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Journal Le Haut-Saint-François
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Art et Culture
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Mercredi, 28 août 2013


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Let us speak of quilts and books.

Two little endeavours well populated by Haut-Saint-Franciscan women are the Lennoxville Quilters' Guild and the Cookshire Lending Library. Both reading and quilting are full of creative energy of the quiet but sometimes quite intense kind.

Little volunteer libraries and quilts - women's gifts to humankind. "Like any art, I don't think you get paid much for the hours you spend creating," says Guild member Donna Caron.

Make that nothing, really, except the intrinsic rewards of the joy of creating. That's clear for the library, and a also for quilting, if you stop to think. "The cost of materials - it's $20 a yard or more for cotton," says Caron. "It's expensive nowadays."

After a year of preparation, both the Guild and the Cookshire Lending Library are staging a big event next week.

First the Guild. It's 33 years old or more. Some 25 women gather weekly to teach their craft, hone their skills and share their secret arts, just as the earliest guilds of workers did. Among them are quilters from here, such as Serena Wintle from Birchton, Margaret Littler and Violet Main from Bishopton, Eileen Bucklin and Hazel Kerr from Bury, and Margaret Goodhue and Helen Hodge from Cookshire.

Now their big event. It's the annual quilt show and sale, with an incredible variety of quilted articles, big and small. They have price tags big and small, too, ranging from $1 to $1000. The star exhibit is an array of Christmas wall hangings, priced between $75 and $200.

Big things? Bed quilts of various sizes, of course. About 35 or 40 of them, Caron says.

Small? "You can get a little pin cushion that fits on your finger," she said.

Just right? "Table runners, baby quilts, potholders, oven mitts, bags, a few aprons, wall hangings, and table cloths - they're quilted, but with a thinner backing," says Littler.

The show will enclude work of the Lennoxville Guild, the French-speaking club Manu-7, the Asbestos Quilters and individual non-members.

Expert judges will do their thing before the show opens. Their rosettes on the quilts will be there for all to see. Visitors will be asked to judge, too. "It's based on what you like," says Caron. "If you like the old styles, or if you like the new styles. There are all kinds of colours. Each person is different, and that's what's fun about it."

And finally, the quilters' boutiques. Five of them will be there, selling all kinds of quilting supplies - fabrics, rulers, boards, sewing machines and more.

The Lennoxville Quilters' Guild Show and Sale is on Friday September 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday the 7th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's at the St. George's Church Hall, 84 Queen Street, Lennoxville. The entrance fee of $5 goes to another guild - the Saint-George's Women's Guild, which provides refreshments. Entry gives you a chance to win a quilt the size of a single bed. That's an exquisite gift from the Quilters' Guild.

Hidden in Cookshire is a secret treasure trove. It's the Cookshire Lending Library, full of some 3,000 books in English. Not to be confused with the Cookshire Library, full of mostly French books and some 200 English ones. The two libraries are easily confused, because you have to go through the Cookshire Library to get to the Cookshire Lending Library.

That's been true for the past year, as the two libraries camped out in the basement of the St-Camille Catholic Church. And it will still be true after the grand re-opening of the Lending Library in its new home in the spanking new Résidence Cookshire-Eaton at 210 Principale East in downtown Cookshire. The two libraries are moving into the ground floor together. A door gives direct access from the parking lot.

The little lending library was born in the 1930s, and this will be its ninth move. It's the loving contribution of eight volunteer librarians. Gladys Parsons is their president (819-875-3796), and they take turns presiding over the books - alongside a giant poster of Bach - during opening hours, Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m.

"We have such a selection of books, it's unreal," says librarian Pauline Thorneloe. "All kinds - mysteries, love stories, biographies, children's books." It's so free it's unreal, too. You can take out an unlimited number of books, for an unlimited length of time.

So the grand re-opening is Friday September 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. Check out the Cookshire Lending Library, and check out the new state-of-the-art residence, too. It's got something for everyone, including two libraries!

Heads up - here comes the end of September. If you're 50+ and you'd like to keep moving over the winter, keep your calendar clear for Viactive groups Wednesdays 10 - 11 a.m. Groups in English will be recommencing in Bury, Cookshire and Sawyerville. And Myrna MacDonald Lowry's yoga course begins again in Sawyerville on Tuesday September 17 at 10 a.m. More details to come!

United: Sunday services and Sunday school are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire, and at 11 a.m. in Sawyerville (for details, listen to message at 819-889-2838, and for more info, leave a message and phone number).

Anglican: Saturday September 7 at 2 p.m. is a Eucharist at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Bury to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Bury Legion. All are welcome. Regular Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury and 11 a.m. in Cookshire. Sunday school for children resumes in Bury on September 8 (819-239-6902).

Baptist: In Sawyerville, the worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French (819-239-8818).

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by September 3 for publication September 11 and by September 16 for September 25.

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