If you have taken a walk around town then you would have probably noticed that there are 4 X 4 squares painted with quilt designs on certain buildings. Hope Bridges Society is behind these painted quilts, and they are currently painting another one. 

The Painted Quilts go back to 2014 when the Town of Strathmore hosted “Let’s Make a Pitch”, an event that encouraged non-profits to pitch their ideas for beautifying the town. This opportunity, along with the beautiful Painted Quilts of Ontario and the Atlantic coast, inspired Sheila Konschuh, a member of the Hope Bridges Society to make a pitch, and they won $10,000 for the project.

Since winning, Hope Bridges Society has hosted 14 workshops and created 14 unique and beautiful quilts all over the town. 

The quilts are often given as a gift to the people who are putting it on the side of their building, Connie Kopp, Secretary of the Hope Bridges Society explains it is also 100% volunteers and members of the who paint the quits. 

"It's for the elderly and some of our clients will participate with their care workers. We are really trying to build up our connections through art." 

The ideas and designs of the quilts come from pioneers says Kopp, any blocks that you see around town can be duplicated into cloth quilts designs as well. Alot of the designs that are made are taken from quilting books, so they get them as accurate as they possibly can. 

"We just let everyone pick what type of design that they want, and we also let them decide what colours they want to use as well. If we paint every day, we could get them done and painted in a week, but it does take much longer than that because you have to prime it, you have to draw the design on it then you tape it, so the colours don't bleed together. Then it has to dry, and the paint has to cure. It can be very time consuming." 

The last Painted Quilt titled ‘Making Connections’ is now being displayed at the Town Office. ‘Making Connections’ symbolizes inclusion (all colours, all skills, all abilities), symbolizes community and care of those who are vulnerable, symbolizes change in life, in seasons, and symbolizes our county represented by the maple leaf. Now Hope Bridges Society is in the process of painting their 16th quilt and that one will go on Hope Community Church.

"This new one should be done and hanging by October 22 when Hope Bridges has their gala. We are hoping that people will want to come out and see the new painted quilt when it is done." 

Kopp says that the Hope Bridges Society is in need of a volunteer who can develop a quilt trail app for all of their quilts that are around town. 

"We don't know how to do this. There are only seven of us on our board and we are all busy and I don't have the computer skills to know how to do that. We need someone to help us with that. It would be neat to have maybe a geocaching type of app but for our quilts." 

For business that want to have a quilt painted and placed on the side of their building or to volunteer visit hopebridges.ca.

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