Celebrating Our Sesquicentennial

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Quilters are a proud lot – proud to be Canadian, eh! Over the past few months I have received numerous stories and photos from quilters across the country showing what quilters are doing to celebrate our country’s 150th birthday. I thought I would share a couple of those stories with you.

THE TORBAY QUILTING GROUP
by Mabel Best

Torbay is a small community on the edge of St. John’s, NL. Our Torbay Quilting Group began ten years ago, as women who wanted to share their pleasure of quilting in a relaxed atmosphere could meet together in one location. Whether being new, or well established at quilting, all were welcome.

Every year we work on charity projects that can benefit the local residents. We’ve made items for our senior’s home and dementia patients in our health care system. We’ve made quilts for our museum, high school, volunteer fireman’s auxiliary, palliative-care and families in need. We do this in an effort to say thank you to our town for their support.

In September 2016, several members of our group set to take on the challenge of creating a quilt that would help us celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Heather McGrath, one of the very creative members of our group found the pattern “America the Beautiful” by Lynn Lister. We purchased the pattern and began our journey of making the celebration quilt. Heather began creating blocks using her imagination and her EQ program. Loretta Dobbin found Dana Szucs Hayden of “Seasew” pattern for the Canada 150 emblem online, and that provided the special birthday block to incorporate into our quilts.

Our provincial neighborhood of Newfoundland and Labrador is made up of rocky, rugged coastlines, lighthouses, moose and caribou, icebergs, whales, fishing stages and boat. Many of our houses are colorful row houses of jellybean colours. We also have the regular quilt shops, churches, recreation centers, schools and playground. People who visit are drawn to the uniqueness of the place and its characters.

The quilters who participated followed their own instinct to embellish their quilt and each one is as different as the members in our group. It was a fun group project to honour our country’s birthday.

(Photos by Mabel Best and Sandy Nixon)

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GENTLE SHEPHERD’S CANADA 150 QUILT
Over the winter, Gayle Larmond was involved in a sesquicentennial quilt project commissioned by her church – the Gentle Shepherd Church in Grey County, ON. The pastor of the church had approached Gayle with a few ideas for creating a quilt to commemorate Canada’s 150th. Gayle became the co-coordinator of the project with Verna Miller, and several ladies from the congregation joined them to create the quilt. On Easter Sunday, 2017 the quilt was unveiled at a special service, beginning a series of events being held at the church to commemorate Canada’s birthday.