By Joanna Bastian
The Columbia River Quilt Guild wants to give a quilt to everyone who lost a home this summer.
Shortly after the Carlton Complex Fire devoured more than 400 square miles and destroyed over 300 homes of friends, neighbors and families, the quilters reached out to quilt shops and quilting guilds around the state of Washington and asked for quilt donations.
The response was huge. Quilters from around the state and Canada responded. Quilts arrived from the Tri Cities area, Leavenworth, Tonasket, the North Central Washington Quilters Guild in Wenatchee, and Canada. The quilts came in all different sizes, patterns and colors. Some are hand-stitched, some are made by machine. Some have specific themes, like animals, toys, or classic Coca-cola images. All were made with the intent to offer comfort.
The Columbia River Quilt Guild has been active in the communities of Pateros, Brewster, Bridgeport and Mansfield for 20 years. Their mission for the last two decades has been to make comfort quilts for veterans, homeless shelters, and children. As the fires rushed through their own communities, the members experienced an outpouring of love and support to help people grieve, and sift through and clean up what was left of their homes. And then they set to work on finding ways to offer a bit of comfort through quilts.
The small group of 20 members meets regularly in the Pateros fire hall to inspect, fold, and wrap each quilt that comes in. A note card is attached to each quilt identifying the quilter.
The Columbia River Quilt Guild is committed to giving a comfort quilt to each of the families that lost their home. People can pick up a free quilt at these locations:
• Saturday (Oct. 11) at the Methow Valley Community Center gym in Twisp during the farmers market.
• Tuesdays at the Pateros Distribution Center from 3:30 – 6 p.m.
• Oct. 23 beginning at 10 a.m. at The Cove 2, located on Third Avenue in Twisp next to the River Bank building.
The Columbia River Quilt Guild can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and can also be found on Facebook by typing in Carlton Complex Wildfire Quilt Project.
To pick up a quilt, people must sign for it and list the address of the home that was lost. If you know of someone who lost a home during the fires and resulting floods, please encourage them to select a quilt and enjoy the bit of comfort that the Columbia River Quilt Guild has to offer.