Overwhelmed with emotion, Sarah Ridgway is embraced by one of her social bubble at a quilt presentation on Feb. 11 where she received the token of appreciation and support from Prince Rupert quilters, sewers, and friends for her continued efforts to assist others even after her own business burnt to the ground in Oct. 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Overwhelmed with emotion, Sarah Ridgway is embraced by one of her social bubble at a quilt presentation on Feb. 11 where she received the token of appreciation and support from Prince Rupert quilters, sewers, and friends for her continued efforts to assist others even after her own business burnt to the ground in Oct. 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

A blanket of community warmth

Prince Rupert shop owner receives token of love from quilting community and friends

A quilt stitched together by more than 64 local hands was presented to Prince Rupert fabric store owner Sara Ridgway on Feb. 11 to show gratitude and respect for her continued contributions to quilters, her customers and local sewers even after her business was destroyed by fire in Oct. 2020.

“She’s so helpful with everybody else. We all want to help her back,” Dolly Harasym, quilt organizer told The Northern View.

The more than 35 squared quilt was a labour of love and support from those Ridgeway goes above and beyond to help so often, Harasym said.

The quilt which was started in October had the finishing touches put on it last week. It was a complete surprise to Ridgway who said she was overwhelmed by the generosity and the time the sewers put into completing the work.

“My quilt community came together to make something beautiful for me. They are thinking of me. I’m speechless,” Ridgway said. “I’m going to hang it in the store for a bit where it can be seen by everybody. It’s very impressive.”

The coastal-themed quilt was completed by 32 participants as a traditional squared quilt, with a mariners compass as the central piece and surrounding squares to project Ridgway’s love of the ocean.

The quilt has taken countless hours to complete with each square taking as much as a day to finish by individual sewers, Harasym said. Some squares have been meticulously sewn with others being hand-dyed and painted. Each has been stitched together in a representation as the thread of community and showing aspects of Ridgway’s life or personality.

Usually, sewers get together to complete such work by holding group sewing sessions, however, COVID-19 added to the intricate difficulties. The quilt squares were sewn by individuals who delivered them to Harasym, who in turn arranged for the pieces to be stitched together in efforts to avoid social interaction.


K-J Millar | Journalist
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A labour of love quilt was presented to Prince Rupert fabric store owner Sarah Ridgway as a token of appreciation from her quilters group, customers, and friends to show their support and gratitude at her willingness to go above and beyond in helping others. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

A labour of love quilt was presented to Prince Rupert fabric store owner Sarah Ridgway as a token of appreciation from her quilters group, customers, and friends to show their support and gratitude at her willingness to go above and beyond in helping others. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

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