Canada may be a big country, but it seems very small when one place is hit by a tragedy. The devastation caused by the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta was very difficult to see. The entire city was evacuated and many people lost everything. I think it's hard to not put yourself in that situation because really it could happen anywhere. Imagine not being able to return to your home and not knowing if it is still standing, if any of your belongings escaped the raging fire. My heart ached for the people who had to evacuate without their pets. So very, very terrible.
I already donate monthly to the Canadian Red Cross, but I wanted to do more to help out their relief efforts in Fort McMurray. Then it hit me - a pillow auction! I'd made a few pillows and auction them on Instagram with all the money raised going to the Red Cross. I got started right away making the tops.
One design was inspired by another wonderful campaign now underway to make quilts for the wildfire victims - #quiltsforfortmac. The Ottawa quilt guild is asking people make maple leaf blocks in blue, red, yellow or green. I made one of each. You can find out more, including a quick and easy tutorial for the block, on Slostudio's blog.
My pillow auction - #pillowauctionforfortmac on Instagram - kicked off on Sunday and so far the response has been overwhelming!
I tried to make a variety of pillows to appeal to different people. I used some of my favourite fabrics by favourite designers. A few prints sure were tough to cut into, but knowing it is for a good cause made it easier.
This Tic Tac Toe pillow is a jumbo version of a block from my quilting bee, with Tula's chipmunk at centre stage. It's a bit tough to see, but the background fabric is a very soft green Quilter's Linen. Both look great quilted with green thread.
This pillow features one of my all-time favourite Anna Maria Horner floral prints. What wonderful colours! I actually had these fabrics sitting on my cutting table to make myself a pillow. I added the AMH Loominous for a contrasting border, then quilted it in a light blue.
I cut into my treasured Tula raccoons for this pillow, made with her Acacia line. I had so much fun with the unplanned quilting pattern. I just start quilting lines and see where it takes me. Is there such a thing as improv straight-line quilting?!
It's tough to see the quilting on this pillow, even though it's in a bold pink-purple thread. This one is my favourite! I love Alison Glass fabric and that newsprint is just perfect. I wish I had a bolt!
And here are the backs. Just a simple envelope closure as usual. But I pulled out great prints, including the very popular and OOP Castle Peeps I found recently.
The auction goes until next Sunday, May 22. It feels really great that people appreciate my pillows and that together we can help Fort McMurray residents more than we could alone.