The Canadian Provincial Wildflower Quilt

While my focus in going to Art College was to learn about colour and design, I could never find the one course that taught me exclusively how to understand the subject of design.  Thus, I took as many courses as I could which had the word ‘design’ in them and when I found Dr. Ted Hallman’s course outline in the school year of 1984 with the word ‘design’ listed, I quickly signed up for his class.  This particular course focused on drawing plants at Allen Gardens, a Botanical complex of glass greenhouses within walking distance of the College.  Our assignments were drawing all that we saw in the arboretum, flowers, leaves, plants and so on.  Sitting in a warmed and somewhat humid atmosphere of the greenhouses, was an unexpected pleasure in my daily routine at the College.   However, by the end of that semester of drawing flowers and plants, I’d overdosed and made the embarrassing remark which has come back to haunt me in recent years (now on the Canadian Living website) as “if I ever have to draw another flower, I’ll throw up”.  Apparently this was a fleeting thought because shortly after this course was over, a friend asked if I’d ever considered designing a Canadian Provincial Wildflower Quilt.  Oh, my goodness, what a good idea, I said, so much for not wanting to draw any more flowers.  My thanks to Dr. Hallman for th is is how the Canadian Provincial Wildflower quilt design came about.

As I had been doing pro bono work for Canadian Living Magazine, I contacted Anna Hobbs, then the editor of the craft section, and asked if she would be interested in seeing the design.  She replied in the affirmative and when she looked the design over, she asked how quickly a quilt could be made of it.  Since I was at school, I asked Arlene Rose, one of my former quilting students, if she might be interested in making up the quilt.  She agreed and together we went off to choose the fabrics for the quilt.  Arlene did a spectacular job making up the quilt and in a very short time, we presented the quilt to Anna, who loved it and who then arranged for the well-known photographer, Sherman Hines, to photograph it for the magazine.  The quilt and paper pattern were featured in the August 1984 issue of Canadian Living Magazine.  This quilt pattern had the largest sales of anything in the magazine to that date.  The magazine continued to sell the pattern for the next four years, then returned it to me with my copyright where the pattern continued to be sold from my home studio.  The pattern, with it’s copyright, has now been turned over to the Dufferin County Museum at www.dufferinmuseum.comThis pattern is still popular with quilters, thirty-seven years later.

Dr. Ted Hallman, Ontario College of Art

Quilt by Dufferin Piecemakers Guild

Quilt by F. Bebbington