Julie Druker | Feb 18, 2015
Local quilter, Debbie Emery of Plevna, won the quilt design competition put on by Frontenac County in August last year in their effort to have a unique quilt designed and created to celebrate the County’s 150th Anniversary.
Emery, who moved to Plevna over six years ago, has been quilting for close to seven years. She found out about her win just before Christmas and said that since she does not feel she is “an artist”, she was a bit surprised. At the same time, though, she feels that she did her research well and knew, going into the competition, that she had some pretty good ideas for the project. She said it was her first time entering a competition and that she was thrilled to have her design chosen.
The competition was judged by well-known local quilters/fibre artists Bethany Garner and Beth Abbott. Emery describes her winning design as a “story quilt”, one that “reflects the unique culture and people of Frontenac County from the past, present and into the future.”
The quilt, which will measure 48 x 60 inches, will incorporate multiple quilting techniques including appliqué, embroidery and hand quilting. Emery chose different subject matters to represent the various regions of North, Central and South Frontenac and said that she focused on the unique histories and characteristics of each part of the county to show their diversity.
For the north she will depict Bon Echo Provincial Park and the Dark Skies, the latter of which she says “brings the north into the future”. In Central Frontenac she is focusing on the history of the railroads and will create a steam engine as well as elements of the area’s farming and logging history. In the south she has chosen to depict the windmills of Wolfe Island and also a lighthouse to show the proximity of the southern most portions of the county to Lake Ontario.
In order to incorporate some of the more general aspects of the area as a whole, the quilt will feature some historic architecture including an old church, and school and a log cabin. Emery said that she also wanted to include the Aboriginal history of the area and she has included in her design an Aboriginal woman, a teepee and the wild rice of Ardoch Lake, the latter of which recalls the historic stand off between locals and the government in the 1970's.
Emery said that she is honored to have had her design chosen. “To know that it will be hanging in the County offices and people will be seeing it well into the future is quite exciting for me,” she said. Judging by the sample section that she had on display at the Frontenac Heritage Festival’s craft show at St. James Major Catholic Church hall on the weekend, her win is no doubt well deserved and she said it has definitely “got her creative juices flowing.”
Emery’s quilt will be unveiled at the official opening of the 150th ceremonies, which will take place in Harrowsmith from August 28 to 30. After its unveiling the quilt will be hung at the offices of Frontenac County near Battersea.
Emery also makes and sells various fashionable accessories from her home in Plevna. For more information, contact her at 613-479-8057.