Waves of creativity have been crashing along Maritime shores over the past few months.
Artisans, working in their homes and community halls, have been stitching quilts, hooking rugs and cushions, creating needlework and more.
Now their beautiful handwork is on display this week in two exhibitions in Charlottetown.
“I’m excited about my quilt. I have it hanging in the hallway. I walk by it every day,” says Penelope Player of Charlottetown, who is showing her newest work in “Stories in Stiches IV,” a show underway at St. Paul’s Church.
Entitled “Tectonics in Harmony with Fabric and Time” and consisting of colourful circles and fabric, the piece is inspired by the continental plates that move under the earth’s surface.
“I didn’t name it initially but, when it was hanging and I was walking by it every day, it almost seemed like it was moving.”
It’s one of 100 quilts and needlework pieces on view inside St. Paul’s. As well, 125 rugs from the Island Matters Rug Hooking Group are on display next door, at the church hall.
Curator Carol MacDonald is “just amazed” at the enthusiasm of exhibitors.
“The interest has really grown over the past few years,” MacDonald says of the exhibition of quilts, hooked cushions and rugs and needlecraft pieces that continues until Sept.14.
Special to the show, this year, is a needlework collection by the late Florence Deacon and her daughter Martha Deacon.
“Two of the pieces are framed fire screens in crewel. Then there are some pieces from a friend, that are smaller.”
There are also some “incredible petit point needlework” from Gonda Visser, a perennial prize winner at the P.E.I. Provincial Exhibition.
“In this exhibition, there’s something for everyone.”
Several blocks away, The Barachois Hooked Cushion Collection, featuring 242 magnificent hooked-art creations, is on view at The Kirk of St. James in Charlottetown.
It’s organized by the Les Hookeuses du Bor'de'lo, a collection of artists from the Shediac region of New Brunswick who came together to create cushions for the Grand Barachois Historic Church, in honour of its 200th anniversary.
When the church made the call, the response was incredible, says Rémi Lévesque, chief organizer and hooker.
“We have cushions from everywhere in Canada as well as the UK, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.”
Lévesque is especially pleased that the cushions are being shown in Charlottetown, after a stop at the 2019 World Acadian Congress.
“I feel very positive. Two years ago, when the Grand Barachois Church created the idea, one of our goals was to travel the collection to other places in Canada.”
Two Prince Edward Islanders, Paula Kenny and Rebecca Welner, are happy to have their work included in the collection.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be part of a permanent art installation,” says Welner, a member of the Keppoch Hookers.
In the group approximately 15 members that signed on right away. In total, 26 cushions were created and sent from P.E.I., most of which came from the Island Matters Rug Hooking Group.
The Keppoch Hookers made seven.
Kenny is also thrilled to have her work in the show.
“I have an Acadian background, so it has a special meaning for me. I am proud to be part of it.”
Barachois Hooked Cushion Collection
What: 242 hooked art creations.
When and where: Until Sept. 14, The Kirk of St. James, Charlottetown, Pownal at Fitzroy Street; Thursday, Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Admission: $5 at the door.
Information: Call 902-629-1234
Stories in Stiches IV
What: Displays of quilts, hooked rugs and needlecraft pieces.
When and where: Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., St. Paul’s Church, Grafton Street at Prince and Church Streets, until Sept. 14. Work by the Island Matters Rug Hooking group is on view in the church hall.
Demonstrations: Hand piecing, embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, machine quilting, wool applique, fusible applique, appliqued fabric landscapes, Swedish embroidery and cathedral window quilting.