Volunteers help Share the Warmth

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NEW GLASGOW — The Share the Warmth campaign may be into its 16th year but staff, customers and friends of Atlantic Fabrics were as passionate about the project as ever.

All six Atlantic Fabrics locations take part in making quilts and donating them to worthy causes local to them. The East River Road location will be donating their creations to services such as Tearmann House and Roots for Youth.

Lisa Graham with Atlantic Fabrics said the team working out of the store produced around 150 quilts this year — approximately 60 were made on location Thursday through Saturday last week, while many more were made throughout the year. A group from Millbrook also donated quilts while one individual provided 30 quilts made throughout the last year.

Graham reported that the event saw a lot of returning faces, but also saw its share of first timers.

“Pretty much everybody here has been here Thursday, Friday, Saturday, from 9:30 in the morning to 9 at night,” Graham said.

Graham said those involved like knowing that their work is making a difference to people who need it.

“They are very well received,” Graham said. “We’ve heard stories of people who got them from Tearmann House and they had tears in their eyes. It brings a lot of comfort to people.”

A back corner of the store becomes a sewing workshop during the Share the Warmth weekend, and Graham said this raises a pleasant curiosity from customers.

“Customers get curious about what’s going on,” she said. “They see all the cars and want to know and then once they realize what we’re doing it’s a great response.”

Other customers, meanwhile, are more directly involved in the whole affair.

“The fabric is donated from customers, and the store donates the batting and the backing, and the thread that we use to tie it,” Graham explained. “We’ve had a lot of customers who have come in and they donated just the quilt tops, and we put them together with the batting and the backing.”

Despite the sheer number of quilts produced throughout the event, each piece is made with a great deal of care and thought, especially about colours and patterns.

Graham said that anyone interested in taking part next year shouldn’t let a lack of sewing skills hold them back.

“If you can tie a knot you can come in and help,” Graham said. “If you can tie a knot you can do it here.”

From the left: Anna Lakerman, Margaret Greenlaw, Debra Battist, Lisa Graham, Marie Layes, Rebecca Goodwin and Kim Bland during Atlantic Fabrics’ Share the Warmth weekend. (Cameron photo)

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