Meadow Carman has stitched together an award-winning school project. But like traditional quilting, finishing the project is going to take some community help.
Her heritage fair project on quilting earned her second place overall at the regional fair for the Tri-County School Board and now she is looking for the help of friends and neighbours to advance to the final round of the national fair.
The first stage of the national heritage fair takes place online; Meadow and 199 other students from across Canada aged 10 to 16 have posted videos on youngcitizens.ca There is a big yellow “VOTE” button on Meadow’s page.
You could think of every click for Meadow like a stitch in a sort of online quilting bee.
The two students in each province who get the most votes earn a place in the final round.
A panel of judges will then select six winning videos. Six students will receive a trip for two to Ottawa to attend the Governor General’s History Awards at Rideau Hall and the National History Forum.
Meadow’s video shows her interview with local quilter Lorraine Lovett. Meadow originally interviewed and had help from Lovett in putting together her display and presentation for the local fairs.
For her project Meadow quilted several blocks to demonstrate different patterns like Log Cabin, Turn Dish and Shoo Fly. She even invented her own called “Meadow’s Quilt”.
For the local fairs, the students give a five-minute presentation: Meadow’s was on the history and heritage of quilting.
“I like quilts because they are more than just something to keep you warm,” says Meadow, “They tell stories too. People make them for important events like a wedding or baby shower. Sometimes when people die, they take all their clothes and make a quilt to remember the person.”
Meadow’s mother and grandmother both quilted and Meadow’s family has a quilt that her grandmother made that is 109 years old. Meadow herself is working on a small wall quilt with a Flying Geese pattern.
She says she doesn’t like triangles because of all the folding and cutting. She mentions in her video her distrust of the rotary cutter (like a pizza cutter). She explains she has cut herself a couple times.
But the most interesting thing she learned she says, was that “back in the day” quilters used the fluffy material from the heads of cattails.
“Today they use cotton batten, the cattail fluff used to mildew and smell bad.”
More than 250,000 students take part in Heritage Fairs across Canada. Meadow is now competing against sixteen students for the two Nova Scotia spots in the final round.
Voting closes on Saturday, Aug. 11.