We asked our readers to tell us about the important quilts in their lives, and the people who made them. Here we share these wonderful stories that resonate true prairie spirit and community.
Quilts are timeless. Their materials and design have evolved with changing circumstances in Saskatchewan but the role they play and the significance they hold have remained constant. They mark arrivals (new couples, babies), anniversaries, departures, and new beginnings. They are a symbol of good wishes, comfort, and generosity.
After the flooding in High River in 2013, Moose Jaw’s Quilters Haven put out the call for donations of quilts for those affected by the disaster. Store owner Arlyce Thompson delivered 230 pieces to the flood victims, many of which were traditional quilts.
Quilt raffles are always a compelling gamble. Community organizations of all kinds access local quilting skills to create a prize that is downright irresistible. To win a hand sewn quilt is to obtain a piece of art.
Rags, fragments of clothing, burlap, photographs (transferred on to fabric, of course), in fact, almost anything through which a thread and needle can pass, have been used to create quilts. Traditional star patterns, the nine patch design, and the perennial log cabin quilt are instantly recognizable even to those of us who do not know anything about creating one of these blankets.
The reasons for this universality are quite simple. First, they are everywhere. But more importantly, people who have played special roles in our lives are associated with them. They are largely the labours of women: mothers, aunts, and friends. In the end, the celebration of quilts is the celebration of women’s creativity and care.
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