Victoria Community Comfort Quilt Society

Meeting address: Salvation Army Citadel, 4030 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC, CANADA


THE VICTORIA COMMUNITY COMFORT QUILT SOCIETY is composed of all the current Members of the Victoria Quilters’ Guild.

THE SOCIETY supports the work of the Baby Quilt Committee, who organize the making of quilts for patients in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at Victoria General Hospital.  Each quilt is unique, made by one or more members of the Victoria Quilters’ Guild.  Each carries our hopes  for child and parents at a very stressful time.

THE SOCIETY also provides nominal grants to individual Victoria Quilters’ Guild members who are, more or less continuously, making quilts for other charitable organizations recognized in our community.

FUNDING is provided from direct donations and from periodic quilt raffles, usually in conjunction with the bi-annual VQG quilt show.

RECIPIENTS of quilts, in addition to the Victoria General Hospital Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit, have included:

    The Cridge Centre for the Family

    Quilts of Valour

    Threshold Housing Society

     Canada Comforts

     Pandora Youth Apartments

     Anney’s Closet

     Women’s Transition House

     Mito Quilts of Hope


Victoria Community Comfort Quilt Society
President’s Report, September 13, 2016

As continuing members know, but some new members may not, the Comfort Quilt Society’s membership is identical to that of the Victoria Quilters’ Guild (that is, it’s us!)  It has two main responsibilities: 1) to support the baby quilt project (which, under the care of the baby quilt committee, provides quilts to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at Victoria General Hospital); and 2) to encourage the efforts of guild members who make quilts for other charitable purposes, by supporting a portion of their costs of batting and backing.

During the past year we have seen a number of changes.  In terms of people, we were sorry to lose Coralie Wallace, who, after many years of service, has resigned as chairperson of the baby quilt committee; Bea Sinclair has stepped up to fill this role.   Anne Mathers, Secretary, and Rayne Garnsey, Vice-President, have decided to move on; after several years of work for the guild in various demanding roles, I suspect they would like to have a bit more time to make quilts!

In terms of our administration and ways of working, we have made a number of changes.  Our goal is closer cooperation and communication between the Comfort Quilt Society and the guild as a whole.  These changes include:  more systematic outreach to new guild members; improving documentation of quilts made and given out by the hospital; and development of a budget.  We have also begun a process of editing our baby quilt patterns to make them more “user friendly.”  And at the 2016 quilt show, we staged a special exhibit highlighting some of the numerous quilts made by our members for other charitable purposes.

We especially want to encourage all guild members, and especially those new to quilting, to get involved, and to make the best quilts we can make.  Accordingly, we encourage you to participate in the upcoming workshop on binding techniques, which will be held on October 15 as part of Fall Frolic.

And we have asked the workshop committee to prepare a session for 2017 on basic quilt making techniques, with a focus on some of our own baby quilt patterns—if you are new to quilting, you will benefit from learning with a manageable size project; if you are an experienced quilter, you will pick up some new techniques.  For all of us, it should be fun!

Funding for all these activities has, for many years, been provided through individual donations and primarily through conducting a quilt raffle at our bi-annual show.

As you look at Linda Moran’s report of income and expenses for 2015, you will see that at the end of the year we had a balance on hand of $2,641.42.  This figure is low because by

December 31, most of the expenses for the raffle had been disbursed, but none of the proceeds of the raffle had yet arrived.

To help you understand where we stand now, Linda has prepared an additional summary, up to today, which shows income from the raffle at $6,515, and also other expenses since January 1.

Net raffle proceeds for 2016 were somewhat less than in previous raffles, at $4,658.37.  These proceeds, under the terms of the B.C. Gaming Commission, must be expended by May, 2017, and will cover our expected expenses for supplies for baby quilts as well as grants for charitable quilt making.

This leaves us with a reserve, after disbursement of raffle proceeds, of $3,234.13.  These are the funds we will have available for the “off year” —to carry us until the next raffle in 2018.

As we look ahead, we have an opportunity to think in some new ways and ask some new questions:  How can we make the quilt raffle more efficient and more productive?  Are there additional or alternative ways to generate funds?

And what do you, the members of the Comfort Quilt Society, feel about our present commitments?  Does our present organizational structure represent and support what we really want to be doing?  Could we be having more fun?

Last week the Executive committee of the Victoria Quilters’ Guild (that’s us) decided to appoint a committee to explore these questions.  It will consist of five members:  two members of the VQG executive, one member from the Baby Quilt Committee, and two members from the larger guild membership.  As President of the Comfort Quilt Society, I will also serve ex. officio. 

This committee will consult as widely as possible within and outside the guild, and hope to report back early in the New Year.  If you are interested in serving on this committee, please make yourself known to me or to Shirley Westaway, as soon as possible.  It will be important to start work soon.

My personal hope is that we can begin a guild-wide conversation that will lead, in the end, to us knowing each other better and enjoying our work together more.

And if committee work is not your “bag,” we still need your ideas and your energy:  contact me in person or by email; drop by the baby quilt table on Stitch Days and introduce yourself; feel free to bring forward your questions and suggestions.

In closing let me express my gratitude to the Comfort Quilts Executive committee, and to the baby quilt committee who have thought hard and worked hard throughout this year; and to all those of you who have  continued with such consistency over years, to do the work we believe is important, and to do it with excellence.

Frances McArthur, President


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