Northern Lights Quilt Guild: A Quilting Retrospective featured at Eptek Centre
Quilting retrospective featured at Eptek Centre in Summerside.
For Verna Banks, quilting has become more than a hobby.
In 1993, it even brought her to Japan.
Banks had a six-month contract to demonstrate how quilting was done in the 1890s at the Canadian World Theme Park.
“It was mostly about Anne of Green Gables. They built the house, and you would see girls in their 20s and 30s dressed as Anne with the braids.”
Banks said she would have people come in by the busload or there could be a handful of people there to watch her quilt.
Four years later, Banks, along with other women, founded the Northern Lights Quilt Guild.
They thought members could exchange ideas and enjoy the social aspect of quilting.
“Quilters like to get together, we help each other and learn different methods.”
Twelve women were involved the inaugural year, and she stayed with the guild until 2010.
Banks is proud of what she helped create, and she attended the official opening of Northern Lights Quilt Guild: A Quilting Retrospective at Eptek Centre on Sunday afternoon.
“The quilts here are beautiful,” she said. “It’s the same thing but different patterns. It’s great.”
Banks said quilting takes a lot of dedication. This was the first time the group had an exhibition outside of O’Leary where it’s based.
“I’m impressed with the show. I’m glad to see the guild is still going. It’s wonderful, and growing all of the time.”
Member Lillian MacLean had a number of her pieces on display.
“This is such a beautiful venue, and the exhibition will be up for about a month,” she said.
“It’s a reflection of our creativity so it’s great when people come to appreciate and enjoy it.”
Her mother and paternal grandmother were needle workers.
“It was something that was always going on at our household.”
MacLean recalled a favourite childhood memory when the women in her family had a quilting bee.
“We would sometimes be under the quilts, and that wasn’t a popular place for three little girls to be,” she laughed.
MacLean has a studio that was built onto her house in West Point about 25 years ago.
“My husband calls it my happy room.”
She teaches quilting, as well as operates her business, Lillian’s Limited Editions.
“It’s a passion I have every day. I have made so many friends for life around the Island.”
President Elaine Burrows said 16 of the 36 members have items in the show.
The guild uses a combination of printed patterns and some create their own, which are machine-made, but a few of the women do hand quilting, she said.
“It’s a creative outlet,” said Burrows.
“It’s an art and a science because you also have to be accurate with the cutting and stitching in order to get things to work out properly.”
The guild has a business meeting once a month during the school year; they have workshops and sewing days, as well as annual trips and retreats.
“It’s individual work but it’s also very social.”
Verna Banks, one of the founders of Northern Lights Quilt Guild, looks at one of the items on display for the guild’s exhibit at the Eptek Centre.
Lillian MacLean stands next to her Storm at Sea quilt, which took her about a month to complete. MacLean and 15 other members of the Northern Lights Quilt Guild have their work on display at Eptek Centre.