September 24, 2020 -- This pandemic has created a dilemma that we are all too familiar with. Businesses, schools, community organizations and others are pondering how to meet. Technology has helped tremendously, but it can never completely replace meetings in person.
The Prairie Piecemakers Quilters’ Guild (PPQG) has been meeting since September via Zoom. They discussed trying to have smaller meetings or ﬁnding a venue where they could properly social distance, but neither felt like a safe option. As you can imagine, the average age of their membership puts many in the high‐risk category.
One of the absolute joys of this group is that when members meet, they show their ﬁnished quilts. Every quilt is unique and often reﬂects the personality of the individual who created it, but this is one area where technology just can't do justice. Seeing a quilt in person and examining it up close is much better than the view through a laptop or cell phone camera. And when the world shut down in mid‐ March, many quilters in the group used their time to create a lot of quilts.
The PPQG decided they should attempt a way to get together outdoors and show their quilts. But where? They looked at parking lots and inquired about using outdoor spaces but were faced with another issue. How do you hang the quilts? One of the clever PPQG members went to a few Regina schools and looked at their parking lots and fences. Regina's largest high school, Campbell Collegiate, was perfect. It hosts a large parking lot and a few hundred metres of tall chain‐link fencing.
A conversation with Regina Public School Division Oﬃce staﬀ put the group in the right direction and led them to ﬁnding a home for the event. Members of the quilting group recognized this was a big request, considering they were asking this in the midst of schools getting ready to take students back after nearly six months.
In the end, the Prairie Piecemakers Quilters’ Guild held their outdoor quilt show on Saturday, September 12th. The weather cooperated and the chain‐link fence running alongside Campbell, on the south side parking lot, was ﬁlled with more than 80 colourful quilts. The show lasted two hours, and about 120 members and friends came to see the show at some point during the time.
Even though the event was held outside, every single person attending wore a mask and kept a safe distance. The setup also allowed members who are immunocompromised to slowly drive along the fence to look at the quilts.
Members of the PPQG are very grateful to the staﬀ of Campbell Collegiate and Regina Public Schools for helping them to achieve this safe event. It was great to see the quilts but even better for a lot of the members, who are feeling extra isolated, to see each other, talk and look at the artfully made creations hanging in front of them. A huge thanks to everyone involved!
Submitted by Sharon G. President of the Prairie Piecemakers Quilters’ Guild, Regina