Powassan quilting duo has food-bank draw prize covered

·3 min read

The two Powassan women who have designed a quilt as a fundraiser for the Powassan and District Food Bank are no strangers to charity work.

Ruth Lagassie and her daughter Cassandra not only do personal quilts, they also create some for auction purposes that benefit the groups they reach out to.

This was the case with the Christmas quilt that the food bank is now selling tickets for each Saturday at the local farmers market.

The quilt was done over about three years during the Lagassies’ spare time.

Cassandra Lagassie talked to her mother about undertaking a larger quilting project and after tossing around ideas, they settled on the Christmas quilt.That was several years ago and the Lagassies made a point of not talking to any specific group at the time.

Ruth Lagassie said she only approached Diane Cole, the coordinator of the food bank, after the quilt was completed earlier this year.

“Sometimes life happens and you don’t get to quilting,” said Ruth Lagassie.

“So until we got it done, we weren’t promising it to anyone. Because of the stop and go nature, a quilt can take a long time.”

Lagassie adds that when she approached Cole about using the finished quilt as a fundraiser “Diane was absolutely thrilled.”

“She jumped on that pretty quick,” Lagassie said.

“Also we want to see the food bank get as much help as it can.”

Cassandra Lagassie, who is in school studying nursing as a second career, came up with the design after getting some online inspiration from a website.

Large eight-pointed stars make up the main design of the quilt which includes smaller stars and various patterns spread throughout.

The quilt is quite large.

It’s made up of 24 blocks that when connected create a piece that is 94-by-67 inches.

It can be used as a bed comforter, wall hanging or whatever the owner wants.

Because of its handmade nature and the numerous hours it took to make, Ruth Lagassie says if this quilt was to sell in a retail store it would easily be valued in the hundreds of dollars.

Mom and daughter used materials from their respective stashes of fabrics to make the quilt.

Because of the amount of time it took, both women say they were ecstatic to see the completed piece and are excited that the fruits of their labour will end up in someone’s home.

Sewing and quilting is a family affair in the Lagassie household.

Cassandra Lagassie recalls sitting on her mother’s lap as a child watching her sew and learning the skill from her and she is now teaching her daughter.

Ruth Lagassie also learned from her mother.

With the Christmas quilt in the hands of the food bank waiting to be won, Cassandra Lagassie says she and her mom have started talking about another quilting project they want to see used as another fundraiser or auction event.

But Ruth Lagassie, who bakes and donates some of her baked goods to the food bank and also sells her baked products at the farmers market, says it’s a project that won’t begin until later in the year when the farmers market season ends.

In the meantime, visitors to the farmers market can buy tickets for the Christmas quilt every Saturday until the draw which will be held at the farmers market on its last day for the season over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 and all the proceeds go to keep the food bank shelves stocked.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget

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