Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | April 17, 2017

Celebrating Canada’s 150th – Heritage Quilts

Your Cornwall Community Museum has compiled a collection of some two dozen quilts, each with a story to tell. Some are family keepsakes; others commemorate aspects of our collective history. And some of them are signature quilts (bearing the names of multiple people who contributed to the making of the quilt.) A number of the quilts pre-date Confederation.

For example, this 6’ by 7’ signature quilt commemorates the sacrifice of those who defended their country during World War II. The centre panel is stitched with the wording: “For King and Country: Canada”, followed by the Union Jack (early Canadian flag), the community name (Morewood), as well as emblems for each area of military service: Army, Navy, and Air Force. Each of the 14 perimeter panels contains an outlined maple leaf surrounded by names of   community members who served; a yellow star beside a name indicates death in battle.

Our second quilt, consisting of 30 different squares, was made ca. 1972. Each person who made a donation has their name on the quilt. The proceeds were used for setting up the library archives.

This Lemon Star quilt was made in Eamer’s Corners in 1825. It has a central extension for the foot of the quilt to be between the posts of the bed frame. There are 37 stars in squares each measuring about. 9 1/4″ x 9″. The edges are protected with an edge sewn to each side.

This machine-sewn quilt was created in 1947, two years before Newfoundland joined Confederation. As such, that province is not included in the hand embroidered map of Canada’s provinces. Also featured are the coat’s of arms of the provinces, along with patriotic poems and a reference to the voyageurs sailing north along the Ottawa River from St. Anne de Bellevue. There are 7 squares across and nine squares down around the rim, laid out beaver/maple leaf/beaver, etc.

In addition to quilted bed covers, our collection also includes quilted clothing. This 1930s era lady’s silk thigh length jacket features a Mandarin neckline. A quilted design is on the sleeves, front and back. A hook closes the jacket at mid-waist. Seams are machine sewn while the lining is hand sewn. The funnel sleeves have a drop shoulder. A label reads: “Aux Galeries Lafayette; Paris; Nice; Londres; Lyon; Mantes; Alexandrie.” Mary Mack bought this jacket in Paris.

In honour of the Canada 150 year of celebrations, this coming weekend we are proud to participate as an exhibitor at the bi-annual Quilts on the Seaway show, this year taking place at a new venue, St. John’s church and halls. Please stop by and visit our exhibit Friday (April 21, 2017) from 10 until 6 and Saturday (April 22, 2017) between 10 and 4.

Bed Turning:  11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day

Remember, please send me your suggestions and historic photos: .

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Cornwall Community Museum

In The Wood House at the waterfront, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

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