Giving Back

The Niagara Heritage Quilters’ Guild is proud of the work we do, not only in quilting but supporting our community in various ways. Approximately 100 quilts per year are donated to local charitable organizations, including Hospice, Gillian’s Place, Kristen French Advocacy Centre, Niagara Region Mental Health, FACS for babies going into foster care, as well as refugee families, and families who have devastating losses, such as a fire.  We’ve also recently accepted the challenge of making 40 quilts for the YWCA Transitional Housing facility that will open in January of 2021.

We love  “Making a Difference”.

Here are several ways we give back.

women with quilt

Community Outreach

We have been able to donate some quilts lately, as Ontario opens up more.  We have given 20 adult quilts and 10 baby quilts to the Niagara Regional Native Centre, and 10 quilts to Gillian’s Place.  Additionally, the YWCA quilts (48 quilts: 10 double, 30 twin, 1 lap size, and 7 baby) were donated on August 19 to the newly built transitional housing unit at 176 Oakdale. The quilts were presented to Laurie Andrews (YWCA Board Member), Arienne Good (YWCA Fundraising and Donor Relations) and Elizabeth Zimmerman (YWCA Executive Director).  A reporter from Niagara This Week was also there. Click for Article.  We spread some of the quilts out on the grass in front of the building, and everyone was very excited and so thankful for the donation.  A few residents happened by while we were there and were also very excited to learn that they would be receiving a quilt.  The YWCA staff was so grateful for the donation, and indicated that it means so many of you care about what happens to marginalized people in our community. Thank you so much to all of you who made this possible.

As we are not yet though with this pandemic, keep sewing on your own for Community Outreach.  No particular size is needed at this point, although we always do seem to have a need for bed size quilts.  If you have tops, quilts, fabric or batting to donate, or want to do some piecing, quilting or binding for Community Outreach, contact Jennifer Dyck ( for details.

Why not add some of these projects to your to do list.

  • FACS Project Noah quilts – size should be approximately 40” x 40”, flannel backing. If you are not quilting it yourself, see guidelines below for preparing a quilt and backing for long arm quilting, and also the binding preparation
  • Child or Kristen French Advocacy Centre quilts – 0 to 10 years: between 50” & 54” wide, and between 60” and 64” long. 11 to 18 years: between 50” & 54” wide, and between 72” and 76” long.
  • Lap size quilts – for Hospice, Niagara Mental Health, fire victims etc. Approximately 52” in width and anywhere from 52” to 78” in length.
  • There will still be a need for larger quilts, e.g., for fire victims, Gillian’s place, etc. Twin size should be approximately 70” x 90” and double size should be approximately 80” x 90”.

Preparing a quilt and backing for longarm quilting

  • Be sure all excess thread is clipped off on both sides of the quilt top and backing. You don’t want to have a thread show through to the front of the quilt, once it is quilted.
  • Look to see if there are seams around the outer edges. If so, stay-stitch through these seams about 1/8th of an inch in from the edge. This will ensure the seams don’t pop open when loaded onto the longarm. The binding will eventually cover up these stitches. You may have to stitch around the entire edge of the quilt if there are multiple seams or just through each seam if there are only a few.
  • Make sure your quilt top and backing are both squared and even across all four sides.
  • The backing should measure a minimum of 8 inches longer and wider than the quilt top. In other words, 4 to 5 inches of extra fabric all the way around the quilt. This is for holding the clamps to make the fabric tight, and also for checking tension. If the backing needs to be pieced, cut off selvages if there are any, and sew together with a ½ to 5/8” seam allowance. Press the seams open to reduce bulk.
  • Binding – cut strips 2.5” x WOF. Join with a diagonal seam and press in half. Preparing a binding is especially helpful if your quilt top has a limited number of coordinated fabrics. It is sometimes hard to find something that will match or blend with the top in this case. It’s much easier to find a suitable fabric in our stash for binding if the quilt top is scrappy.

If you have any questions about Community Outreach quilts, please contact Jennifer Dyck,, or 289-690-1625

The picture above shows Kathleen O’Flaherty happily presenting 40 baby quilts to FACS Social Worker Tracy Nicole in 2020

Kathleen O’Flaherty has been coordinating the baby quilts for FACS, Project Noah. Thanks to her efforts, a total of 98 baby quilts were donated in 2020, and a total of 30 so far in 2021. This initiative for FACS grew from a desire that each sweet baby taken into care should be wrapped in love just as our own babies were.  Approximately 100 babies per year in Niagara are taken into care.  Thank you to many sewers who often give from the heart using their own materials.
For more information on Project Noah visit the FACS website at:

This photo was taken July 13, 2020 at the Kristen French Advocacy Centre were we presented them with the actual cheque for the proceeds from the quilt raffle. Mark Doyle is on the left and Frank Parkhouse is on the right. Janet Handy (from the Centre) is flanked by Gloria Meyer and Lynne Wilkinson with Sharree Eidt beside her. We are pleased that despite these unusual times, we were able to raise as much money as we did. We hope to do something like this again in the future. Needless to say, they were thrilled.
For more information on the Kristen French Advocacy Centre visit their social media pages:
@KristenFrnchCACN – Facebook;
@kristenfrenchcacn – Instagram;
@KFCACN – Twitter


Please save your UPC labels from Hobbs batting packages so we can participate in the Hobbs Charity Batting Program. With 5 UPC labels, we can order a roll of Hobbs 80/20 for a drastically reduced cost. This is just another way you can help you community quilters.

Meals On Wheels


Meals on Wheels is an organization which provides a hot and nutritious meal once a day from Monday to Friday to the area shut ins and seniors in their own homes. Each year the guild donates placemats to this organization who then distributes them at Christmas. Quite often this is the only present the recipients receive.  These placemats are received with great delight and appreciated by everyone..

