Sue Ostashek had never quilted before when she joined the Fort Saskatchewan Quilting Guild.
The Fort Saskatchewan woman loved to sew and could use a sewing machine but knew little about the craft of piecing together the cozy blankets.
Three years later Ostashek is president of the guild and joining her fellow local quilters in bringing some comfort to people going through difficult times.
The guild is one of 10 Fort Saskatchewan and area groups receiving a 2018 community grant from Dow Canada. Guild members will use the money to shop for fabric and supplies to make about 70 quilts for Little Warriors, Shiloh Youth Ranch and other groups.
“And we donate one every year to the Boys and Girls Club that they use for their gala,” Ostashek said. “They raffle that one off.”
The women of the guild—there are no men on the membership list right now—also sew fidget quilts for seniors at Pioneer House and comfort quilts for community members experiencing times of loss.
"There are people that have fires or a death in the family,” Ostashek said. “So it makes them feel good to have this quilt knowing that these people are thinking about them. And it makes us feel good knowing that we're giving this quilt to someone in need.”
About 45 women belong to the guild right now, with more always joining. General meetings take place the third Wednesday of the month in the basement of the United Church. The guild also hosts sewing days and occasional instructional classes.
“I find it relaxing. I find it rewarding,” Ostashek said. “We get together usually once a week and sew all together as a group. We learn a lot from one another. And I've formed real good friendships being a member of the guild."
The quilting group will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020.
"It's a real good sisterhood," Ostashek said.