The 150th Anniversary Quilt
By Susan Jones
Member of the St. Albert Rendezvous 2011 Committee
The striking navy, cream and gold Rendezvous 2011 Signature Quilt, made by the St. Albert Quilters’ Guild, was unveiled at the Gala held January 22, 2011 at the Enjoy Centre.
“This Quilt symbolizes the growth of St. Albert from a small mission to the dynamic City we celebrate in 2011,” Quilting Guild president Hettie Jones explained.
The main focus of the artwork begins in the lower right hand corner with a montage laid out on a cross, which the quilters used to symbolize St. Albert’s beginnings 150 years ago.
Three sketches were thread stitched onto the cross: The Father Lacombe Mission, an image of St. Albert Place and the two historic St. Albert Grain Elevators.
Radiating from the cross are 150 Log Cabin blocks, arranged in a combination of “Barn Raising” and “Straight Furrows” representational of our community, Jones said.
The first quilting kits were handed out to Guild members in April of 2009 and by June that year they had enough blocks completed and returned to “go public” with the sale of the signature spaces.
One of the most intriguing signatures is that of St. Albert Place Architect Douglas Cardinal who signed the quilt piece June 12, 2009, as he attended the 25th anniversary of St. Albert Place.
From June 2009 to March 2010 Guild members sold the light-colored signature spaces for $2 each as the quilters tried to attend every event held in St. Albert during those months. “Write your name in History” became our mantra, said Jones.
The signing work was the most time consuming part of the quilt. It took 90.5 hours to make the 150 quilt blocks and 92.5 hours to sell all 600 spaces. For the quilters, it was, perhaps, the most memorable part of the project.
“A lot of people are very excited about this quilt ... small children who signed wanted to know when they would be able to see their names displayed. People new to this community and those who have lived here for years were equally keen to add their names. Entire families arrived so that each person could add their own signature. Some of the blocks are signed by multiple generations. A 2010 Winter Olympic torch bearer and his family commemorated this proud moment in their family history by signing their names to two blocks. Spaces were purchased to record the birth of a grandchild, the loss of a loved one, a golden wedding anniversary, or a significant birthday. It seemed that almost everyone had a story to share with us.”
Jones, who was assisted at the Gala presentation by fellow guild members Diane Betton, Kathie Pavelich and Linda Klem, also spoke about the artists’ camaraderie and their communal sense of pride.
“Unveiling the Rendezvous 2011 Signature Quilt this evening fills us with pride. We are proud of our work, proud to be part of this community, and proud to be part of this 150th celebration,” she said.
The quilt will now be juried by a committee of artists so that it can be made part of St. Albert’s permanent art collection. After that process has been completed, likely sometime this spring, it will be hung in St. Albert Place for all to see. It will also be featured at The Lehigh Hanson Rendezvous 2011 Homecoming on July 16, 2011.top