“I just love it. It’s something my mother spent a lot of time making,” says the Stratford resident, soaking in the nostalgic moment.
Usually she keeps her prized possession at home, spread across the bed.
“When I’m wrapped up in it, it’s like having my mother’s arms around me,” says Macdonald, spreading out the machine-pieced and hand-quilted covering made by Urla Raynor, who just turned 99.
But soon it will be on display for everyone to see.
“I think it’s wonderful. Every quilt has a story. And I know who made it and I’ve got the design information. I even have some of the material left. So it’s something that I can pass on to my grandchildren.”
It’s one of the hundreds of tales that will be told when Stories in Stitches, a show of quilts, hooked rugs and needlecraft pieces unfolds at St. Paul’s Church and hall in Charlottetown from Sept. 26-30.
Whether it’s a quilted wall hanging by Iris Etheridge, bought in 1997 by Charlotte Macdonald and given to her granddaughter, Megan, a Lord’s Prayer cross stitch by Esther Wright or award-winning needlework from the Provincial Exhibition or colourful submissions from the Island Matters Rug Hooking group, the fundraising exhibition is a “feast for the eyes and the soul, set against the magnificent woodwork of a Harris church,” says publicist Rob Thomson.
“It’s a jaw dropper. You walk in here and the place is so full of warmth and so full of colour, it’s just awesome,” said Thomson, adding it’s the third time that the church has hosted the show in the past five years. And each time it has been mounted it has attracted more than 1,200 people.
“This year they’re coming from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and they’re coming by (cruise) ship load. They learn about this down at the terminal and we literally get hundreds of them,” says Thomson, as his voice rang with enthusiasm.
Rebecca Wellner is also enthused that Island Matters Rug Hooking group is partnering with St. Paul’s Church for the exhibition.
“This is a friendship mat. And eight members in our Keppoch group have contributed it. The owner of the mat chooses the theme and each member hooks a square,” says Wellner, holding the colourful mat owned by Dorothy Full with contributions by Charlene Miller, Anne Sinclair, Sylvia Poirier, Claudia DeBlois, Libbie Gaudet, Full and Wellner. “The owner of the mat is responsible for finishing the edges.”
There’s a Dr. Seuss-inspired Christmas stocking by Anne Sinclair and an Elaine Harrison-inspired mat and sculpted pillow, both made by club president Sheila Lindley.
“For the show we’ve put out an invitation for pillows so there will be a people’s choice award,” says Wellner, who will be showing two floral pillows after taking instruction from Juanita Evans.
Besides sharing stories behind the pieces, she plans to talk about the club’s monthly meeting.
“It’s quite relaxing and there’s a lot of camaraderie. So you go for the social aspect and end up creating, often times, a original piece. Or, one designed by someone else.”
What: Stories in Stitches.
Where and when: St. Paul’s Church in Charlottetown (Grafton at Church Street) from Sept. 26-28 and Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sept. 29 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
For information, call St. Paul’s office, 902-892-1691, 902-218-2213 or go to www.stpaulschurch.ca.