All sorts of handiwork on display at this week’s quilt show

The 2.5-by-2.5-metre quilt has been residing at the head office for Doctors Without Borders in Toronto and this is the last opportunity for the public in Red Deer to see it up close, she said.

Quilting Guild volunteers hang quilts for the group’s annual show in the Parkland Pavilion.

Quilting Guild volunteers hang quilts for the group’s annual show in the Parkland Pavilion.

Nationally acclaimed Red Deer quilter Patti Morris used over 1,000 pieces of hand-painted cloth to portray the work of Doctors Beyond Borders in her quilt Hands of Humanity.

Patterned from actual photos of children in need in developing countries and doctors who respond, it makes a serious statement.

Rough fabric edges and dangling threads she incorporated into the quilt bring to mind the impoverished conditions in which people live.

“I wanted it to be hanging by a thread. That was kind of the point,” Morris said as quilters were hanging up their intricate art at Westerner Park on Thursday in preparation for Central Alberta Quilters Annual Quilt Show.

The show runs today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Parkland Pavilion.

Morris’s use of contrasting fabrics gives depth to the children’s beautiful faces that are difficult to ignore.

“Their pictures portray their desire to live and be loved.”

The 2.5-by-2.5-metre quilt has been residing at the head office for Doctors Without Borders in Toronto and this is the last opportunity for the public in Red Deer to see it up close, she said.

The quilt represented Alberta at Canadian Nationals in 2007 and went on to represent Canada at the 2007 World Competition. It was also part of the Grand National Show last March.

Morris, a retired trauma nurse educator, has donated about 95 per cent of her work in the last five years to the humanitarian organization.

Her last piece, Handle With Care, was used in 2007 for the group’s national Christmas card and helped raise more than $100,000.

Hands of Humanity took about eight months to finish. But for Morris, it was a labour of love.

Life is good here in Central Alberta and we can make it better for others, the fabric artist said.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com