Friday, April 13, 2007

Mennonite Relief Sale

Each year, on the last Saturday in May, there is the Mennonite Relief Sale in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada. The Sale includes one of the largest quilt auctions in the country. On average, around 250 small and large quilts are sold each year. But this is only a small part of the sale, and more information you can find at

All the proceeds of the sale go to the work of the Mennonite Central Committee.To pay for all the costs of the actual sale, there is a big dinner at Bingeman’s Park. The hall and most of the food are donated, so the ticket price (around 600 to 700 people attend) covers the sale costs.

The quilt committee hangs about 20 quilts around the hall to show what will be available at the sale. Many are large bed quilts, and most are hand quilted. These pictures show you a few of them. Since they were hanging high on the wall, it was hard to get a good picture. 

A lot of the quilts are from traditional patterns. In the last few years, there has been an increased demand for smaller wall hangings and they can bring very good prices.

This year the feature quilt is “A Bird's Eye View”. I have been the coordinator of this project. I asked Carl Hiebert, a local photographer who takes a lot of aerial pictures while flying in his ultralight plane, if we could use images from his books for this project. He graciously gave us permission. Once I had an idea of what to do, I asked members of my guild, the Waterloo County Quilter's Guild to interpret one of his pictures. With help from 2 friends, Carol and Rosemary, the quilt was put together and then hand quilted by members of my church, Listowel Mennonite Church, with members of the guild invited to help.

The quilt was finished in time to be entered last year in the Grand National Show in Kitchener. Since that time it has travelled to different churches and quilt shows. It will hang, with other quilts, for 2 weeks in May at City Hall in Kitchener and it will be sold on May 27th.

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