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Quilts of love: Volunteers make quilts for West Island palliative care residents

Click to play video 'Palliative care patients receive handmade quilts' Palliative care patients receive handmade quilts
WATCH: Palliative care patients receive handmade quilts – Jan 3, 2020

Sewing their love into every stitch, the Beaconsfield quilter’s guild makes quilts for every resident at the West Island Palliative Care Centre in Kirkland.

“When people receive it, they’re always so touched and so pleased that someone took the time to make them something,” said Dawn Baxter, a quilter and volunteer at the Beaconsfield Quilters’ Guild and its outreach program.

The idea all began with Teresa Dellar, the centre’s heart, soul and founder, who died on Aug. 19.

The centre’s volunteer program manager Debbie Elvidge said Dellar’s values are continuously echoed throughout the residence — one patch of warmth at a time.

READ MORE: West Island community rallies around young Les Cèdres family affected by cancer

“(Teresa) wanted patients to leave the door that they came in — with the dignity and respect,” said Elvidge. “They leave with a quilt on them as they exit, as they walked in with one.”

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Quilter and volunteer Dawn Baxter said there’s no better feeling than being wrapped in a warm quilt — made with love, to deliver warmth.

“They’re very comforting,” said Baxter. “If you’re wrapped in a quilt, you’re comforted automatically.”

“To have someone make something for you, it’s such a personal gift to receive, even if it’s from a stranger,” said Baxter. “The fact that someone took the time to make something for you is a very heartwarming experience.”

The guild’s strategy is to create something beautiful and comforting, whether it be made individually or through a group effort.

READ MORE: Teresa Dellar, founder of West Island Palliative Care Residence, dead at 58

“We try to pick patterns and fabric that are uplifting and happy colours and not too sombre,” said Baxter. “We try to pick fabrics that are male or female or gender-neutral so the centre has a variety of quilts to choose from.”

Elvidge says the palliative care centre and its residents say they’re grateful for the time and effort put into each quilt.

“They take a great amount of work to create and they’re all unique,” said Elvidge. “They understand that comfort and love that the quilt was made with and that’s why it’s important to feel that.”

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The guild has been making quilts for the residence for the past 17 years.