Apart from being glued to books, laptops, and newspapers, you will notice students, staff, and faculty busy quilting when you stroll across the Milton Good Library at Conrad Grebel University College.
“Many Mennonite churches do it this way. It’s a very Mennonite tradition,” Mandy Macfie, a librarian at Conrad Grebel and one of the organizers of this project, said.
During lunch hours and study breaks, this project helps people relax and have a nice chat.
The library, being a major eastern Canadian depository of Mennonite publications and housing the largest collection in Canada of Anabaptist works, is the perfect place for such a traditional activity.
This fun, communal, and calming initiative was started by Macfie and a colleague.
“It’s a fun stress reliever,” Macfie said. “It can be very calming … It’s a good break from studying. You can step away for 15 minutes and work on the quilt. It just puts you in a different place.”
The warm, fuzzy quilt begins its journey in the fall semester when the project organizers call in donations for fabrics from the college community. Specifically for this year, in which the third community quilt be made, the donations were to be in shades of yellow, red, and orange .
Next, the fabric was cut into strips and now the quilting began. “It’s amazing how many people we had come by who had no experience [in] quilting,” Macfie said.
Students who have a bit of free time during the day or are feeling stressed after work can drop by the library any time and contribute as much as they can.
“A journey [the quilt’s journey] of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” goes the famous Chinese proverb.
“It is really nice to sit around the quilt, put in a few stitches and have a bit of conversation,” Macfie said. “I work in the library so I get to see how everyone pitches in to work together.”