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Rooted Growing Branching

Quilts

It’s a Mennonite church, and quilts are just part of that.  Hopefully this page will be an ever growing series of quilts associated with our church.  (admittedly, it would be better if more of the stories behind the quilts were here too.  Hopefully those who remember will contact the website committee to let us know some of them.)  Where we have them, the stories are included following the quilt image.

Click the images for larger versions.

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Mystery Comforter

Our WMCEC / Sewing Circle (Women of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada) often gets anonymous “surprises” put into our sewing closet as donations. Last month there was a bag of drapery-type samples which someone had already started to join into rows. Emily Hunsberger added a few more pieces to make a big enough comforter for MCC, and backed it with brown flannelette.

We would like to say thank you. Will the donor of the material please come forward?!

(update) One of the donors has come forward! But we still have a bit of a mystery. It’s not known or remembered who brought the samples years ago. Ruth J picked them up, started sewing the squares together, brought them back… and eventually we had a lovely warm comforter to donate. Thanks to everyone!

IMG_20180501_131312460sFor Auction at the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale

Marjorie Kuhn generously donated 30 cross-stitched blocks, that she had embroidered many years ago, to be donated to the Relief Sale. I assembled two identical quilt tops, and these were painstakingly quilted over the past year by the Erb Street “sewing circle.” (The batik backing proved to be quite “tough,” but it gave us something to talk about!)

The six leftover blocks were incorporated into a comforter that was sent to Haiti last year with other donations from Erb Street.

- Emily Hunsberger

 

IMG_20180401_093731210_HDRs Dresden Plate

If this Dresden Plate quilt looks familiar, it could be because Marianne Erb has used it on the communion table at Easter. Its origins aren’t known for sure. Irene Erb said it was found amongst a trunk full of Albert’s mother’s quilts, long before Irene and Albert were married. His mother was Salome (Boshart) Erb and she was crippled with
rheumatoid arthritis for as long as Albert could remember. Did she indeed do the quilting? Apparently she could knit for short periods of time and she made bandages for the Cancer Society, so who knows? Maybe she was able to sew for a bit.

The quilt is fairly small and maybe older than first thought. It could have been used on a smaller bed for Salome who was born in 1900.

~Marianne Erb

xmas quiltString-Pieced Quilt by Emily Hunsberger

Made as a sample for a class taught at Len’s Mill Store, Waterloo, Ontario, November, 1999.  Note:  All Christmas materials.

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IMG_20170625_093156639sGrandmother’s Special Gift

The embroidery on this quilt was done by my maternal grandmother Carol Martin, and was quilted by someone else.  When I was younger Grandma decided that she would make a quilt for both of her granddaughters (I am the younger), for their 21st birthday.  She decided on birds because I had loved them as a child.

Grandma started working on it a few years before I was 21 and I have some very clear memories of watching her work on it when I was visiting.  She would work on it anywhere – at hoe, at the trailer – and I have been told she took parts of it on a trip to Africa.

In 2009 Grandma was on a mission trip in Africa when she became ill.  She came back to Canada and it was discovered that she had lymphoma.  It progressed quickly and not long after she returned home, she passed away.

I had turned 21 just before she passed and the quilt had been finished.  Although she wasn’t able to give it to me herself, I have always cherished it, a beautiful final gift from an incredible woman who I loved very much.

When it became clear that my grandmother was not going to get better my mother told me that if I ever missed her, all I would have to do was wrap myself in the quilt and it would be like she was giving me a hug.

Amanda Swartzentruber

 

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IMG_20170426_125326248sQuilt Top pieced by Nora Bechtel in 2008
Donated to Erb Street Sewing Circle by her daughter-in- law, Muriel Bechtel

Quilted for Menno Homes in 2017

So says the label on this quilt. And that is the short story. The longer story is a little more interesting.

Nora Bechtel spent her retirement years piecing quilt tops – many, many quilt tops. When she died in 2009, there were still dozens that had not yet been quilted. Some of those went to Muriel Bechtel, Nora’s daughter-in-law. When Muriel and her husband Dave were downsizing, Muriel gave some of the tops to her friend, Ardith Frey, who brought them to Erb Street to be quilted and donated to wherever they were needed. This quilt is one of those tops.

Nora’s daughter, Dorothy MacBride, was one of the quilters of the tops. When she learned that this quilt was being donated to Menno Homes for the residents of the new accessible building in Elmira, she had an idea. Her cousin, Gordon Bechtel, hopes to be one of the persons selected for one of the apartments. His story is featured on the Menno Homes website at https://www.mennohomes.com/elmira.html

The request was made that this quilt be given to Gordon if he indeed does move into the building when it is completed.

