Centennial quilt to help Gander mark Canada 150


Published on March 15, 2017

In storage for the past 20 years, this centennial quilt will be put on display in Gander to help mark Canada 150.

©Adam Randell/TC Media

A centennial quilt that has been stored in a trunk for the past 20 years has again seen the light, and it’s being used to help Gander mark Canada 150.

Being a Centennial baby and a quilter, the item was handed down to Gander resident Donna Keefe by her stepfather Donald Thompson, of Ontario.

Thompson and his grandmother – Carrie Knox – made it in 1967 and entered it into the Kingston State Fair, however, it was disqualified because of the intricate work that had gone into producing the crown section of the quilt. The judges didn’t believe it was handmade.

“But it was,” said Keefe. “He had no reason to lie to me.

“This is all fin herringbone stitching. It’s hand done and it’s very time consuming.”

The quilt also contains the Canada’s centennial logo, maple leaves, provincial flowers, and accompanying the crown are the country’s flag and the Union Jack.

Keefe still has a few of the design patterns, such as the maple leafs, used make the quilt.

With Canada 150 coming up, she said it felt appropriate to take the quilt out of storage, and in bringing it up in conversation, others felt the same way. Members of the Gander Heritage Advisory Committee soon approached her.

Dr. Peter Blackie, with the committee, knew right away that the quilt needed to be shared with the people of Gander.

“We saw this quilt representing a significant chunk of Canadian history and felt it would be nice to display,” he said.

Blackie noted that the committee is still exploring its options on how to best display the quilt during Canada 150 celebrations.