Commemorative Quilt to mark the Bicentennial of the birth of Baha’u’llah
Leading up to the 200th
anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, Baha’is across the Ottawa
region have found many creative ways of marking this important Holy
“As a quilter,” said Nathalie Thirlwall, “the creation of a
bicentennial quilt seemed a natural way to demonstrate my love of the
Blessed Beauty.” Nine women, some new to quilting, joined in the
project, which included several quilting workshops at the Baha’i Centre
and Thirlwall’s home.
The quilt design consisted of nine blocks, each containing a large
single star. Each woman sewed one block, using an array of turquoise,
mauve and cream batiks. The main blocks were surrounded by a double
border and once the batting was sandwiched between the top and bottom
layers, Thirlwall quilted intricate motifs of leaves, roses,
fleur-de-lis, lotus flowers and a single nightingale. Final touches
included a label, binding the edges and a sleeve to hang the quilt.
“The making of the quilt enabled
the development of a number of
spiritual qualities,” said Thirlwall, “including patience,
perseverance, creativity, precision and joy.” The nine women who pieced
the quilt - Afia, Jacquie, Shahnaz, Sima, Nathalie, Nazila, Elham,
Katja, and Catherine and Susan who did the ironing - devoted
approximately 400 hours to this project. There are plans to make a book
about the process and feature it in a quilt show in the fall of 2018.
The quilt, which is named “Seek and ye shall Find,” was gifted by the
women to the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Ottawa to
honour Baha’u’llah’s bicentennial birthday. This beautiful work of art
is currently on display at the Ottawa Baha’i Centre.