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All together now: “YAY!”

May 7, 2013

Wow! It’s been only 3 weeks since the idea for  “to Boston with Love” idea began, and it has gone wild! (For more on how it got started read my previous blog post here.) At this point we have over 45 Modern Quilt Guilds and 70 individual makers (that we know of) participating. We’ve already received over 100 flags, and we have had emails with more promised from flag making enthusiasts all over the world including Ireland, England, Germany, France, Holland, South Africa, USA and of course, Canada. IT IS AMAZING!!


Flags makers from top left to bottom right: First 3 Berene, Georgia Campbell, Rita Hodge, Berene, Krista Hennebury, Berene, Dani Prem, Alison Sawers.

What really makes me so happy about this outpouring of love and enthusiasm, is the way people have come together as an international community. On the day of the bombings, as I watched the news, I listened to the media postulate on who could be responsible. They talked about right wing supremists, muslim extremists, people with mental health issues and other potential “groups” that may have wanted to take revenge. I was struck by how separated we’ve become as a society. And by we, I mean human beings. We’re all so focused on our own agendas – political, social, religious, and economical agendas. Everyone is categorized and put in a box. We fight for those in our own boxes and feel threatened by those in others. Yet I’m sure that if we actually sat down and spent time with people that we view as “different” to us,  we’d realize that we all have way more in common than we think. We seem to have lost site of the fact that we are all just fellow human beings sharing the same planet. We have forgotten to be kind to each other. 

This project was about Boston, and bringing love from others to comfort those affected by this senseless violence. But it was also about something bigger: It was also about people looking after people. Fellow human beings across the globe, coming together to feel more connected. And that to me is quite something. Thank you to everyone who has made those connections through the project. You are all amazing. This is not something that any one person can do alone. It is a group effort. And just as we will be tying the flags together for the exhibit, so too will we be tying you together to each other. I hope that that feeling of connectedness catches on a little, especially to those who may feel left out, ostracized, or just disconnected from society. From humanity. Because I believe that no person who feels connected to their fellow human beings, could do something as evil as what happened in Boston. Or what happens around the world on a daily basis in places of war and dissension.

With that thought in mind I finished this flag today. This one os for Martin.

This one is for you, Martin!

This one is for you, Martin!

And continuing on the theme of inclusion, I made this braille one that reads: “WITH LOVE”. Not sure why I’ve never thought to embroider braille before, it feels great to touch and looks pretty cool too.

Braille embroidery flag

And here is a of my wonderful mom and her students in Cape Town, who made 42 flags out of African shweshwe fabric. As well as a pic of my step-dad at the machine stitching away at his contribution.

Rosemary Sellars and her fabulous students, with their flags for Boston.

Rosemary Sellars and her fabulous students, with their flags for Boston.

Sean Sellars stitching up a storm!

Sean Sellars stitching up a storm!

Today it was announced that the exhibition will be hung at the prestigious Boston Museum of Fine Art, in the Shapiro Family Courtyard. Amy Friend is responsible for securing this location. Amy has been a huge factor in the project’s success. When I contacted her to be my Boston liaison person, I had no idea that she used to work as a curator in museums. In addition she, as many of you may know, is a quilty rock star. Amy has been an awesome partner, not only because of her large blog following and experience working in museums, but also because she is also a lot calmer than I am (!) so we make a good team, I think. I come up with the crazy nut-job ideas, and she calmly talks me out of the too crazy bits, and systematically helps with the execution. Having said that, she was the one who went big and contacted the MFA. That was pretty bold!!

MFA is Boston Strong, Huntington Avenue Entrance

And the exciting news for me is that I will now be attending the event. I have never been to Boston before, so am really looking forward to it. If you are in Boston over Memorial Day weekend, be sure to come to the exhibition. There is no entrance fee for the whole weekend, as they are instead accepting donations for the One Fund. Track me down and say hello!

And if you haven’t made a flag yet but would still like to, there is still a bit of time to squeak one in before the deadline. Deets over here.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2013 5:31 pm

    I can’t wait to meet you 🙂 The flag for Martin is just perfection.

  2. May 7, 2013 6:27 pm

    Of all the posts this one has made me cry… you are so right about everyone needing to be inclusive and remembering that at the end of the day we are all people… your flag for Martin is beautiful, and I love your braille one… you and Amy are definitely two amazing people I look up to but am also so glad to call friends…

    • May 7, 2013 6:38 pm

      Oh dear, tears all around! We are so fortunate to be a part of this awesome quilty community, aren’t we? I so value all the people I have met both in real life and online since I started quilting. They’ve not only taught me a lot about quilting, but about giving too. I started the Martin block a couple of weeks ago but just couldn’t finish it. It made me too sad. But I felt today was a good day to do it. Like we’d done him proud! I’m so happy that the museum will be forgoing ticket fees for donations to the One Fund. It makes all our work even more worth while.

  3. R Lawson permalink
    May 7, 2013 7:51 pm

    excited for you!! and location AWESOME!!!! talk soon xo Date: Wed, 8 May 2013 00:18:43 +0000 To:

  4. May 8, 2013 12:14 am

    Oh my, I have wet eyes…

  5. May 8, 2013 4:59 am

    oh Berene what a fabulous post, what wonderful words – simple kindness to everyone you come across during the day, would make such a world of difference, and help get past the ‘us+them’ suspicions that are way too prevalent.

    Your flag for Martin is just so perfect, I love that you have used his words. And your braille flag is amazing, I hope both flags have a special place in the exhibition. I have never been to Boston (to NYC, yes, but never to Boston) – I love that Amy ‘went big and bold’ with approaching the MFA for the exhibition, and it’s wonderful that they will exhibit the flags again next year too.

    How wonderful that you will travel to Boston for the exhibition! It will be just so amazing and overwhelming to see the flags flying, and to be surrounded by all the quilty messages of peace, love and hope. Take lots of pics, please, if you can.

    Here’s to you and your awesome idea, and to Amy for helping realise it, and to all the amazing women (and men! – your stepdad!) around the world for being part of it.

  6. May 8, 2013 1:58 pm

    If anyone should get to go to Boston, it should be you! Love both of your newest flags too. …..and, you get to meet Amy! How wonderful!

  7. Paula permalink
    May 9, 2013 8:02 pm

    Berene, you are amazing! Great idea and awesome execution!

  8. May 27, 2013 10:19 am

    Oh Berene! Look at all the love you’ve gathered-Brilliant!

  9. May 4, 2014 9:58 am

    This is such a beautiful project, good luck with the showing at MFA


  1. TORONTO LOVE PROJECT | Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild

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