Wednesday, 2 May 2012

St. Jacobs Quilt Festival 2012

I had a taste today of the Waterloo Region Quilt & Fiber Art Festival, link here. 16 events in 7 communities! I have learned in previous years that it is nearly impossible to take in all of the events in one or two days, so this year, I have started early.

Part of the whole festival is the Mennonite Relief Sale in New Hamburg. Over 200 quilts and many other items are generously donated and auctioned to provide funds for the Mennonite Central Committee. I greatly admire their work. 100% of funds raised goes towards funding projects around the world. Not many (any?) other charities can make this 100% claim. In addition, many other quilts and blankets are made here to be shipped overseas for use in times of crisis. And to think that different individuals and groups are spending these vast number of hours making beautiful quilts to be donated. It is quite wonderous. With Mennonite country just minutes away from our fine city, and such a large part of our local culture, it is a heritage worthy of mentioning. These three caught my eye.

Quilt Maker Unknown
Night & Day by Erika Isaac
Amish Courtyard by Ester Alexy

There are three public places that display a preview of these quilts, for most of May. Kitchener City Hall, Waterloo City Hall, and Joseph Schneider Haus showed about 75 of these amazing quilts, which will go on to be auctioned the last Saturday in May. These venues are all only a few minutes away, so it is easy to cover them in one afternoon. Both City Halls have great atriums with natural light, and show off the quilts very well. And Joseph Schneider Haus is a local heritage museum of the first Mennonite settlers in the community. It has an impressive collection of old quilts, which I have seen before, and great respect generally for the contemporary and ancient quilting arts.

Isn't it wonderful to be able to see so many quilts so very close to home?  I don't get much done in the quilting department at home, but I thrive also on these visual delights, so it is worthwhile for me to go out and see what else is happening in the quilt world.

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