Patch Work: N.B. quilter's love letter to Saint John
A Saint John quilter has captured the fabric of New Brunswick’s Port City in her latest creation.
Margo Duff – who is a lifelong Saint Johner, elementary school teacher and member of the Modern Quilt Guild – has created king-size tapestry that serves as a tribute to the history and heritage of the city of Saint John.
The idea to make the homage to her hometown came to her when the New Brunswick Museum put out a call for submissions for the New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award.
“I put it out on social media saying, ‘I’m making a quilt of Saint John, what makes you think of Saint John, what comes to mind’,” says Duff.
“The amount of ideas was incredible, I could have had eight quilts,” says Duff.
The quilt features everything from the Marco Polo ship, to the Great Fire of Saint John in 1877, to Elsie Wayne’s famous descriptor for Saint John – “The Greatest Little City in the East.”
“What’s neat is that I walk my students from Saint Rose School down to Wolastoq park,” says Duff, “so I put Wolastoq in there to honour the beautiful river.”
Duff also says that a stocking with 1912 written on it is a way to honour her great-grandfather, Harry “Dutch” Ervin, who was the founder of the Empty Stocking Fund.
She ultimately decided not to submit the quilt to the New Brunswick Museum after all, as she didn’t want to part with it – and instead, wants to hold onto it and pass it down through the generations as a piece of local and personal history.