If objects could talk, this quilt would have an extraordinary tale, traveling thousands of kilometers to bring warmth to families in need.
Our part of this story starts in early 2023, Museum Collections Manager, Megan Purcell (pictured) was contacted to see if the Museum at Campbell River would be interested in accepting into the Collection a hand crafted quilt made by Canadian women and donated to families in England who had lost everything in bombing raids during the World War II.
This extraordinary act of generosity had almost been forgotten if it weren’t for the efforts of three friends in Britain. In 2005, Anna Mansi, Jackie Maxwell, and Maxine March heard a talk about quilts that had been made in Canada and sent by the Canadian Red Cross to the UK as part of civilian relief during the war. This left a lasting impression on each of them, and as keen quilters themselves with an interest in the history of the craft, they were surprised that they had never heard of such quilts. Then shortly afterwards, one of them came across such a quilt in the charity shop where she was a volunteer, it encouraged them to look for more and to find out more about the project.
They decided to set up a research group to rescue as many quilts as possible, share their remarkable story, and to raise the profile of the quilts and to bring them home to Canada. In the following 18 years, the group documented over 200 quilts and formed a collection of more than 100.
This story is told in the Look Back feature article in the Campbell River Mirror newspaper, published October 21, 2023. Read the full story here.
This quilt, and it’s story, are on display at the Museum at Campbell River from November 7 to 12 in honour of Remembrance Day.