What began in 1998 by three creative ladies has blossomed into The Wasa Country Quilters Guild and is still going strong today with 17 current members. The founding members, June Clubley, Andrea Konschuh, Junne Clarke and Lorraine Colton, began meeting in Andrea’s basement in Skookumchuk to quilt. Soon, five others joined their group and the camaraderie, quilting and ideas flowed.
In 1999, having outgrown the basement and needing more space, the Wasa Recreation Society donated space in the Wasa Community Centre. With a start-up donation of $500 from The Lion’s Club for building supplies, the quilters husbands were called in to build a room in the community centre basement. Norm Clubley built all the quilting and cutting tables. Within three years, the group outgrew this room, too. Husbands to the rescue again and the room expanded to its current size. Storage cabinets were built and new flooring installed, all paid for by the Guild. This room is still well utilized by the Quilters and other community groups.
The camaraderie that began in Andria’s basement continues today in Wasa. The Guild meets year-round every Tuesday from 10-4, happily cutting and stitching. This supportive group continues to share ideas and information, teach new techniques, and generally chat and entertain ideas to help solve all the world’s problems. Our current members come from Wasa, Ta Ta Creek, Kimberley, Cranbrook, Skookumchuk and Fairmont. Two of the original members, June Clubley and Karin Weir, continue to be valuable mentors to the group. The Guild also plans and attends a three-day annual quilting retreat in the area for a concerted effort at quilting with a little recreation on the side. New members are always welcome.
The Wasa Quilters have always been a supportive group of the Wasa Community Pancake Breakfasts which are held each Saturday during the summer months. In fact, the inspiration for these fundraising breakfasts began with two of the founding members and their husbands, the Clubley’s and the Konschuh’s. The Lion’s Club quickly took over to attend to the logistics and another tradition continues to this day.
Using funds generated from the pancake breakfasts, guild fees and the occasional quilt raffle, the Wasa Country Quilters continue to support the surrounding communities. The Wasa Recreation Society, Children’s Wish Fund, Cranbrook Hospital Mammogram Fund, Kimberley Food Bank, Ladies Transition Home, Cranbrook and Christmas Hampers for Wasa Families have been some of the recipients of our donations over the years. We also annually contribute a quilt to the Lion’s Club for raffle, and supply baking to the Wasa community bingos and fundraising dinners.
Want to see what this industrious group of gals have been up to?? Come to their Quilt Show Friday, May 10, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wasa Community Centre main hall. Held every three years, this is their fifth quilt show. Admission is by donation and a light lunch and coffee/tea for purchase. Vendors will be in attendance. Raffle tickets will be available for the ‘Flowers for My Wedding Ring’ quilt designed by Judy Niemeyer, sewn by The Wasa Country Quilters and quilted by Bev Patkau. The draw date will be in September. The most recent show in 2016 generated $1600 which was donated to the Red Cross for the Fort McMurray fires.
Questions? Contact Linda Sundgaard, Wasa 778-524-4456 or Gayle Andrews, Ta Ta Creek 250-422-3095.