The Digby Quilt: Seaside Strippers fundraise for Admiral Digby Museum

Jonathan
Jonathan Riley
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Published on March 15, 2014

The Seaside Strippers begin to assemble the blocks Tuesday, March 11.

Published on March 15, 2014

Many hands make light work, as the Seaside Strippers assemble the Digby Quilt.

Published on March 15, 2014

The Seaside Strippers meet monthly at Complete Fabrication in Digby to work and learn and socialize together.

Published on March 15, 2014

Brenda Griffiths works on her latest project while Marnie Hewlett looks on.

Published on March 15, 2014

Wanda Elms works on her latest sewing project.

Published on March 15, 2014

The Red School, the lyrics of the Digby Song, a Royal Fundy scallop dragger and the Admiral’s well are all captured on the Digby Quilt.

Published on March 15, 2014

Details of the Digby Quilt: Point Prim and the Digby Gut.

Published on March 15, 2014

Details of the Digby Quilt: a lobster.

Published on March 15, 2014

Details of the Digby Quilt: the Loyalist cemetery.

Published on March 15, 2014

Details of the Digby Quilt: the Admiral Digby museum.

Published on March 15, 2014

Details of the Digby Quilt: the cenotaph and cannons at Digby Centre.

Published on March 15, 2014

Details of the Digby Quilt.

Published on March 15, 2014

Details of the Digby Quilt: The Trinity Anglican Church and the Digby Pines clubhouse.

Published on March 15, 2014

Details of the Digby Quilt: the Fisherman’s Memorial.

Maud Lewis would be proud of them.

A group of local ladies, many of them beginners, have gotten together and produced a beautiful piece of downhome art for a good cause.

The Seaside Strippers, a group of 22 local sewers and quilters, spent the winter putting together a 7’ by 8’ quilt to raise money for the Admiral Digby Museum.

The Digby Quilt features an applique picture of Maud, Digby’s most famous folk artist, in the centre, surrounded by 18 panels depicting various aspects of the area’s heritage and culture.

The Digby Pines clubhouse, the Anglican Church, the Fisherman’s Memorial, a scallop dragger, the Point Prim Lighthouse, the Red School and the Digby Gut are among the familiar scenes displayed on the quilt.

Another panel contains the lyrics to the Digby Song by Kay Outhouse.

The group started on the quilt back in January—they all literally threw a bunch of ideas into a hat and then drew names to see who would create what scene.

Except Marnie Hewlett. She thought she was just going to be making one of Maud’s famous little black cats, but the group pushed her to do the centerpiece instead, featuring a true-to-life Maud with a broad smile and a flowery apron.

Hewlett put 21 hours into the Maud block.

The group finished assembling the quilt Tuesday, March 11 and hung it on the wall at the back of Complete Fabrication, the quilting store in Digby where the group meets monthly.

They got together again with the quilt at the store on World Quilt Day, Saturday, March 15.  They had some cake and worked at their latest projects.

“How’s that for culture?” asked one of the ladies as they showed it to some admirers.

The Seaside Strippers take their name from the process of cutting fabric into strips, known as stripping. They have been meeting for almost a year to quilt and sew and socialize.

Wendy Harvieux, who put together the block showing the Digby Pines clubhouse, had never done an applique project before.

“It’s nice belonging to something,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun to get together with the girls, there’s no pressure and not a big commitment.”

They have had to cap the club membership because they have simply run out of room.

Debbie Handspiker hosts the group at Complete Fabrication and just can’t fit any more ladies and their sewing machines in the store.

The group has arranged for a lady in Clare to do the hand quilting and when it’s done, in six to eight weeks, they will donate the Digby Quilt to the Admiral Digby Museum.

Tickets on a raffle for the quilt could go on sale for $5 sooner than that, either at the store or at the museum.

Gail Hersey, president of the museum’s board, says she is moved by the ladies’ work and their offer to help the museum.

“This is a first for us,” she said while checking out the assembled quilt on March 15. “No one has ever done something like this for the museum before and we very much appreciate all the effort.”

Hersey says the proceeds from the raffle will go towards maintenance and general upkeep of the museum building.

“We just discovered some leaks in the basement and we’ll be focussing on getting that taken care of,” she said.

jriley@digbycourier.ca

Organizations: Admiral Digby Museum, Anglican Church, Red School

Geographic location: Clare

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