Saturday March 21 was International Quilting Day and to celebrate, a number of our guild members hung their quilts outside as part of a Facebook-led initiative by a fellow quilter in British Columbia. It was a beautiful, bright, and cool day here in the Ottawa Valley as evidenced by these stunning photos that our guild members provided.
Click or tap a photo in the gallery to enlarge it, and then click/tap to see the next enlarged photo.
One of the joys of handling Communications for our quilt guild is that I monitor the guild email account. I never know what I’m going to find there and I was very pleasantly surprised one day in the fall of 2016 to receive this message.
Let me first thank you for your work on premie quilts for the Civic Hospital. I have seen a few as I am a foster parent whose babes have come home with them. Often foster children receive so little at birth and for me this is seen as a treasured gift.
I’ve had a little guy since birth who adores his little quilt. He is almost three and we are in the process of fully adopting him. His quilt is really worn (he has chewed the corners) and we would love to replace it. He is medically fragile and the quilt you ladies made has brought him such comfort. I am wondering if there is a way to purchase a second one as close to the first one as possible.
We quickly determined that the mother of Brigid, our president at that time, had made this premie quilt. In the true giving spirit of quilters, Brigid’s mother, who lives in Cornwall and is not a member of our guild, was helping us out. Unfortunately she did not have any more of the cute blue spaceship print fabric, and there was no more in the Cornwall shop where she had purchased the fabric.
So after an unsuccessful online search for this fabric, we set out in search of a suitable replacement space-themed blue fabric, and some orange flannel. We soon had this new little quilt for Kory.
Fast forward to November 2019 when I was surprised to receive a new message from Gwen with the news that quilt number 2 was wearing out, and that in his medically fragile state, the little quilt was still bringing Kory great comfort.
We enthusiastically offered to make Kory a bigger quilt, and yes it would have orange flannel backing.
Brigid volunteered to make the new quilt, and on learning that Kory likes green, and trucks and trains, she very quickly pieced together the quilt top at our guild's January retreat using fabric from her extensive stash. On returning home Brigid quilted it on her longarm and then passed it to me to attach the binding and label. We soon had a new, much bigger quilt for Kory.
I still had some of the spaceship fabric we used in quilt number 2 so I incorporated that into the label which is affixed to the orange flannel back.
I was delighted to deliver the quilt to Kory and to finally meet him and his loving family. Gwen had kept my visit and the quilt a secret from Kory.
He was surprised, very happy, and very grateful for his new “big boy” quilt.
Kory showed me his little quilt #2 which was indeed well loved, and fraying at the edges.
And our latest note from Gwen?
We are so grateful you got to meet Kory. He carries the quilt in a ball from room to room. A friend of mine came to the door later that night and he insisted he had the best surprise to show her :) He took photos and facetimed his older sister so she can see too. He is so proud of it.
Kory, you've touched our hearts and we hope you will enjoy quilt #3 as much as the first two.
Thank you Gwen for inviting us to provide continued comfort to Kory as he so cheerfully faces his medical challenges.
-- Janet Brownlee, Communications, Arnprior & District Quilters' Guild
We had so much fun sewing in the beautiful bright recreation room at Island View Retirement Residence on Saturday, January 11th.
We were a total of 5 volunteers and we accomplished so much. We completed the sashing on one quilt, made 4 touch quilts, labled an Island View's resident's special quilt, and cut over 40 blocks for the background of the new charity block.
We had lots of residence visitors... and they teased us and said we were loud with lots of laughter!!!!
Delicious coffee, tea, cookies and muffins were supplies by Island View.
Thank you for your welcoming hospitality.
-- Vickie MacNabb, Vice President and Charity
Once again our generous and talented guild members made Christmas themed items for local residents.
Christmas stockings and holiday placements were donated to Arnprior Meals on Wheels that were delivered with the Christmas meal. Placemats featured Christmas themed fabric on one side and something interesting on the other side so they can be used year round.
The festive gift bags were donated to the Arnprior and District Food Bank, to be filled with toiletries and other goodies and distributed with the Christmas food hampers.
Three beautiful Bethlehem Star block quilts made by our guild members were recently donated to the Safe Shelter for Youth program which is offered through Family and Children's Services of Renfrew County. The quilts will be distributed to local couch surfing homeless youths.
Representatives of the Safe Shelter for Youth program were delighted to accept our donations which were made just before Christmas.
For more information about the important work of this valuable program refer to their web site.
Challenges are projects with a particular theme where guild members can showcase their creativity and imagination. Issued at the beginning of each quilt year, challenges are open to all members.
All members are encouraged to try at least one of the challenges each year.
Due at the March 2019 meeting, guild members voted for their favourite quilt in each challenge, and prizes were awarded based on the "viewer's choice" voting results. Guild members were encouraged to display their quilts at the April 2019 quilt show.
1st: Tie - Mary DeVries & Joanna Vlaming
3rd: Shirley Fedoruk
This project completes an Unfinished Object – any quilting projects you have that are unfinished!!
A before picture of where your project is at present must be included with your entry
This challenge has 2 objectives:
1st: Shirley Fedoruk
2nd: Emma Russell
3rd: Tie - Gwen Pennings & Rennie Hickey
President's Challenge - Shining Star Preemie Quilt
1st: Anne Cruickshank
2nd: Eleanor Kenny
3rd: Janet Brownlee
Quilt Show Challenge - Modern Quilt
This is the project for our April 2019 quilt show. It can be any project that exhibits modern quilting style - a quilt, wall hanging, runner, table topper, pillow, bag, etc.
Refer to this description of a modern quilt on The Modern Quilt Guild web site.
