Greater Trail quilters put the ‘fun’ in fundraising

The Butterfly Quilters donate pet blankets to the SPCA and ‘touchy-feely’ pieces to seniors

Alba Vellutini, one of six Butterfly Quilters, displays samples of the group’s table runners. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Butterfly Quilters is the ideal name for a group of six friends who share their goodwill through the art of needlework.

After all, each whimsical piece created is a bright one-of-a-kind pattern that brings joy to all, including seniors and shelter animals awaiting a new home.

Each quilter is a lifelong sewer, though surprisingly, given the level of skill, the majority have been practicing the art for only the past few years. They’ve met in the basement of Alba Vellutini’s Trail home for just over one year, but due to tight quarters, the group has a waiting list and needs a bigger space, before others can join in.

Nevertheless, Tuesday afternoons, the women gather to quilt everything from elegant table runners and other accoutrements, baby blankets, Christmas wall hangings, cozy little pet mats and touchy-feely quilts for those with dementia. The latter two, respectively, are donated to the Trail BCSPCA and to seniors at home or living in care facilities.

Pauline Potvin even uses all the scraps – nothing goes to waste – to create unique vintage-style children’s books that teach little ones certain fine motor skills like how to button, zipper, snap, fold and braid.

The reason they do it is for fun, and out of desire to be of service to their communities of Fruitvale, Trail and Warfield, says Alba.

“From the very beginning, it was decided that each person was free to work on the project of their own choosing” she explained. “Encouragement and help would be provided when and where it was needed.”

With a one-time membership fee and support from a private donor, the charitable circle was able to thread its needles in May 2016.

The women set up a booth at the November craft fair in Fruitvale this year and last.

Funds raised were directed back into supplies to make more quilts for donation, and this week, the Butterflies donated $180 in proceeds as well as 10 pet mats to the Trail animal shelter.

Besides doing their part being “green” by upcycling fabrics, the group relies upon contributions from the community.

“With the profit we made from the craft fairs, we were able to purchase batting and cotton fabric for large quilts, thread and supplies such as rulers, cutting mats, rotary cutter blades, sewing machine needles and pins,” Alba added.

“But we depend on, and are grateful for, donations of new cotton fabric.”

The women are looking for a larger space, by donation, to work their magic.

For more information or to donate to the Butterfly Quilters, contact Alba Vellutini at 250.368.3057.

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