Established in May 2010, the Victoria Branch of Victoria’s Quilts Canada (VQC) started out with two founding members. By the end of that year, it had 24 members and now numbers over 80 volunteers. It is VQC’s largest Branch, making and delivering more than 200 quilts each year across British Columbia. To save on mailing costs, quilts are hand delivered within Victoria, as well as the surrounding communities of Colwood, Esquimault, Oak Bay and View Royal. As of December 2014, its talented volunteers had gifted 845 quilts.
The Victoria Branch has two longarm quilters. It holds two monthly cutting and sewing gatherings in local churches and fills the halls with laughter. New members are always welcome.
The Branch receives numerous cotton fabric donations from local residents. Quilt tops are generously donated by the Summerland Material Girls Quilt Guild as well as the Countryside Quilt Group in Langley, BC. In 2014, a Fabricland employee who loves making quilt tops donated 60 to the Branch, whose members then worked madly to finish and distribute the quilts. In 2015, a lovely woman cleaning out her stash donated 7 jelly rolls, plus 165 matching fat quarters, and a quilt shop on Saltspring Island donated 512 metres of fabric. The Branch also gets help from Victoria’s Great Little Box Company, which has for several years donated boxes in which to mail the quilts.
Parksville Friends group
A group of women in Parksville, a small community located several kilometers north of Nanaimo, B.C., joined the Victoria Branch in January 2013 as an associated Friends Group. The group numbers about 30 women and fills requests in the Parksville/Nanaimo area. To help with Branch expenses, this group obtained support from a fabric distributor, which greatly reduces flannel and backing costs.
Fundraising and other activities
- The Victoria Branch held a “Cutathon” at its first gathering that was witnessed by CHEK News.
- The Branch participates in the Thrifty Good Store Smile Card Program. Under this program, it receives 5% of the amount of groceries purchased by members.
- Each year, Branch volunteers raise funds through Purdy’s Chocolate sales to help pay for flannel fabrics and batting. The Branch receives 25% of the campaign totals.
- Two of Victoria’s retired Telus employees have kindly turned their volunteer hours into donations to the Branch for the past three years.
- The Parksville Friends Group has raised funds each year since 2013 by holding an annual Epicure Fundraiser that returns 50% of the party total to the group.
- In 2012, a new fundraising stream now called the “Night of Lights” was suggested by a volunteer. The event is a night at the mall where only ticket holders are allowed. Door prizes are provided and shops have sales.
This event now raises about $500 for the Branch.
- In May 2014, the Victoria Branch ran the raffle for the Quilt Show and Sale held by the Victoria Quilters’ Guild. The raffle brought in several thousand dollars that enabled the Branch to purchase fabrics missing from its stash (see quilt pictures below)
- A retired bank employee who receives grants ($1,000) from her employer generously donates them to our Branch.
- Door prize draws were initiated at gatherings in October 2015 and have proved popular.
- In 2015, the Branch’s President began writing a newsletter to keep members informed of happenings. The newsletter is distributed about a week before each gathering.
|Some quilts made by Victoria Branch volunteers (click on image to view slide show)|
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