More characteristics of a modern quilt:
1st: Anne Cruickshank
2nd: Mary deVries
3rd: Jackie Lavictoire
Congratulations to our guild member Rennie Hickey whose beautiful little quilt was juried into the 2018 CQA/ACC National Juried Show in the Miniature category.
Guild members were targeting completion of their mystery quilt tops for our May meeting and what a treat it was to see 17 beautiful tops of the All About Town row quilt. And at least one quilt was completed.
Quilters received 4 sets of instructions, each for one or 2 rows, with the final set revealing the overall layout, and instructions for sashing and the decorative pieced borders. Fabric choices were made by each quilter.
The next step is to complete our quilts in time to display them at our quilt show in 2019.
And that includes any quilt tops which were still works in progress in May!
Here are some close up photos of the quilt tops.
Sadly our guild has lost a longtime quilter and guild member Edna Snyder who passed away in December at the age of 90. Obituary
Edna and her daughter Marilyn Erskine have been members of our guild since the guild's founding, with her daughter Joyce Murray (our guild treasurer) joining later. Her daughter Jackie has been quilting for many years, and her youngest daughter Lori has just started quilting.
Edna was recognized as our Quilter of Distinction at our 2017 quilt show, and she participated in our recent Sew Day in November along with her daughters Joyce Murray and Marilyn Erskine, both members of our guild.
Joyce and Marilyn have kindly shared some memories of their mom and her passion for quilting.
I remember when Mum started quilting. We didn’t call it quilting then, but just sewing, as she made blankets from old wool coats to keep us warm. Wish I had some of those now. She was always a sewer and would enter shirts, PJs, and dresses in the local (Carberry) fair, and usually win the prizes. My brothers always had matching shirts and PJs, which would be passed on to younger siblings. They never seemed to wear out.
It was much later when times became easier and time more available that she started quilting. She was very proud of her hand quilting and for many years it wasn’t a quilt if it wasn’t hand quilted. No wonder it took me so long to take up quilting myself. I knew I would never hand quilt.
My daughter Kelly is also a quilter with amazing talent for colour choice and fine work. Mother was proud to have a granddaughter involved in the ‘cult’.
-- Joyce Murray
For as long as I can remember Mom was a sewer and a quilter, starting out more from necessity than anything else. Cutting out squares from old wool suits, sewing them together, backing this with flannel was the beginning of her love to sew.
She grew up during the war years where everything had a use. Clothes were repurposed into our new clothes. I remember a blue pinafore dress made for me which won first prize at the local fair. This was a big deal in the 50's.
Mom's Singer Featherweight was always running. Clothes for seven children, home accessories and Christmas gifts. One gift for Christmas that I still have is a reversible red corduroy/black felt skating outfit. (Wish I could still fit that.)
So more formal quilting was a natural progression to her love of sewing. After our father died in 1983, she moved back to Arnprior, joined Emmanuel Anglican Church to sing and the Arnprior Quilt Guild to sew. The quilts began to come, fast and furious. In the following years she made no less than sixty full size quilts, many wall hangings and dozens of baby quilts. Her favourites were the most colourful. Every child (7), grandchild (20), and great-grandchild (16), received a piece of her work. Many more quilts for “Quilts of Valour”, women’s shelter, and little preemie quilts for the babies in the neo-natal unit at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital were sewn.
Always busy, criticizing herself if she didn’t have a project on the go. Like all quilters her home was full of material, unfinished patterns and accessories. She used that Singer Featherweight as her main machine until she died. The more modern Husqvarna never did work properly!
The greatest gift our mother gave me was this love of sewing. At ten years of age I received my first sewing machine. She taught me how to copy a pattern and we would sew together at the large kitchen table, she with her Singer and I with my manual machine. By twelve I was allowed to use her Singer.
So with Mom's passing, there’s many unfinished projects for us to finish for her. All that material was split up between four daughters and charities. Have we got our work cut out for us!
Mom was a true Worker Bee, quietly doing what needed to be done, never expecting anything in return. She loved going out, anywhere, but certainly mostly to material shops.
Mom surprised a daughter of mine with her own Singer Featherweight and was quite anxious to know how she liked it. Now there’s another sewer/future quilter in our midst and so the tradition continues.
-- Marilyn Erskine
Edna's four daughters surprised her with this beautiful family memory quilt for her 90th birthday in April 2017. This gift of love was pieced by Marilyn and Joyce, quilted by Jackie, and Lori helped with the binding.
Grandson David Snyder's quilt always hangs in his living room in Australia to remember his grandmother Edna.
by Gwen Pennings
Thank you for all the wonderful quilted placemats you made this past fall which I was very honoured to deliver just before Christmas.
15 placemats to the Arnprior Meals on Wheels program to be given with the Christmas meal.
10 placemats to be given with freezer meals to seniors in the Fitzroy Harbour and Constance Bay areas by the West Carleton Community Service Centres in affiliation with the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC).
It took everyone’s individual work to make such a big impact on our community.
I want to share this note that I received:
Gwen, I wanted to send an email to express my thanks on behalf of Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre and some lucky seniors in our community for the beautiful placemats made by your quilting group. The last week before Christmas I had the opportunity to deliver meals and soup and your beautiful placemats to many seniors in our community. The placemats added such a warm and personal touch, the seniors who received them were surprised and genuinely pleased someone had gone to so much work to make such a pretty gift for them. I am sure that as those folks sat down to eat their meals over the holidays they were able to look down at those placemats only to be reminded we are a caring community and their day would have been brighter for it.
Service Coordinator-West Carleton
Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre