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Coming together to work on an art project that will memorialize our loved ones for generations to come. Celebrate lives well lived.

Healing One Stitch At A Time

In the past, a quilting bee was a way for members of a community to come together to finish in hours what would otherwise take weeks. It was also a social occasion, a chance to catch up with one another and share stories as they stitched. Amanda Oncheulenko is bringing the bee back, but with a new purpose.

As factory-made quilts became more readily available, the popularity of quilting bees faded and unravelled in time.

Healing One Stitch At A Time. Here is a photo of a product that was produced in memory of a loved one.

The Winnipeg artist created the Healing Blanket as a way for people to use their hands in the creation of a quilt, adding stitches and dedicating their work to the honour of someone they love. The blanket also provides the opportunity to work alongside someone they love in the making of the quilt.

She came up with the idea as a way to participate in 2015‘s Culture Days, a Canada-wide celebration that takes place each September.

When Amanda first came to Canada from Australia, her mother-in-law and circle of friends would meet regularly to lend a hand on one another’s projects. She used her mother-in-law’s trusted technique for stretching the quilt panel across a frame to allow a number of people to work on it at one time.

Tools used to create the products used to memorialize our loved ones and to preserve their legacies.

The quilt features a printed image of one of Amanda’s paintings, called Red Sky at Night, Sailors Delight. Amanda painted the original on the day a of family friend’s death. The departed was an early supporter of Amanda’s work, commissioning several pieces for his family – including a painting of white tulips for his wife. “It felt fitting to pass along a final tulip to his wife,” says Amanda.

Her husband chose the image, and his law firm, Levene, Takman, Golub sponsored the cost of commercially printing it onto poly satin fabric, as well as the cost of the batting and backing fabric.

Coming together to work on an art project that will preserve the legacy of a loved one for generations. Love leaves a memory.

“I hope the blanket gives everyone the opportunity to make a mark, a physical document of their presence or a document of their relationship.”

Sewing is also a soothing activity, peaceful and meditative, says Amanda. “It’s a soothing balm.” She hopes to be able to take the quilt to more places, including hospitals, hospices and cancer treatment centres.

“I hope it offers a little colour and joy to people who are going through a difficult time.”

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