St. John Valley

Madawaska quilters turn leftovers into warmth for the needy

MADAWASKA, Maine — A group of local quilters has turned leftover pieces of fabric into welcome gifts for those in need.

The story started with an anonymous donor in Portland, retired from quilting, who had boxes of leftover fabric. She had heard about the Acadian Quilters and their charity work, and wanted to help.

The donor called the Madawaska Town Office, who put her in touch with a member of the local group. Thanks to that donation, the Acadian Quilters have made 22 children’s quilts, 15 baby blankets and a slew of bibs to be given to local people who need them.

“It was quite overwhelming, the amount of small and big pieces of fabric,” Acadian Quilters member Priscilla Cannan said. “I contacted Nicole Plourde and the project began.”

The group started work in October. The quilts, blankets and bibs will be donated to a local Battered Women’s Shelter and the Pregnancy Care Centers in Fort Kent and Presque Isle, as well as to the Homeless Services of Aroostook Shelter in Presque Isle.

“We are exploring donating to ACAP’s Child and Family Services in Caribou, also,” Canaan said. 

The Acadian Quilters made nearly 40 children’s and baby blankets for charities from scraps donated by a retired quilter. (Hannah Catlin | St. John Valley Times)

The quilters include Cannan, Plourde, Charlene Nadeau, Jeannine Hebert, Diane Albert, Bernadette Fongemie, Caroline Pelletier and Linda Roy. They donate quilts to charity every year through the Daughters of Isabella, a spiritual, social and charitable Catholic women’s group. 

The Acadian Quilters form a chapter of the Pine Tree Quilters Guild, based in Augusta. The guild has 67 chapters and numbers 1,800 members from northern Maine to Kittery, according to its website,

The local group serves members from Madawaska, Fort Kent and surrounding areas, and typically holds a quilt show during the Acadian Festival.

Cannan said she is grateful for the fabric donation as well as all who worked on the project.

“The beauty of these quilts is beyond expectation,” she said. “What a challenging project. I want to thank all the girls that accepted to help.”

Nicole Plourde (left) and Priscilla Cannan, members of the Acadian Quilters, look at a quilt handmade from donated fabric scraps. The group made more than 40 quilts and blankets for children from the donated fabric and will distribute them in The County to those in need. (Hannah Catlin | St. John Valley Times)



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