Thirty Shades of Green

By Willa Wick in Arts & Music, Community, Places, Events, & History
2016 IPM Quilt Committee Chair Renske Helmuth (centre) presents Anne and Earl Schneider (IPM hosts) with the first raffle ticket (Willa Wick photo)

2016 IPM Quilt Committee Chair Renske Helmuth (centre) presents Anne and Earl Schneider (IPM hosts) with the first raffle ticket (Willa Wick photo)

The call went out in early 2015 for a 15½ inch unbound quilted square. The “challenge” as designed by the 2016 IPM Quilt Committee drew 80 competitors, not just from Wellington (the location of this year’s International Plowing Match), but from numerous other places in Ontario. The Quilt Committee consists of representatives from many guilds within Wellington as well as neighboring districts, and includes a group of like-minded quilters who are keen on promoting the art of quilting.

A quilt, using squares of the dimensions quoted, takes 30 blocks. The theme color green was chosen to symbolize farming, grass, crops etc. With hundreds of shades, tints, and hues of green, to say fifty seemed cheeky, so the number was chosen to represent the required blocks in a quilt – hence the name “Thirty Shades of Green”.

Drawing from this year’s IPM theme “A Fresh Taste of Farming”, the major quilt show to be held in August has been dubbed “A Fresh Taste of Quilting”. In addition to the August competition was the challenge for a raffle quilt (or as it turned out, two quilts for the raffle)

From the blocks received, two judges from the Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild reviewed the artistry, and selected the three top choices in December. A quilter could interpret Thirty Shades of Green without restriction, and indeed – 80 different interpretive designs were on the table for Elizabeth King and Bonnie Murdock to consider using the criteria of workmanship, creativity, and incorporation of the theme. Murdock had just finished co-ordinating a Waterloo Guild show, while King has judged nationally.

After a challenging day the first place ribbon was awarded to Mary Katherine Hopkins of Guelph. Hopkins’ entry was a map, showing the rivers, lakes, towns and forests of Wellington County superimposed on a hand dyed muted multi-green background.

Second place was captured by Nancy Winn of Waterloo who fashioned a winter scene of snow covered hills, appliquéd houses, and embroidered trees.
Robin Bogaert also of Waterloo got the nod for third prize with her beaded and raised bright sunflower against a background of many green tones.
Honorable mention was given to Anne Peters of Guelph and Judy Pearce of Kitchener. Both these women submitted blocks with pastoral scenes.

To add to the fun of the afternoon following the judges’ decisions, IPM Chairman Ron Faulkner, Minto Mayor and Warden of Wellington George Bridge, along with IPM hosts Earl and Anne Schneider were invited to pick their favorites. Faulkner selected the plow entry done by Mary Townsend of Arthur; Bridge picked the rooster block quilted by Brigitte Dimock of Puslinch; while the Schneider’s liked the farm scene of Mount Forest’s Pat Hooker.

Committee Chair, widely known expert designer, quilter, and teacher Renske Helmuth was pleased there was such a terrific response to the quilting challenge. The thirty shades of green approach gave quilters a great opportunity to design an innovative and original pattern. Each of the blocks was to have an attractive backing which would complement the front.

Northcott Silk Inc. of Vaughn generously donated the prizes for this competition of fabric bundles valued at $125, $100, and $75.

From the submitted blocks two huge quilts have been made for the Challenge Fundraiser. Again Northcott Silk graciously supplied additional fabric for the borders, as well as for the totes for the IPM Queen of the Furrow contestants

Raffle tickets for the two quilts began in early March with the Schneider’s as host farmers invited to purchase the first ticket. Tickets will be available from any committee member plus area quilt Guilds, Quilt Shops, and the IPM Souvenir Booth.

Anne Schneider fills out the first raffle ticket with husband Earl and Quilt Committee Chair Renske Helmuth looking on (Willa Wick photo)

Anne Schneider fills out the first raffle ticket with husband Earl and Quilt Committee Chair Renske Helmuth looking on (Willa Wick photo)

On August 19th & 20th, at the Harriston Community Centre (curling club) will be the IPM Quilt Show and Competition. Under the heading of A Fresh Taste of Quilting are ten categories plus a youth class. Entry forms must be submitted by April 15th (see for details). It might be noted that in addition to traditional styles, two of the categories are for what is called “Modern Quilts”. This is something quite new and basically these quilts are simpler in style.
$4200 in prize money has been generously donated by avid supporters. The show will also highlight the two Thirty Shades of Green raffle quilts plus a merchant mall, tea room, and viewer’s choice. The viewer’s choice award will not be decided till after the show when the votes have been counted.

During the five days of the International Plowing Match September 20th to 24th competition entries will be on display in the Quilt Tent along with the raffle quilts. Raffle drawing will take place on Saturday afternoon at the IPM Quilt Tent at approximately 4:00 PM.

A quilt becomes a treasured memory; maybe you’ll be the lucky person to win one.