The Quilt of Belonging

Recently, Kingston was host to an extraordinary quilt – The Quilt of Belonging. Ten years ago, a group of women, led by artist Esther Bryan, created a quilt with 263 blocks, each one representing a different cultural aspect of the nations that comprise Canada. It is stunning! What is so cool is that people who have an attachment to the particular country or culture created their square and they’ve depicted something special about the land. Sometimes they included an heirloom, like a piece of a wedding gown or a gold ring, or they used a special fabric or ornament representative of the culture.

Quilt BahamasQuilt 5The artwork and colour in the 36-metre long (36!!) quilt is truly breathtaking. My favourite was the shell from Bahamas, but you had to love the detail in the embroidery from Mauritius and Myanmar. One of the quilters from the Kingston Heirloom Quilters who worked on the quilt, told me that one of the squares was made out of butterfly wings!


Quilt 4Quilt 7The quilt had its official unveiling in Ottawa in 2005 and has travelled across Canada, to the Arctic, as well as United States and Malaysia. It hadn’t been to Kingston! Apparently, it’s quite the rigmarole to pack it up and ship it, but I’m glad they managed to make a stop for us to see!

If you’d like more info about the quilt, check out the website HERE.