One-Tank Trip for May 13-17
(c) By Jim Fox
Anytime is stitchin' time for these “material girls” for the 51st anniversary of the Mennonite Relief Sale’s quilt auction.
"Won't Ask for Directions," donated by Mary Martin.
Volunteers and donors have worked long and lovingly to create the some 200 works of art for this old-fashioned quilt auction.
|The “Wild Rose” quilt was made for the first auction in 1967, Canada’s 100th birthday, and donated back for the 150th.
The event began as a way to raise much-needed financial support for Mennonite humanitarian missions around the world.
It’s a way of “bringing help and hope to those in need,” with organizers calling the 40 venues supported by 2,000 volunteers “a remarkable community event and a beautiful expression of community compassion.”
Since 1967, the auctions have raised $14 million for the Mennonite Central Committee Ontario for its not-for-profit relief efforts.
|The strawberry pies at the auction are called “legendary.”
The two days are packed with showings and sales of quilts and a chance to enjoy Mennonite-style food that really “schmecks” – tasty and flavourful – as it’s often described, including legendary strawberry pies.
There are also sales of handcrafted furniture, plants, flowers, shrubs, vintage treasures and a pancake breakfast and children’s activities.
|This bed quilt by Florence Schlegel called “Bright and Cheerful Leftovers” is just that – “using up leftovers from other quilts.”
A stitch in time
There will be a special tribute this year to Canada’s 150th birthday with 10 quilts highlighting the country’s past and today.
One entitled “Wild Rose” was made for the first relief sale in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday and has been re-donated by Vern Cressman of Kitchener for the 150th celebration as a “lovely piece of the past.”
“Discover Canada” and “Our Canada” are made from fabric specially produced for this celebration and are “reminders of the vast spread of our country.”
|“Canada 150 Tulips” by Judy Martin and community quilters highlights red and white tulips to mark the country’s birthday.
“This Way,” “Maple Leaf Log Cabin” and “Floral Emblems of Canada” have been made from Canadian-themed patterns showing familiar symbols.
|"Our Canada," a quilt designed by Florence Schlegel and quilted by the Village Manor Quilters.
“Canada 150” and “Celebrating Our Heritage” are to “remind us of stories we’ve heard.”
“Glorious and Free” and “In Good Company” with the names of the provinces “capture attention with bold designs.”
Food, glorious food
All that bidding action and events can make visitors hungry and food is a big part of the fun.
There’s a Friday barbecue dinner from 6 p.m. and Saturday pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.
Other favourites are traditional Mennonite and Amish foods including tea balls, apple fritters, cream buns and donuts, spring rolls and pork, lamb, sausage and herring on a bun.
There is also barbecue chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, fries, baked goods and preserves, apple butter, cider and candy floss as well as on Saturday a vegetarian falafel booth.
|Action is brisk as quilts are being auctioned.
If you go
The action takes place at the New Hamburg Fairgrounds, 275 Jacob St., off Highway 7-8.
Visitors can view the quilts beginning at 5:30 p.m. on May 26 with the auction on May 27 at 8:30 a.m. in the arena.
Reserved seats cost $10 and there is “plenty of free seating also available.” Admission, bidder registration and parking are free.
There are non-quilt silent and indoor auctions in the arena on May 26 at 7 p.m. and an outdoors sale May 27 at 9 a.m. and kids’ bids at 11 a.m. nhmrs.com
Stratford celebrates Canada
Stratford Summer Music will bring together more than 300 distinguished and emerging artists from around the world from July 17 to 27.
They’ll take part in an exchange of “musical performances, ideas and passion,” said artistic producer John Miller.
Planned are 120 diverse musical events in various indoor and outdoor venues.
The launch on July 17 at 9:30 p.m. is at Lower Queens Park for Berthold Carriere’s Music for a Midsummer’s Night.
There will be a fireworks display specially tinted to honour the “150th anniversary of our national Confederation and the creation of the province of Ontario,” Miller said. stratfordsummermusic.ca; (519) 271-2101
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca