cancer Society, the Station House Gallery, Meals on Wheels and creating stockings for the Yuletide Dinner hosted by the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre, Sacred Heart Parish and the Society of St. Vincent De Paul.
In 2013 the club sent 45 quilts to Alberta for those who had lost their homes to the great floods that year.
“Normally, too, at our shows we have a raffle quilt,” Lang said. “We choose a different cause every year.”
The camaraderie, being able to give back to the community and having an avenue to showcase their work, however, is what makes the group special, Watt said.
“I’ve made lots of good, close friends over the years and picked up more ideas than you can imagine,” she said. “It’s just a fun evening out. The creativity of our group is astonishing. You never cease to wonder and be amazed.”
Regular workshops and demonstration nights are hosted, providing an outlet for members to share their ideas, as well.
“It’s a fun group and it’s always good to exchange information,” Lang said.
Anyone interested in coming out to a meeting is invited to do so, regardless of their knowledge or skill of quilting.
“We always welcome new people,” Watt said.
Meetings get underway at the CCACC at 7 p.m. with coffee and chit chat, usually wrapping up by around 9:30 p.m.