Pt Roberts 2017: A Tribute to Merle

Maple Beach in Pt Roberts. We have gathered here for 15 yrs each September since 2003. We share all that has happened over the course of the year, good, bad or otherwise!! We eat, drink, eat, sew, chat, laugh and eat some more for 5 days. It’s an amazing time. <—  The photo to the left shows six of nine of us regulars at the end of our 10 yr anniversary weekend in 2012. We are each holding 10 maple leaves representing our 10 yrs together. This would be Merle’s last year at the retreat. She courageously battled 2 rounds of brain tumors and passed away in December 2014.

Merle loved country colours, Debbie Mumm, hand quilting and maple leaves. She was especially amused by the fact that we started quilting together on Maple Avenue and continued to do so at Maple Beach. :) For our 10 yr anniversary quilt, Merle chose the maple leaf. Each one of our quilts has one of her leaves.

The middle quilt above is a combination of both Merle and Donna’s blocks. It hangs spring through summer at the cabin on Maple Beach.

When we gathered last year we decided that we wanted to do something special with Merle’s fabrics. It was decided that we would make quilts for the cabin. There will be 4 bunk quilts, one double and one queen size quilt. At retreat this year we began.

I had a quilt magazine from 2002 with an awesome maple leaf quilt pattern. It would be perfect with the fabrics/colours from Merle’s stash. While I cut, Pat and Kathy did the majority of the sewing, making enough maple leaf blocks for 2 bunk quilts. Joan, Kadi and Jennie put some time in too and before we knew it the first quilt flimsy was almost done. 

The two maple leaf quilts will have 2″ green borders added. Pat has the other 20 maple leaf blocks and will assemble that one at home.

Wanda and Jackie decided on the log cabin block for the other two bunk beds. Donna and Joan worked on Hole in the Barn Door blocks for the double bed. The queen size will be a group effort.

It was a very productive weekend in our quest for quilts for the cabin. Jackie and Wanda completed all their blocks. Joan has set January for delivery to her so she can have the quilts done and ready for binding. Our goal for finishing is spring 2018.

“The power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.” Quote by Alice Water.

There’s not one of us who attends these gatherings that doesn’t leave feeling this way and looking forward to returning the following September. Merle is missed but always with us.

Happy quilting…Valerie Raye

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