The 1863 Lake Map. Lot 3. Source: Note Centerline Road is marked "Proposed Road"

Friday, February 13, 2015

Verna Jeffery, an avid quilter

THE JOURNAL-PIONEER                                                                          Thursday, April 23, 1998
Quilt show impresses
O’LEARY --  “It’s encouraging to find that young women today are doing this” commented Jean Dewar of O’Leary as she toured the O’Leary Figure Skating Club’s quilt show on Saturday.  Dewar didn’t have any quilts in the show but she was obviously enjoying the tour.
     Quilt admirers, she said, would often have to travel to Moncton to see a quilt show of this quality.
    “These are beautiful; I hope you do this every year”, she said to an organizer.  Indeed, the Figure Skating Club plans to make the show an annual event.  Organizers are satisfied with the attendance for their first show and are confident attendance will grow.
    The show featured 101 pieces, including heirlooms and other quilts, dresses, table runners, pillows and wall hangings.  All the pieces were entered by quilters from O’Leary and further west.
     There were even 3 generations of quilters featured, Empress McDowell of O’Leary, her daughters Verna Jeffery of Alma, and Elsie Smith and grand-daughter Juliet Darrach both of West Point.
     One of McDowell’s quilts will be raffled off as a fundraiser for the long-term care wing of Community Hospital.  One of Verna Jeffery’s entries, a Primrose design, hand appliquéd and hand quilted, was judged as best of the show.  All show visitors had a hand in picking in the winning quilt.  Pat Sabine’s country floral placed second and a star design, made by Elsie Smith was placed third.
    Dewar suggested quilting was a form of entertaining many years ago.  She said she finds it surprising that women today can find time to quilt, although she acknowledge that it certainly must still be regarded as a form of entertainment.
     Empress McDowell has been quilting for going on 60 years.  Her mother quilted into her 90’s.  One of Verna Jeffery’s proud possessions is a quilt her grandmother Lucy Collicutt quilted at the age of 89.
     McDowell said she has no idea how many quilts she has made.  For the last 15 years she and another quilter have been working together and they made 300 quilts in that time frame.
     Some of her quilts have been raffled in Halifax and, while she doesn’t know where all of them have ended up, she knows one made it all the way to Australia.
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Above: Empress McDowell her daughter Verna Jeffery admire a recent quilt Verna made.

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