Story Submitted by: Cher4

Last year Sept 07 until June 08 was the 30th year of the Fraser Valley Quilters' Guild. Our guild has always had a banner. It is hung at every meeting and anytime the guild is on the road at various community events we participate in throughout the year. Our last banner made in 1986, when Expo was here in Vancouver was really showing its age. I have been looking at it for about 4 years now thinking we really need a new banner. Being a single parent working a few jobs I didn't have the time to do anything about it by myself. Until a couple of years later. At the first meeting in Sept 07 the president was talking about the things planned for the guild as it was the 30th year. The banner was looking worse after a well meaning quilter had tried to wash it to freshen it up. I was sitting beside a friend, Val Smith, who had just retired from teaching and was enjoying her new found quilting time. I asked her if she wanted to make a new banner with me as a birthday present for the guild. I was so excited when she said yes. It wasn't until October when we were at a retreat that we had the opportunity to plan a design. The design came together in about 20 minutes and the first drawing was about a 2" square. We both had the vision and decided to get together in November to start. We wanted the colours of our guild logo, which are purple, pink, teal and blue. We also wanted to design a quilt that somehow, spanned 30 years. Using different techniques and patterns we accomplished it. The quilt looks like the Fraser Valley, from the mountains, to the river, to the trees and the train. We asked 13 ladies from the membership to make us a small quilt, without telling them what it was for. The instructions were simple, make a traditional quilt, completely quilted and bound. We asked them to let us know what pattern they were going to do so that we didn't end up with multiples of one pattern but other than that we waited until Feb for them to all be turned in. And then had so much fun one afternoon laying them all out on our train, just in awe of the workmanship of these tiny pieces. It took about 5 months to complete. We got together maybe 6 times to put our sections together but other than that we never sewed together in the same room. We divided the parts up and each did sections on our own at home. Once the sections of the background were together then we passed it back and forth to each add more. I got the finished top in April and there is almost 80 hours of quilting in it. All of the small quilts were added at the end. The banner then went back to Val to bind it and add an amazing label. The May guild meeting started out like any other. Val was the guest speaker that day. She is an amazing quilter, award winning several times over and her trunk show was awesome. Everyone was so busy watching her show no one noticed when I loaded the banner on a stand and covered it with a sheet. At the end of her show she asked me to bring it up to the front and we said Happy Birthday Fraser Valley and took the sheet off. It was so much fun to see the looks on about 130 faces as they all stood up to get a closer look. We made thank you cards with a picture of the banner for the ladies who made the mini quilts. They were surprised and pleased to see what we had done with their quilts. The new Guild year starts in a couple of weeks. We are moving to a new venue and the new banner will be hung in it's new home. It'll be a new day!!! Cher in Vancouver, BC