Nora would be pleased to know that her nephew Gordon was the recipient of one of her quilts.

 

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Linnie’s Legacy

Cross-stitched by Linnean Cressman Gingrich Kinzie and daughter Carol Schott.  Pieced by Emily Hunsberger.  Quilted by Erb St. WMSC including two daughters and one granddaughter.  2017

 

IMG_20170307_132717952sQuilt for a MennoHomes Home

Kathy Bauman’s idea for the first MennoHomes project on Village Road is now a tradition… that is, to present a quilt or knotted comforter to a family when they become a tenant of MennoHomes. Members of Erb Street’s WMCEC answered a request for quilts and comforters for the new housing project in Elmira. The top was pieced by Carolyn Sumsion, a friend of Emily Hunsberger.

Dan Driedger wrote:

In Elmira, our new project will be a mix of families, non-senior singles, and seniors. These are all households of low or modest income. The gift of something handmade as an expression of welcome is not likely something they have experienced often, if at all. As we work to build a sense of community within the new building, the sense of warmth and protection that is communicated in a gift like a comforter will be an important way of saying “welcome.”

The building in Elmira is located at the corner of Church Street and Memorial Avenue on land purchased in partnership with Woolwich Community Services (WCS) in 2014. MennoHomes coordinated the installation of site work and services with WCS to reduce costs and minimize disruption.

It is a 3-storey, 25-unit apartment building with occupancy anticipated for summer 2017. For more details on how you might be involved with the Elmira project or others, contact Dan Driedger at 226-476- 2535 or ddriedger @ mennohomes.com

 

IMG_20170113_135146243cHand in Hand

Cliff and Carol Schott

Designed and Quilted by Judy Pearce

This quilt was inspired by a beautiful photo I took of my parents, in January 2014, at Myakka River State Park in Florida.  I love the holding of hands and the supporting of one another as they manoeuvred over uneven ground.  This is indicative of their almost 64 years together.  They have faced many joys and sorrows.  They have travelled the world.  They have resided in many places.  no matter where they have been or what they have faced, it has been hand in hand, supporting one another with dignity, love and devotion.  I am so grateful I still have them and am still able to enjoy their company.  I love you Mom and Dad!!

I loving memory of Cliff.  He passed away on Dec 4, 2016 at the age of 89.

 

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dsc_0175Frances Ramer 1882 – 1895

This quilt was completely hand=stitched by my Great Aunt, Frances Ramer.  It and several of the heirloom quilts from the Ramer family have red as the predominant colour.

Frances was the daughter of Elizabeth Nighswander and Daniel Ramer and the family lived in the Markham, Ontario area.  Frances was the middle child, having an older brother, Enos, and a younger brother, Martin who was my grandfather.

Sadly, Frances died from diphtheria at the age of 13 because it was unknown at that time what caused the disease or how it was spread.  A funeral service was not held for her.  Her father Daniel Ramer, wrapped her body, placed it in his horse-drawn wagon and drover to the Wideman Mennonite Church cemetery.  Near a stand of pine trees on the west side of the cemetery, he along dug her grave and buried his only daughter.  His wife Elizabeth died two years later.

~ Mary Ramer Haus

img_20160922_104441690sJungle Walk for a Cause

The patter for this quilt is a design of Harebrained Happenings in Scarborough.  (www.harebrainedhappenings.com)  The original inspiration was for a comfort quilt for cancer patients and survivors; however, its whimsical design can bring a smile to anyone of any age who may be facing the challenges of some other horrible disease, thus the pattern is aptly named “Jungle Walk for a Cause”.

When I first saw the pattern I knew it was one I would like to tackle, although it would be my first attempt at applique, and machine quilting a project of this size.  Attaching the shoes to the animals was fun and made me smile at the silliness especially the thought of a hippo wearing ballet slippers, and giraffe in high heels or the camel in socks and sandals.

Working on this quilt was therapeutic as well as fun.  Five years ago I suffered a stroke and am thankful for a full recovery and fell so blessed that I am still able to fulfill my passion for sewing and share this gift with others.

God Bless.  Margaret Gerber, Stratford.

(Marg is a friend since high school, and co-authoured my book about Lishman COach Lines (she’s multi-talented!). I’ve admired her many sewing projects and when I saw this quilt my first thought was to share it here.  She generously agreed.  Thanks Marg!  ~ Marion Roes)

 

DSC_0157Silent Auction Quilt Sale

Mennonite Central Committee aids many people around the world by way of a myriad of programs and resources that aim to relieve the desperate circumstances and help build communities.  Canning meat is one of the many ways people can help relieve and rebuild.

