Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 8, 2000
School celebrates its families
St. Boniface's millennium quilt brings families together
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
Some of the Catholic identity of the community of St. Boniface Elementary School can be found on two homemade quilts hanging in the school foyer.
Images from the quilts reflect strong family bonds, cooperation, community and, for those who stop to look at it, a tremendous sense of pride.
"It serves as a symbolism of our school," said Heather Pasini, who helped organize the quilt project. "To celebrate family, to celebrate the belief in each other, a belief in our school and our community.
"It's an overall picture of us."
Started last September, the school council solicited each family at the 226-student school to contribute their artwork on a seven-by-seven-inch block of material. One hundred families contributed to the project, each contributing one block.
The quilts were blessed by Father Richard Theroux April 25 during the school's Easter celebration.
"It was really an appropriate time to do it," said principal Margaret McGee of the blessing. "The celebration of Easter means new life, a beginning. It's a celebration for us.
"This quilt is a symbol of our past, present and future. Having it blessed is important otherwise it would be another quilt hanging in our school."
Parent Jackie Chan, an avid quilter, initiated the idea because it was a work of art in which everyone could get involved.
"I love quilting and it's easy enough that every child can do it," she said. "And it was something you can do anything with . . . you could put anything on it."
She was also inspired by a similar quilt at the Cross Cancer Institute made by cancer survivors.
"There's a lot of meaning in something like this," Chan said.
Each block is unique. One family glued miniature pom-poms together to form a red maple leaf. Another put an iron-on transfer of their family photo onto their block. A variety of crafting techniques, from cross-stitching to just plain old felt markers, were used on the blocks.
"I gave each family a block and said 'Do whatever you want on it'," Chan said. "I was very impressed with what we got back."
The blocks were pieced together each surrounded by a blue and yellow border, the school's colours. At the centre of one quilt is the school logo and the other a sunflower, the school's unofficial flower.
Stitched around the quilt is the school's motto - Let our love like sunlight surround you.
The Chan family's block includes a quilted house with their name stitched above it.
The Pasini family's block is a quilted patchwork hand with a family member's name on each finger.
"It makes you feel proud to be part of this community," said Pasini, whose husband, Gord was a former St. Boniface student. "There are a lot of second generation kids here. It really builds a tight community."