WW1: How We Remember

The Quilters’ Stories

March 22, 2019

Bernadette Power

To mark the centenary of the First World War, the Cabot Quilters’ Guild created a collection of quilts titled Peace by Piece: Quilted Memories of Newfoundland in the Great War. The quilt titled, "A Living Memorial" (see photo), may be of particular interest to MUNPA. This quilt was designed by a group of Memorial’s staff and friends, spearheaded by Ingrid Verbree-Barnes, a staff member in the Department of Computer Science.

What started out as a request to 100 guild members to provide one quilt block in commemoration of Newfoundland and Labrador’s role in WWI, emerged into a province wide enthusiasm resulting in 246 quilt blocks, creating 17 individually named quilts. The Quilters’ Guild generously donated all 17 beautiful quilts to Memorial University. The quilt titled A Living Memorial, now hangs just outside the President’s Office. All quilts will be displayed permanently across Memorial’s campuses as a living memorial of how we remember. In the coming months the WWI Steering Committee will invite applications from Deans and Building Managers to have the remaining quilts displayed in various sites around Memorial campuses. Decisions confirming the sites will be made by early spring.

In addition to the quilts, the Cabot Quilters’ Guild created and published a truly moving book: peace by piece: Quilted Memories of Newfoundland in the Great War. This book shares how this project got started and the magic of how it grew to be the magnificent tribute that it is. The book beautifully depicts the story of each quilt with wonderful photographs and tributes along the way.

This project is very special to me personally since it hosts a block in the Forget-Me-Not quilt, prepared by my sister, in memory of my father, James Hepditch, who was a proud member of the Newfoundland Regiment. We will remember them!