International quilters keep hand quilting art going strong

Years ago pioneer women would get together for quilting bees, carefully hand stitching each tiny stitch on intricate designs with love

International Quilters: Judy Frayn

Years ago pioneer women would get together for quilting bees, carefully hand stitching each tiny stitch on intricate designs with love and careful precision.

As they worked, they would indulge in ‘women talk’, chatting and laughing and visiting.

And as their needles flew, so did their chatter.

And as they spent hours completing their handiwork, they sewed together not only beautiful quilts, but bonds of friendship that, more often than not, lasted forever.

Today, it seems the art of hand quilting has been lost, disappearing along with wringer washers and coal and wood stoves and front verandas.

However, if one was to visit the International Truck Museum in Rimbey on a Monday or a Tuesday morning, they would discover that hand quilting is not quite a lost art.

Here at the truck museum, among the rows of International Trucks, one will find the International Quilters, a group of ladies who have continued to keep the art of hand quilting very much alive for the last 30 years.

“It seems we have been quilting forever,” said Jean Warta. I would say at least for 30 years.”

Warta, who came from Holland in 1957 said she didn’t know how to quilt when she first arrived in Rimbey.

“They taught me in a hurry,” she said with a chuckle. “I couldn’t speak English when we first came, but I listened and I learned. And I loved it, (the quiling) it was a great way to get to know the people.”

In their years of quilting, the ladies have made many baby quilts for the Rimbey Hospital, donated quilts to FCSS, the Ronald McDonald House, and, also supplied quilts to other families who have suffered a loss such as a house fire.

Presently the ladies are working on a quilt which was started by Bobbi Anderson, a well-known Rimbey native who passed away on Christmas Day, 2013.

One of the quilters, Judy Frayn said all the squares of the quilt which has the Rose of Sharon pattern were embroidered by the late Bobbi Anderson.

“It is very beautiful,” she said. “It has two shades of pink on a white background.”

The quilt is large; nine and a half feet square, is fiber filled and has a sheeted back.

“I couldn’t put a price tag on,” said Frayn. “It is going back to her family. Bobby was very gifted,” she added.

The International Quilters are hoping to finish the Rose of Sharon quilt by November and, no doubt, will then take a break for Christmas.

But one can be sure when the new year rolls around, they will be hard at work again, busily making a new quilt that may, one day, be tenderly tucked around a tiny infant or placed lovingly around the knees of an elderly shut in.

One can be sure that wherever the quilt goes, it will have been hand quilted by a group of ladies who have kept alive not only the age old tradition of hand quilting, but the unspoken rules of friendship and caring.



Just Posted

Influenza hits hard in Alberta

Flu season hits hard

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Ice fishing enjoyed by all

Crestomere 4-H members enjoy ice fishing

Major announcement planned for Tuesday at Westerner Park

Hopes are that the CFR will be relocating to Red Deer

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Most Read