A quarter-century and still going strong - the North Star Quilt Guild is celebrating their past and community service, while also looking ahead.
Members of the group celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Northminster Memorial United Church May 6, marking a quarter-century of creativity and community assistance.
The guild officially met for the first time March 17, 1998 at the Flin Flon Community Hall, in the building’s former art room. The group would meet up twice a month - first and third Tuesdays – with a short business meeting, a program and a fellowship. The meeting would include demonstrations of new techniques, a block of the month and perhaps most notably, a show and tell segment, when the members would bring in works in progress and offer critique.
Since then, there has been change for the group, though several charter members still take part regularly.
“Over the past 25 years, the guild has evolved,” said guild secretary Audrey Neufeld.
The days have changed, as has the location of the group’s meetings - they’ve gone through several spaces, from the hall to Ecole McIsaac School, now working out of the Northminster Memorial United Church. The group meets up every first Saturday and third Tuesday of each month, working both on personal projects and comfort quilts - the latter category are donated to local organizations and for children and families in need.
The guild doesn’t exist just to scratch a creative itch for members. It has made a sizable impact on Flin Flon and other communities since that first meeting in 1998.
The guild donates to various causes when possible - they’ve made specially-designed quilts for wheelchair users at the Northern Lights Manor, placemats for the local Meals on Wheels program and quilts for people undergoing cancer treatment and dialysis, as well as quilts for veterans, refugees and people who have lost their homes due to wildfires or floods. Following the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus disaster, the guild made and donated several quilts for victims and their families, as well as first responders to the accident.
In total, over the past 25 years, the guild has donated more 1,250 quilts - more than 50 a year on average - to various causes.
The group’s most recent project, said Neufeld, has been making quilts to provide to local fire departments and RCMP - those quilts are meant to be provided for people in possibly devastating circumstances. The guild also hosts “learn to quilt” classes for interested people, restarting them this past fall after a lengthy pandemic pause.
“The guild has been fortunate to have new members join the guild over the years and more are always welcome,” said Neufeld.
“These classes will continue to be held in future years in an effort to introduce more people to the joys of quilting and provide a venue to cultivate skills as well as social connections.”
Other aspects of the guild include its regular quilt shows, though one hasn’t been held in almost five years, owing mostly to smaller membership. While those shows may be in the past, exhibiting the guild’s work isn’t - the NorVA Centre and Gallery recently hosted an exhibit of the guild’s quilts and they have been featured during Flin Flon Culture Days events in the past.
“Because of the enthusiasm of North Star Quilt Guild members and their love of sewing, the guild hopes to continue these services for many more years. The North Star Quilt Guild provides fellowship, new friends, the learning of new techniques, fires our creativeness, hones our skills, and gives good reason to continue with our sewing passion,” said Neufeld.
“Here’s to another 25 years.”