Quilts that tell a story

My first quilt was a grid of squares made from scraps of fabric we had around the house.  I was 14 years-old.  My grandmother and her sisters came over to quilt it.  I felt honoured.   Quilting, it seemed, was a tradition in my family.  I’ve taken the tradition and twisted it with needle and thread in many ways over the years, but have never done anything like the women of Wardsville, Ontario.

Louise painting a Wardsville Bicentennial barn quilt block
Photo by Dave Chidley

They have taken the story of the founder of their community and created the Wardsville Barn Quilt Trail.   Each block of the quilt tells a piece of George Ward’s story or relates to the historical context of the founding of Wardsville in 1810.  What’s really cool is that each block is painted onto plywood then put up on the side of a barn or other structure.  Who would have thought, but it’s beautiful.

I’m still working with textiles–the stretchy knits of t-shirts.  They are my daughter’s.  There’s history, or should I say, her-story, in them for sure.  She hasn’t founded a town but she’s got time.

I’ve cut the t-shirts into blocks of various sizes based on the logos.   When I lay them out on my table, I can see that it’s going to take some work to make them fit into a grid.  And like any artist, I’m looking at the empty spaces between the blocks.

First Nation Paintbrush, Delaware First Nation

The double Irish chain design from Wardsville might be an option (they have put the pattern up on their blog).  My daughter has strong Irish ties from her grandmother.  The Rising Sun block is also beautiful but it looks like I’ll have to search for that one.  You know, I like research.

Thanks to the women of Wardsville for their inspiration.

Love,

Laura

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