A quota of quilts

Pi­geon In­let Quil­ters’ Guild dis­play skills

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

As­cen­sion Col­le­giate in Bay Roberts was a quil­ter’s par­adise as the Pi­geon In­let Quil­ters’ Guild hosted its first show in its five-year his­tory June 25-26.

“ Quilts From Pi­geon In­let” fea­tured 150 quilts of var­i­ous colours and in­tri­cate pat­terns made by 60 quil­ters from Old Per­li­can to Tor­bay.

Other hand­crafted items, such as aprons, place-mats, ta­ble run­ners, and chil­dren’s blan­kets, were also on dis­play. Unique quilts Each quilt re­flected the in­di­vid­u­al­ity of its cre­ator.

“ Some peo­ple like to do ev­ery­thing by hand. Oth­ers use their ma­chines,” pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Pa­tri­cia Ivimey said last week.

Ei­ther way, “some of them could put their quilts any­where in the world,” she said.

Many quil­ters stick with the “tra­di­tional” and in­volve New­found­land, to keep as much of that alive as we can, she noted. Through­out the week­end, quil­ters wore the dis­tinc­tive New­found­land tar­tan sash. Pleased with re­sponse Or­ga­niz­ers were pleased by the pub­lic re­sponse, with some 850 vis­i­tors pass­ing through the dis­play.

Vis­i­tors were greeted in the foyer by the Pi­geon In­let Quilt, which the guild com­pleted last year and which is on per­ma­nent dis­play at the Bay Roberts Vis­i­tors’ Pavil­ion.

A spe­cial fea­ture of this year’s show was a dis­play in mem­ory of the late Loretta Mercer, one of the guild’s three found­ing mem­bers. She was in­volved in designing the Pi­geon In­let Quilt, but she was too sick to ac­tu­ally work on it. Her last two quilts were fin­ished by her friends and were part of the dis­play. A sil­ver lin­ing The View­ers’ Choice award went to Joanne O’Brien from North River for her quilt, “A Sil­ver Lin­ing.”

While work­ing on it in the spring of 2009, she was hos­pi­tal­ized with con­ges­tive heart fail­ure.

“ Work­ing on these blocks gave me great plea­sure and I was able to com­plete the re­main­ing blocks dur­ing my re­cov­ery ... Ev­ery cloud has a sil­ver lin­ing,” she said.

The guild was formed five years ago in Bay Roberts. It took its name from a se­ries of pop­u­lar sto­ries Ted Rus­sell ( 1904-77) wrote de­pict­ing daily life in a fic­ti­tious New­found­land out­port, Pi­geon In­let. Quilt­ing re­vival In re­cent decades, quilt­ing has ex­pe­ri­enced a re­vival of sorts, Ivimey said. The guild has a wait­ing list of 25. “Any­thing big­ger than (60) and it be be­comes cum­ber­some,” she stated.

Plan­ning for the event started in Oc­to­ber of last year.

“ It’s a mon­u­men­tal un­der­tak­ing and it’s ex­pen­sive. We don’t want to spend our time fundrais­ing,” said Ivimey.

There won’t be an­other show for at least five years. For the im­me­di­ate fu­ture, the guild will fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion for the quil­ters.

The View­ers’ Choice award from the re­cen­tPi­geon In­let Quil­ters’ Guild show in Bay Robertswent to Joanne O’Brien of North River for her quilt, “A Sil­ver Lin­ing.”

Eileen New­man demon­strates hand quilt­ing.

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