To further my knowledge and network, I have launched a new Facebook Group page called “Quilt History Canada”. As I have been researching Canadian quilts in the last few years, I have come to realize that the history of quilts in Canada is quite different than quilt history in the United States, Britain and Europe. Our country is so large, so spread out, and such a melting pot of nationalities, traditions and influences that it is challenging to gather all of these histories across a vast land. In addition, because quilting has been known primarily as women’s domestic work, it is often not well recorded or represented. Many provinces are working to change that, through quilt history projects. I hope that this Group Page will become a resource for those people interested in Canada’s quilt history, a place for gathering and sharing information about Canada’s quilts up until 1980. So this will include quilts made in Canada, museum shows and collections that include quilts, regional projects that are working to record quilt history, quilt books and exhibition catalogues, quilt patterns in Canadian newspapers and periodicals, and of course, photos of quilts or quilted items and photos of people with their quilts or making quilts.
And why up until 1980? Quilt making appears to have declined in popularity somewhat after WWII as other handcrafts gained new prominence. But around the 1967 Centennial celebrations, there was renewed interest, and a sort of ‘quilt revival’ took place as a new generation of Canadian women discovered quilting. For a number of years quilts were made in a traditional manner, primarily copying historical quilt patterns. But by 1980, the quilt world had opened up, with new tools introduced, new methods, new designs and art quilts, the availability of fabrics printed just for quilting, and of course, the formation of guilds and quilt shows. The history of quilt making in Canada after 1980 may become a Group Page all of its own!
I hope you will join me in this exploration of quilt history in Canada, in creating a resource and gathering place for people who are interested in creating a public repository of images and information that will further the record of quilt history in our beautiful country.