A special quilt, made in the seaside community of Saltair, will serve as a souvenir of Canada’s 150th birthday.
“Saltair is such a small hamlet that it isn’t on most maps, but there are many significant places with a rich history in this little unincorporated town,” said quilter Christa Stegemann. “We marvel at our surroundings. The beauty of the ever-changing water, meadows and mountains is breathtaking.”
In honour of that, in the fall of 2016, some members of the Saltair Community Society suggested that it would be nice to do something special for Canada’s Sesquicentennial Celebration.
“Among other ideas, someone asked me if I would head such a project and create a quilt that would portray the area and celebrate this special occasion. It had been a dream of mine for several years to create a quilt that would help represent this small community in a worthy manner and let people know about a unique way of life by those of us who have come from far and wide to live in this pristine setting. I have been a part of this community since 1975 and love how people interact and celebrate each significant holiday with each other,” she said.
The newly created Community Centre (old Mt. Brenton School) became the perfect place for a small group of quilters to meet every week. They agreed to contribute their talents to what eventually turned into a massive eight foot by 11 foot project.
“The work began in November 2016 and that is how my dream became a reality,” she said.
A group of people prepared the various squares showing scenes from around Saltair or other appropriate things, like Mary Chudy from the Crofton Quilters, who created and contributed the organza leaves.
Then Stegemann got on with the quilting, since that was her forte.
“After putting this wonderful art project together I spent a total of 64 hours quilting it. Then my friend Bronwen Cossey serged the quilt panels and the borders. The Saltair Quilters spent a happy day attaching the leaves in a way that represents the falling leaves of autumn and the passing of time,” she said.
There’s a lot to discover about Saltair by looking at the quilt, she said.
There are squares featuring Big Rock, Stocking Creek Falls, the Old Plantation, the Station House, the Saltair Pub, and Porter’s Dairy.
They’ve also included the entrance to Diana Park, the Coastal Messenger, and the Davis Lagoon Bridge, without which it would be impossible to access Saltair from the north end.
Stegemann said she eventually hopes to see the quilt go on tour to various places on Vancouver Island, maybe even to the Royal BC Museum.