Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Quilts at the Altar!

Summer is over, and I thought I'd get back to posting on my blog. People are wondering where I've been. I spent most of the summer at our new trailer, in the woods, relaxing, enjoying the beach and exploring Ontario. The stars are especially bright when you get outside the city.  It was very hot this summer, so there was some vegging, too!

Noteworthy of interest lately:  I was at Doors Open Waterloo Region, link here. I like to go every year, and take in a few buildings. Of particular interest to me are old churches and other historical buildings. There are too many to see all in one day, and some I have seen previously, so I like to pick  just the few that interest me. You get to see the insides of buildings that you would not normally get to see.

Erb St. Mennonite Church
This year I was at two Lutheran Churches and a Mennonite Church. Along with some spectacular stained glass, and interesting architectural details, I was surprised to see quilts at the altars.

Erb St. Mennonite Church
Waterloo County Historical Quilt
Even in the Erb Street Mennonite Church, which is very plainly decorated, there was a beautiful quilt made by one of the  members. Another quilt, Encounters Along the Grand, by Judy Gascho-Jutzi, was also on view. I have seen this quilt before, at a quilt show, but it is all the more impressive on display at its home. You may check it out here. Also on display was an embroidered quilt, the Waterloo County Historical Quilt, from 1982. Some of the sewing circle ladies were hand quilting a quilt, home-made cookies were served, and the best bonus was a free Mennonite cookbook, packed full of recipes for yummy looking desserts and other dishes.

St. John's Lutheran Church
St. John's Lutheran Church
Chapel Window
by Neil Hanscomb
One of the churches, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, is full of fabulous stained glass windows. You may know I have a particular interest in stained glass, and love seeing all I can. The main sanctuary has stained glass windows depicting scenes in the life of and teachings of Jesus, designed by Russell C. Goodman, link here, made with antique handblown glass.  The smaller chapel also has a beautiful stained glass window wall, designed by Neil Hanscomb, from Elora, link here.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
The other church I saw, St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, was also very impressive. A huge church, high on a hill near downtown Kitchener, it's wooden details were made by a local company, Globe Furniture. I also found a very interesting hand embroidered piece at the altar in the chapel, though I could not find any details of its provenance.

The Button Factory
I was also at the Button Factory, which used to be an actual button factory, and is now a cultural arts centre, link here. There isn't much left of the factory itself, but there were some interesting photos and artifacts of the old button processing, which if you didn't know, were drilled out of bone or shell. The factory became obsolete when buttons started to be stamped out of plastic. This is a direct link to my tailoring background, when only very special bone buttons were used on very high-end garments.

So you can see, I went to see architecture, and also saw some quilts.


  1. Enjoyed your post - glad you are back after the summer hiatus. On one of my visits to TO, I took in Open Doors Toronto and what did I head for - several of the downtown churches, stained glass, nice woodwork, bell towers, although no quilts. Very enjoyable. Last trip to Toronto I went with Janice, Ian and Ella to Open Doors TO and the Steamwhistle Brewery to see the trains. Ella was afraid of the big ones but enjoyed the kiddy train. Gramma Lana

  2. Interesting! I have not gone to churches that are using quilts at the altar. I like to visit St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church because I also have that interest when it comes to stained glass. I've heard a lot of good things about that church.


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