Comfort, joy … and warmth

Community Featured

When Frances Campbell’s church needed help with a fundraiser, she did not hesitate to answer the call.

The avid quilter offered comfort and warmth in the form of a lap quilt with a Christmas theme to be raffled off for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.

“I’m a sewer and I’ve made quilts for the better part of my life,” smiles the retired home economics (family studies) teacher. “I can remember learning to sew when I was very young. It was on the old treadle. I learned to sew from my mother who was also a sewer. The first quilts she made were from old recycled clothes — cause you didn’t buy new fabric.”

She was raised “out in the country,” she explains. “I can remember sitting at a sewing machine, pumping it, and my aunt came out to visit and said to my mother, ‘You can’t let that one at the machine, she’ll hurt her fingers.’ And my mother saying, ‘How else is she going to learn’?”

And learn she did!

The handmade quilt is a variety of all of the colours of Christmas: red, green and white with some gold and blue. Its back is a patterned ivory colour. And because Campbell always chooses a plain colour for her quilt backings, it makes this one perfect for cuddling up with — even on cooler summer evenings — because it’s reversible.

Campbell says it’s the perfect size for wrapping around yourself while sitting watching TV or enjoying an afternoon nap.

Campbell crafted the piece, which measures 54 by 54 inches, and sent it to Joanne Swanson in Caribou who finishes all of Campbell’s quilts.

“If you had to wait for me to finish the quilt you’d be waiting a long time,” Campbell laughs.

Her home in Stellarton is a virtual treasure trove of her handcrafted items, mixed in with a beautiful collection of sewing machine ornaments in all shapes and sizes.

It is bright and cozy and inspiring for Campbell whose talent for crafting and decorating extends beyond her home. She also decorates her church sanctuary each week for its in-person and virtual masses.

In addition to her involvement with Our Lady of Lourdes, Campbell also has other community organizations that benefit from the time she gives so generously, like Canadian Federation of University Women and the Women Alike breast cancer survivors group. She has also been involved in several organizations on the provincial level so she knows the value of giving back.

That’s why she does not hesitate when asked to help a cause, like this.

This fundraiser is necessary, during these difficult times in the grip of a worldwide pandemic. Campbell says while church envelopes are still coming in, there are fewer people in the pews due to capacity regulations with regard to the coronavirus. And regular events that would generate funds in any church are not able to be held due to COVID-19 and the restrictions to guard against infection.

The Christmas quilt raffle is on now, with the draw to be on Facebook following the church’s livestream mass on Dec. 23. Tickets are available through the parish office by calling 902-752-4822, or by email Phone ahead for an appointment and wear a mask if visiting the office in person. Order and payment via e-transfer is also available.

Frances Campbell wraps herself in the quilt she made as a fundraiser for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. (Jardine photo)