Welcome to The Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion

Building belonging – one stitch at a time

Last Saturday about 25 women sat sewing and talking, sharing ideas and complimenting one another’s work in a room of the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI).

There was a warm community spirit about the gathering.

Tricia Duff was there too, working on a cross-stitch.

The donation quilt from the Blue Mountain Quilters’ Guild to be auctioned at the BACI Ball: Global Fusion event on Nov. 16.

Everybody has their interests and passions, and for Tricia it’s stitching. She likes working with various kinds of fabric art from knitting to crocheting, cross-stitch and quilting. She does a good job, and she’s interested in doing the best job she can, says her friend and house-mate Lyn King.

Tricia is a charter member of the group meeting that day, the Blue Mountain Quilters’ Guild, which is about 115-people strong and 10 years old.

She’s come to be seen by these ladies as less a person with some very significant disabilities and more as an expert at what she does, says Lyn, also a charter member.

In fact, her work is so well-respected that last year the guild asked Tricia to create what’s called a trunk show for one of the guild’s monthly meeting.

Lyn, Tricia and a friend worked together to create a show of all Tricia’s quilts and stitching projects from the last 20 years.

About 100 women showed up and appeared quite engrossed in the presentation Lyn made on behalf of Tricia, who speaks very little verbally, “although her work speaks volumes.”

The Blue Mountain Quilters’ Guild has now begun meeting at BACI. Lyn, who is BACI’s senior manager of human resources and quality assurance, suggested the arrangement after the guild’s former meeting space had to be given up.

“It’s a nice partnership to be involved in, to be connected to this group of people who has learned about the power of somebody’s assets, rather than to focus on deficits,” she says.

She’s hoping there may be opportunities for other people BACI works with to explore stitching and quilting and possibly being part of this sewing community as well.

The guild’s first meeting at BACI, held last Saturday, suggested the relationship between the two organizations will be positive.

Lyn notes the group expressed appreciation of the space, noting it was very welcoming with good lighting and the set-up of round tables invited a nice sense of community.

Various guild members also commented on the welcoming spirit of the BACI community, noting there was a warmth that was special.

“I thought, wow, these are people who know nothing about us, . . . and they got that in a matter of minutes. It must be a pretty strong message that goes out,” says Lyn.

The Blue Mountain Quilters’ Guild has donated an Asian-themed quilt to be auctioned off at the upcoming BACI Ball: Global Fusion event on Nov. 16. Lyn says she was amazed by how generously and easily they offered up the hand-stitched, beautiful piece, put together mostly by an older charter member who had worked hours on it.

It soon becomes clear that this is one of the many generous acts that is part of the fabric of this guild – from donating baby-sized pieces of quilt for infants at the Royal Columbian Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, to making quilts for every family-member of a deceased Canadian soldier or donating quilts to families affected by the Slave Lake fires in Alberta last year.

Tricia and Lyn have both contributed to many of these donation pieces.

The guild is hosting a quilting show Oct. 20-21. To learn more about the event and the guild in general, click here.

To learn more about the BACI Ball: Global Fusion fundraiser for their children’s services, click here.

Feel free to comment below, or e-mail the writer, Michelle Strutzenberger, at michelle(at)axiomnews.ca.


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