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"It says to us that the community is behind us in what we are doing."

Those are the words of Doris Toews, President of Heartland Quilters. She is referring to a cheque they received last week.

Toews leads a group of ladies who gather on a regular basis in what they call the Quilters Playhouse, located east of Steinbach.

"We have way too much fun to call it anything else," she says.

The Heartland Quilters send their work to different charities such as Project Linus, Quilts of Valour and Siloam. These charities allocate the quilts to disadvantaged people in southeast Manitoba.

On February 12 and 13, nine women from the Heartland Quilters gathered for their annual in house quilt retreat. Toews notes this is a special time of year when an adjudicator is called in to judge the Challenge Quilts that are made. This year's winner was Martha Fehr, who was entering the Quilt Challenge for the first time.

"Everybody gets a Challenge Quilt and then they finish that quilt and they hand it in," explains Toews. "This adjudicator comes around and gives us some good points and also points out the things that we need to pay attention to become better quilters. So that's a very rewarding time for all of us."

Toews says at their retreat they were pleasantly interrupted by Jake Reimer, Councillor for the Rural Municipality of Ste.Anne. Reimer brought a cheque from the municipality worth five hundred dollars.

"They see the value in what we are doing," says Toews, who notes the money will be used to purchase batting and flannel. Toews says five hundred dollars could buy enough batting to make fifty quilts.

"That's a bonus, big time," she says.

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