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Haptic & Hue

Jan 27, 2022

Can a nation simply forget an astonishing operation in which its women and children made nearly half a million quilts to comfort the victims of the Second World in Europe? It seems that Canada has come close to doing that.  Only now, nearly 80 years later, is this story being pieced together for the first time by some very determined researchers and textile sleuths. It’s a tale that has never been properly told and the women and children who made these quilts have never been honoured or thanked properly for their work.


This episode of Haptic and Hue’s Tales of Textiles begins with a mystery quilt that turned up on a cold winter’s morning 30 years ago with a strange handwritten label on it. It tracks my efforts to find out what the quilt was and how it came to be made. It uncovers the astonishing story of how millions and millions of items from bandages to sheets, from pajamas to quilts were made by Canadian volunteers as ‘comforts’ to send mainly to Britain in the Second World War, but also later to the Netherlands, France, and Germany, to help those who had lost their homes and all their possessions. The podcast hears from someone who made the quilts and someone who received a quilt and it looks at why this amazing effort was almost completely forgotten.


If you would like to know more about the quilts or if you have a quilt and would like to register it or tell someone about it then please go to, where you can find useful links, pictures and a full script of the podcast.