Like most quilters, most creatives, when bad things happen I respond by making. It helps me process my own pain or emotions. It also gets me to start thinking about how I can help others heal. This is, of course, by making and giving a quilt.
So when the horrific news out of Saskatchewan about the Humboldt Broncos bus crash rolled in, I immediately thought of making. I designed a quilt block with my daughters help - I was decorating a cake so I dictated numbers and a sketch to her. Initially, it had 14 HSTs, but it had to be updated when the death toll changed later that day. The design is a simplified, modern version of a horses mane. I was looking at the Broncos logo and thinking about what I might be able to do. This is it.
Making may help heal my emotions. Making or receiving a quilt may or may not do something for the families, the boys and woman still injured, the first responders, and team affected. But I do know that any show of support - when the entire country is behind you - can only help in the long run. So I will make. You can too.
- 8 squares 4'' x 4''
- 8 squares 4'' x 4'' (from one strip cut 4'' x WOF)
- 1 square 3 1/2'' x 3 1/2'' (All cut from one strip 3 1/2'' x WOF)
- 1 rectangle 3 1/2'' x 6 1/2''
- 1 rectangle 3 1/2'' x 9 1/2''
- 1 rectangle 3 1/2'' x 12 1/2''
- Draw a line on the back of the background 4'' fabric squares, corner to corner on the diagonal.
- Pair a background 4'' square with the feature fabric square, right sides together. Line up and sew 1/4'' from the drawn line on both sides.
- Cut on the drawn line. Press towards the darker fabric.
- Square up the half square triangles to 3 1/2'' x 3 1/2''. Use the 45 degree line on your ruler (or something like a Bloc Loc ruler) to make sure the seam line is straight from corner to corner.
- Sew together 5 blocks, end to end, with the feature fabric in the upper right corner for placement. Make a row of 4 blocks, then 3, then 2. Note: You will have one HST leftover.
- Press the rows in alternate directions.
- Layout the entire block the following way and sew the rows together and press the seams open or all in one direction:
- 1 block plus 3 1/2'' x 12 1/2'' background
- 2 blocks plus 3 1/2'' x 6 1/2'' background
- 3 blocks plus 3 1/2'' x 9 1/2'' background
- 4 blocks plus 3 1/2'' x 3 1/2'' background
- 5 blocks
There is an official quilt block/quilt drive hosted by Haus of Stitches, the local quilt store in Humboldt and the Prairie Patchwork Quilt Guild. They are coordinating to make and receive at least 200 quilts to be distributed among survivors, families and billet families, first responders, and the team. The block they've chosen sews together very quickly. Full details here.
I am making blocks like above, plus the Quilts for Broncos blocks as per the official instructions. Everything I make will be donated to the official drive. I am also gathering, for local to Calgary quilters, any work they do and delivering it to Saskatoon. It will then go on to Humboldt from there.
This tragedy is devastating. I think every parent can imagine their kid on that bus. I have hockey playing nephews, my own kids have played, my daughter does bus travel for her sport. It is an accident, plain and simple, but it hits hard. I know 3 people - with no connection to each other - who had connections to kids on the bus. That's how hockey is in Canada. It's why we are seeing kids wearing Jerseys to school, sticks left out on porches, professional sports teams honouring the team for their own connection to their past, and why quilters are making. We can't heal the deep wounds, we can't make the pain go away, but we can make and show support. No one is alone in this.