Thursday, March 16, 2017

Colourful log cabin quilt highlight of 90th Ottawa Valley Farm Show

Several celebratory events will be staged during the 90th Ottawa Valley Farm Show March 14-15, including auction of an anniversary quilt as part of the annual Prestigious Pedigreed Seed Sale raising funds for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. To date, the sale has collected $130,000.

The burgundy, beige and gold log cabin quilt with each block radiating out from a golden wheat field has been assembled over many months by a core of 12 volunteers led by Nancy Grundy. As she has for the past several years, Grundy will co-ordinate the quilt display at the farm show, focusing in 2017 on heritage creations.

According to Grundy, in early Nov. 2016, ladies met and began to sew the individual log cabin blocks. She sewed them together, with help from Pauline Farey and Joanne Hunter, who put on the border and binding.

All of the fabric was donated by Ruth Liscumb at Flair with Fabrics in Chesterville, and Pauline Clarke from 3 Dogs Quilting in North Gower did the quilting with her long arm quilting machine.

“We decided on the log cabin as it is an older pattern; normally the centre should be red to represent the hearth of the home, but we chose a golden colour to represent the golden wheat fields,” Grundy explained. “The centre of the pattern also represents the centre of the farm radiating out into the community. Pauline chose gold thread to represent the grain crops, and a pattern that has leaves and sprouts for the wheat sheaves and vines.”

In addition, the large stone fence pays tribute to the hard work of forefathers clearing the land and creating the stone fences throughout the area.

“All the ladies’ names who helped or worked on the quilt are handwritten on the stones,” Grundy said. “The landscape was hand-appliqued on to the back of the quilt. The name of the quilt is ‘Farmer’s Joy.’ It is a joy to be a farmer and it was a joy for us to create this priceless commemorative quilt.”

The display will be held in the front exhibit halls along with 4-H projects and antiques organized by Vintage Iron & Traditions of Eastern Ontario. This year, one hall has been reserved for the 90th celebration, with a focus on live fiddle music and step dancing, local food, farm-themed bingo, the president’s Cookie Contest, and much more.

The quilt will fit a king-sized bed. It’s reversible, with the flip side featuring a 40-by-40-inch appliqued landscape encompassing both the old and new logos of the farm show and the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association which has sponsored it since 1927, back when it started in Renfrew County as a rotating seed competition and exhibition.

“The landscape celebrates evolution of the farm show. You can use it on the bed or flip it over and hang it on the wall,” Grundy observed, adding that it’s priceless. “It’s the one and only.”

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