During the last week of April, 600 volunteers came together to help can 58,500 pounds of chicken.  Not only do we need the physical help, but $130,000 is needed to buy and process the meat.  For the sixth year in a row, volunteers donated and quilted this quilt during canning week to raise funds for the meat canning project.  Many loving hands made this quilt possible.  All funds from the sale of the quilt are used to help can chicken.

Approximately 30 volunteers helped to quilt this beautiful quilt in 2 days!  Many more helped knot comforters during this period as well.  These comforters are also sent by MCC around the world.

My Canadian Home

Don and I noticed this quilt on display for silent auction at the Stl Jacobs Mennonite Church on Tuesday May 24, the first day of its “Quilts for the World Display”.  We decided to place a bid “for a good cause”, assuming more bids would follow.  Four days later we had a phone message telling us we had bought a quilt!  We were and are suprised, but thrilled!

~ Katherine Snyder

 

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“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son.

And this is why:  so that … by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life”

John 3:16 The Message

Wall hanging made by the children at Vacation Bible Camp “Welcome to God’s Great Love” 2015

 

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What shapes do you see? This is my second attempt at quilting and my first attempt at curved piecing. I like standing back and looking at it for a while because the longer I stare, the more different shapes I see.

~  Marianne Erb

Jim Hallman QuiltCross-stitching on the Job

One winter in the late 1970s, I was working in construction and laid off.  Sue’s father, who was working with CN railroad in Kitchener at the time, offered me a swing-shift job controlled the signals at the King Street track crossing near Victoria Street.  My job was to manually turn the light and gates on and off when trains were crossing.  There were many many trains, so the shifts were long and boring  I needed something to do to keep me awake!

I am not sure why I would have thought of doing quilt blocks, but my mom often made quilts when I was young, and my father was doing some cross-stitching at the time, so I thought why not?

I cross-stitched the blocks over a number of months and never really gave any thought to getting them made into a quilt.  Remember the goal was to keep me awake during long boring shift hours.  A friend of my mom sewed the blocks together and the quilting group at First Mennonite Church where we were attending agreed to do the quilting.

Since the quilt was so basic, we used it on our son Nathan’s bed for years so it is showing the wear and tear….  Frankly, I am surprised that Sue kept it.

~ Jim Hallman

Relief Sale Quilt

Relief Sale closeupWhat Inspired Me to Make this Quilt

I have always marvelled at the beauty and mystery of flowers.  In March 2015 when I saw these patterns in the online book “Flowers of the Bible”, I knew that I had to download them and work on transferring these beautiful wall hanging design/patterns into a quilt which I wanted to donate to the 2016 Relief Sale.  It took me the full year to complete my quest.

I was also intrigued by the research which Helga Curtis provided in the book for each of the quilts.  She provide the KJV biblical reference as well as fascinating facts related to each flower.  I determined that upon completing the quilt, I wanted to include some of the information that she shared as well as additional research in booklet form which I would include in the quilt.  Norm assisted me in collating the research for the booklet.

It was a job for me to work with and discover the beauty of each of these flower designs and I hope that this quilt will provide a better awareness of God’s masterpieces as well as a better understanding of the context for each of the flowers.

With love & Blessings, Marg Warren

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and the story behind the preceding quilt.

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and the story behind the preceding quilt.

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and background to the quilt

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and the story behind the quilt

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The Serendipity Quilt

A quilt hanging

A quilt hanging

 

Erb quilting my quilt 3

Many years ago, I cross-stitched these squares and more, about 16 in total. This is the third quilt made with them. One was quilted by the Erb Street quilters and donated to the New Hamburg Mennonite ReliefSale.

This one was going to be donated there too, but when I saw what Emily Hunsberger had done with the squares, I wanted it for myself.

~ Marion Roes

 

 

[photo coming – can’t believe we have missed this one]

Erb Street Signature Quilt – A Quilt of Stories and Memories

In 1976, Pastor Galen Johns and his wife Edith were given this quilt as a going-away and thank-you gift when they moved to Elkhart, Indiana. There is a photo of the presentation, taken by Ken Jantzi, in Erb Street’s history book Path of a People.

Each square tells something about the family who made it over 40 years ago. Some have moved away, some have died and some are still at Erb Street. It will always be a part of our history: names, stories, quilt-making.

Sometime before 2009 the quilt was purchased by a collector in California who contacted the Erb Street office for information about it. When he was ready to sell it in 2013, we were able to buy it and have it shipped here through the generosity of Ross and Jan Kennel. They paid for it in memory of Ross’ parents’ Edgar and Eileen.