Why this P.E.I. woman is giving away her handmade quilts

·2 min read
Some of Tami Martell's children didn't get to know their grandparents, but can remember their grandmother through quilts she made. Martell wants more people to know that feeling. (Emilie Martell - image credit)
Some of Tami Martell's children didn't get to know their grandparents, but can remember their grandmother through quilts she made. Martell wants more people to know that feeling. (Emilie Martell - image credit)

Many people remember the unique comfort of snuggling under a quilt hand-stitched by a grandmother or great-grandmother, sometimes made from scraps of the family's clothing. The warmth on a chilly winter's night or the cool cottony touch on a summer day was all the better knowing it had been made by a loving ancestor.

Tami Martell is a quilting enthusiast from Milltown Cross, P.E.I., and wants to make sure people who don't have relatives to give them a family heirloom still get the opportunity to know that feeling.

She's giving away some of the many quilts she makes to people who have grown up not knowing their grandmother.

"It's something they can cherish, pass down to someone else in their family or a grandchild," she said.

A closer look at some of Martell's colourful handmade quilts.
A closer look at some of Martell's colourful handmade quilts.(Emilie Martell)

"It's a passion of love, cutting up all these little pieces from one solid piece of material."

Martell has been gathering donations of fabric from Islanders for the project, which she calls A Grandmother's Garden.

'Such a thrill'

Once a month, she posts one of her quilts on her Facebook page A Grandmother's Garden and does a random draw from readers who like and share the post.

She did her first giveaway last weekend. The winner told their story of their late grandmother, who developed dementia but never forgot her family members.

Martell said even after giving quilts to her family, friends and others, she still has quite a pile of them, especially since she has been very productive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As a grandmother, I've seen the reaction of our kids and friends and others that I've given quilts to," Martell said.

"It was such a thrill to them and they so much appreciated it that I wanted to do it for kids. And some adults will probably apply for the draw — hopefully they will appreciate it and use it for a while, and then maybe someday pass it down to a loved one — a grandchild, someone else who might enjoy it."

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