Quilters in Wasaga Beach have faith

Five women stand with a colourful quilt.
Quilters from Prince of Peace, Wasaga Beach stand with their quilt. From left are Jane Lancaster, Mary Courtney, Heather Kaufman, Valerie Beasley and Nancy Perrault.
 on February 28, 2023
The Rev. Louise Dightam

During the early months of the pandemic, five women at Prince of Peace, Wasaga Beach decided to use fabric left over from their new altar frontal to make a quilt. It would be a biblical quilt, with each square representing a story in the Bible, such as Jacob’s ladder, Joseph’s coat of many colours and Jesus’s crown of thorns.

The quilters – Jane Lancaster, Mary Courtney, Heather Kaufman, Valerie Beasley and Nancy Perrault – didn’t know the final purpose of the quilt when they began, but they had faith that it would unfold. They decided which square they would like to tackle, and Heather Kaufman, temporarily in Toronto, cut out the fabric, labelled the pieces and mailed packages to each quilter.

Many of the squares were difficult and most did not come with instructions! But the quilters persevered. They kept busy sewing at home and tried to forget that they were in a pandemic. Finally, in the summer of 2022, they met in the church basement and set out the squares in a pleasing but challenging pattern called “on point.” In September 2022, just as they were finishing the quilt, beloved parishioner Marlene Hayes became ill, and before they knew it, she was at Campbell House hospice.

Marlene died on Oct. 4, 2022, and the quilters realized that the quilt begun in faith during the pandemic should be donated to Campbell House in her memory.

Finally, the quilters came together to hand sew the two-and-a-half inch binding around the outside of the quilt. And just as mothers, grandmothers and neighbours have done in the past, they sat at a table and hand-sewed the binding. As they did, they shared stories and memories of Marlene. The quilt contains 18 biblical squares from the New and Old Testaments in addition to a maple leaf to represent our country.

Submitted by the Rev. Louise Dightam, assistant curate at Prince of Peace, Wasaga Beach.


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