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On June 5, 2018 Inga Scanlan and Bill Chamberlin visited St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa to present their generous gift of 25 touch quilts for our residents.  The quilts are absolutely beautiful and it is obvious were made with great care.  Our recreation team will be able to deliver these touch quilts to the residents they know will benefit most from them.  Thank you so much Inga and Bill!

THE STORY OF INGA AND BILL’S TOUCH QUILTS

Inga Scanlan lost her husband to cancer many years ago and had to return to work.  Inga worked in a nursing home when she was younger; she became a private caregiver for a lady suffering from Alzheimer’s. Inga then went on to care for many other people whom also had Alzheimer’s including her mother, who she lost last year. Inga started to make touch quilts for the people that she cared for. Inga saw firsthand that the touch quilts had a calming effect for her clients and they really enjoyed them.

Inga later remarried Bill Chamberlin who was retired.  They lived in an apartment and Bill’s hobbies became eating, sleeping and going to doctor’s appointments.  Inga told Bill that if he didn’t find a new hobby she would find one for him.  One day while he was out at a doctor appointment she did just that!  Inga picked out fabric for a quilt.  She had two sewing machines, so what better use for the second machine.  Having been a quilt instructor many years before, she knew she could teach Bill.   His quilting quickly took off and he really enjoyed it.  Inga and Bill joined a small guild that made quilts for people with cancer and for babies.   They were not able to get the group interested in doing touch quilts.  Inga and Bill started making the touch quilts on their own.

Inga and Bill had quite a lot of fabric and scraps to begin.  They also went to upholstery shops looking for different textures and one shop actually donated their scraps and outdated sample books.  As people learned about what Inga and Bill were doing, they were able to get further donations of fabric or clothing.  Jeans are great to use in the touch quilts and through various Facebook groups they have been able to receive donations of used denim. The backing for the quilts is flannel and a little harder to get, so they do have to purchase that.  Inga also gets pieces of flannel from other quilters and puts them together to make backings.  When sewers or crafters clean out their rooms she often gets lace and other items from them.  Creativity really helps!  Families who have received one of Inga and Bill’s touch quilts will often start looking for items they can use.  They have also received small cash donations that they only use to buy backing flannel.  Inga and Bill welcome donations of any kind.