Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Relief Sale Quilts: The Postcard Quilt

front of postcard quilt “The Postcard Quilt” (82”x66”) Created by: members of the Waterloo County Quilters Guild Coordinated by: Renske Helmuth
Auctioned for: $7,200 in May 2009
The fun of a postcard collection is seeing the whole world at a glance. This quilt is, in fact, a collection of fabric postcards: real cards that have been written on, stamped and sent through the mail, from all corners of the globe.
Members of the Waterloo County Quilters Guild volunteered to make the 4"x6" cards that would be the basis of the quilt. We began with two workshops, during which participants were each asked to make one card each that reflected an aspect of the MCC's work. The ladies responded enthusiastically, and I was able to deliver a total of 81 cards to the local MCC office in Kitchener. From there, the cards were forwarded to the head office in Akron.
In a short note, I'd explained the project and asked if the postcards could be distributed among MCC volunteers around the world. My hope was that each card would return in the mail with a message written on the back, and bearing the stamp of the country it was being sent from (I'd suggested using extra glue). Later, I learned that the Akron office staff had spent considerable time sorting the cards and matching them to appropriate countries.
Over the next 5 months we received 54 cards back, all postmarked, in good condition and with the stamps firmly attached: enough cards to combine into a quilt! For me it was important that both sides of the cards were visible. This caused a few sleepless nights, but finally the cards were sewn together on both sides with double bias tape. Row by row, they were attached to the center piece. back of postcard quilt
The centre was compromised of – what else? – a Trip-Around-The-World block pattern, over which an image of the globe was appliquéd. This whole section was hand quilted. For the border, I pieced more Trip-Around-The-World strips, adding Mariner's Compasses in the corners. The completed borders were attached, then hand-quilted. With a sigh of relief, we attached the binding. What an amazing journey!
Below, close-ups of some of the postcard fronts and backs.
rwandacard DSC_0267
samplefront DSC_0270
DSC_0265 DSC_0271
DSC_0280 fishcard
chinaredcard DSC_0281
We were delighted when the quilt was auctioned for $7,200 in May 2009, at the Mennonite Relief Sale in New Hamburg, Ontario.
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