Alice Hoffart is one of approximately 30 Cactus Rose Quilt Guild members who volunteers her time to create comfort quilts for those in need.NEWS PHOTO KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published 09:50 May 26, 2022

By KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

For more than 15 years, members of the Cactus Rose Quilters’ Guild have been providing comfort quilts to individuals in need, both locally and beyond.

Each year, the guild – comprised of Medicine Hat and area quilters and sewers – donates approximately 100 handmade quilts to individuals impacted by natural disasters, house fires, illness, poverty and traumatic incidents. Since September, the guild has donated 128 quilts to partner organizations, including Ronald McDonald House, Victim’s Assistance and Medicine Hat Regional Hospital.

“I think it just provides people with comfort,” guild co-chair Alice Hoffart told the News.

Comfort quilts come in several sizes to fit babies, children, teens and adults. Hoffart and co-chair Megan Robertson estimate 40 per cent of the comfort quilts made are for babies and children and 60 per cent for teens and adults.

Guild members work together to ensure all individuals in need of a comfort quilt receive one. Often, several members will collaborate to make one quilt, with each member completing a specific aspect.

“It’s definitely a guild project,” Karen Reimer, assistant comfort quilt executive, said.

Guild members meet twice per month at the Kinplex Social Room from September to June, to work on the comfort quilts. The guild even offers take-home quilting kits for anyone unable to attend the meetings.

Hoffart is thankful for everyone involved in the project, especially as quilting can be labour-intensive and time-consuming, with one quilt taking anywhere from 40 to 100 hours to complete. Nevertheless, Hoffart believes guild members enjoy the work, as she does.

“I love the creativity of putting scraps of fabric together to make something which provides comfort to others,” Hoffart said. “Quilting excites and soothes at the same time. Belonging to the guild has provided me with great friends who share a common interest.”

Hoffart encourages anyone with a passion for, or interest in quilting to connect with the group, regardless of experience level. Not only can individuals get involved in the comfort quilt project, they can also take part in guild sewing days, classes and other community quilt partnerships. Recently, the guild made more than 200 quilted place mats for local Meals on Wheels recipients.

Community members can also support the group through financial or fabric donations.

For more information about the guild, the comfort quilt project or how to support, connect with the guild via the group’s Facebook page.

This item reprinted with permission from Medicine Hat News, Medicine Hat, Alberta