Q&A with Lyla Yanishewski, treasurer of Fourth Creek Community Association

Karen Weiss, left, and Donna Nelson. // Photo by Lyla Yanishewski

The Fourth Creek Hall has been being put to good use for many community events and programs. One of the most successful of those has been the Savanna Creations Quilting Club. We caught up with Lyla Yanishewski, treasurer of the Fourth Creek Community Association, which runs the hall, and asked her about the quilting club.

What do the group of quilters in Fourth Creek call yourselves?
Savanna Creations.

When did you first get together? How did you originally get organized?
We think that it was around 30 years ago that the club started. At first, the group got together with members taking turns teaching others various crafts. Over the years, it has evolved into primarily a quilting group, but occasionally members sew other items or create other crafts.

How many quilters are members?
47 members in our 2018-2019 fiscal year. We have many local members but also many from distant communities including Grimshaw, Berwyn, Beaverlodge, Falher, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Grande Prairie, and Fort Nelson.

How often do you meet?
We have 3-day quilting sessions at least once per month. Sometimes it’s twice per month, especially in the winter. Members are welcome to come to quilt all three days or any part thereof. They are also welcome to come and shop from our inventory.

Is there a charge to join?
$20 for a yearly membership from September 1 to August 31.

What happens to the quilts you make?
We donate quilts to many charities such as Dawson Creek Regional Hospital, QE II Hospital, Central Peace Regional Hospital, Grande Prairie Seniors’ Outreach, Arctic Missions, Valleyview Long Term Care, Odyssey House, a Canadian soldier, victims of fire, community members who are sick, and many more. Members also create quilts for themselves, their families, and their friends.

Can anyone join? Do you need a certain level of skill to become a member?
Anyone can join – no experience necessary. We have many experienced quilters who are happy to help new quilters.

Do you train/teach how to quilt?
Yes, we have many members who enjoy helping others, from choosing fabric and patterns to sewing the quilts. Usually this is one-on-one assistance, but sometimes we have mini-workshops. Annually we also have a session when we teach children/youth how to sew and quilt.

Any additional information you’d like to share?
For many years, our club has purchased fabric and notions (sewing supplies) that we keep in storage at the Fourth Creek Hall. This fabric and notions are available for our members to purchase. Members find this very convenient as we are a great distance from fabric stores.

In March 2018, the club purchased a long arm quilting machine with grants from Saddle Hills County and the New Horizons for Seniors Program (a federal grant).

This machine allows members to sew the layers of the quilt together using a computer-driven program or manipulating the machine manually. This machine is very popular with our members. It makes assembling the quilts so much faster and easier with professional looking results. Since March 2018, it has been used to sew over 350 quilts.

Our club also hosts an annual quilt show where members and anyone else who is interested bring their quilts or other crafts to display. Attendees vote on their favourite large and small quilts and those with the most votes win prizes. It is always well-attended.