With the stay at home order due to Covid-19, please consider putting Meals on Wheels placemats on your TO DO list.

The following are some suggestions for making the placemats:

    1. The finished size should measure about 12 “ x 18 “. 
    2. Make a crazy quilt design with batting and backing.
    3. Make it reversible with Christmas on one side and another season on the other.
    4. Applique a cut out from a large print on background fabric and add borders.
    5. Use an orphan block or make a log cabin block and add borders.
    6. They don’t have to be Christmas themed.
    7. Try the quilt as you go placemat pattern in this link.  Download Instructions

Soup Bowl Koozie

A client of Meals On Wheels, who is a former quilter, suggested that we might like to makeSoup Bowl Koozies, as putting the meals in the microwave can make them quite hot.  Attached, you will find instructions on how to make a Koozie.  Download Instructions 


Completed placemats and/or Koozies need to be done by mid November. Delivery to specific members will be shared at a later date.

Thank you again for your support. Your efforts make such a big difference.

Neonatal Quilts

Every Month we collect Neonatal Quilts on behalf of the Special Care Nursery at the St. Catharines General Hospital. We are proud to say in June 2021 we delivered 125 quilts. The nursery was low on quilts and they were happy for the donation.

To make these Quilts here are the requirements:

  • Neo-Natal quilts should not be any larger than 22 to 24 inches square
  • The front or top of the quilt may be made from either cotton or flannelette. You may be as creative with the top as you wish.
  • The backing must be flannelette, and have no seams (there is no batting put in these quilts).

Simply lay top of quilt and backing fabric right sides together stitch around the edge leaving an opening.  Turn right side out. Top stitch around the edge.

If you’d like to make some, we would be very grateful. Information on when & where you can drop them off during Covid-19 will be provided soon.  


Due to Covid-19 collection for RAFT has been suspended until further notice

RAFT – operated by the Niagara Resource Service for Youth contributes to the welfare of our community by helping at-risk youth, families and neighbourhoods become independent and self-sufficient.

Our services strengthen the emotional and social well-being of clients and act as a portal to community resources.

Services are based on the principles of Empowerment, Quality of Life, Dignity and Respect. Services are provided in a supportive and caring environment, which encourages independence and self-reliance.

We believe that helping clients take control of their lives builds self-esteem and confidence while empowering clients to become fuller more involved members of their community.

Every November the Niagara Heritage Quilters Guild collects donations of hats, scarves, socks, mitts and gloves. Personal Hygiene items  (shampoo, soap, creams etc.) for both men and women are also collected.

The Niagara Heritage Quiters’ Guild has established a Scholarship Valued at $1,000.00 to promote an interest in Fine Arts, Art History, Visual Arts or Design, with an interest in textile/Fibre Arts as a career or lifeskill.

One of the founding members of the Niagara Heritage Quilters’ Guild, Nina Stahlschmidt, began the idea of the scholarship as a way of involving the guild in the Niagara community. Nina and a group of members organized a silent auction to raise funds during the NHQG Quilt Show at Niagara College
May 18-21, 2011. Members donated items for the auction and we received monetary donations by members of the community. The monies raised are invested in GIC’S. The interest and any additional funds raised each year are kept separate and used to fund the annual scholarship.

Above is a picture of our 2020 recipient, Krystyna Augustyn.   She is a graduate of Notre Dame College School and is going to York University to pursue a degree in Design. She has b been a top scholar throughout her high school years and has had numerous positions of leadership. Krystyna is an outstanding student and we wish her great success in her future endeavours at York University and here career.

Qualification Requirements:

  1. The student must be graduating or have graduated last year from a secondary school program in the Niagara Region.
  2. The student may win only once.
  3. The student must be a Canadian citizen.
  4. The student must show personal growth and leadership in school and community activities.
  5. The student must include a typed 350 – 500 word essay on the topic of “Textile/Fibre Arts as a Life Skill and/or Career” with their application.
  6. The application must be signed by the student and student’s Principal or Vice Principal.
  7. The student must provide names and contact information of 2 references.  These references should not be immediate family members.
  8. The student must be registered in a Canadian Post-Secondary institution.
  9. The student must indicate which Canadian Post-Secondary institution and program of study they will be attending.


  1. To receive the Scholarship award, the student must obtain 75 merit points or more as outlined on the application form.
  2. If the scholarship recipient does not attend an accredited college or university in the Fall or Spring for any reason, he/she shall forfeit the scholarship to allow another student who has achieved 75 merit points or more, to take advantage of the scholarship.  In the event that the successful applicant must forfeit and no other applicant has achieved the requisite 75 merit points, there shall be no scholarship for that year.

Applications must be postmarked by May 31st of each year.

Please send completed application with applicable attachments to:

Niagara Heritage Quilters’ Guild,
P.O. Box 284, Thorold, ON, L2V 3Y9
Attn:  NHQG Scholarship Committee


Subject: NHQG Scholarship

Past Scholarship Recipients

Above is a picture of our 2020 recipient, Krystyna Augustyn.   She is a graduate of Notre Dame College School and is going to York University to pursue a degree in Design. She has b been a top scholar throughout her high school years and has had numerous positions of leadership. Krystyna is an outstanding student and we wish her great success in her future endeavours at York University and here career.


On behalf of the Guild, I was pleased to present our scholarship for this year to Hannah Robertson. She is a graduate of Eden High School and is pursuing her further education at Carleton University for a Bachelor of Architectural studies majoring in design. Hannah is an exemplary student who while maintaining high scholastic marks, also found time to put in over 665 volunteer hours. We wish her well in her future studies.