Sharon Pederson (left), a Comox Valley ReStore volunteer renowned in the quilting world, and Tom Beshr, Habitat VIN’s director of fund development, pose with first prize in the raffle, a quilt with an interesting history. Photo submitted.

Habitat art raffle features award-winning quilt

Tickets on sale now for Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Creative Hands, Giving Hearts’ art raffle

Tickets on sale for Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Creative Hands, Giving Hearts’ art raffle

Art is one of the many things that helps transform a house into a home, but did you know it can be used to raise money to help feed, train and educate the hundreds of volunteers who help build homes for local families in need? That’s the theme of Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s ‘Creative Hands, Giving Hearts’ Raffle, which features three beautiful pieces of art as prizes, created and donated by artists who care. The draw for this fundraiser will take place on May 11, right in time for Mother’s Day, and profits will support local Habitat for Humanity community programs.

First prize is a special ‘Roses of Remembrance’ quilt, donated by Sharon Pederson, a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore volunteer (who also happens to be renowned in the quilting world), and her former business partner, Elizabeth Phillips. The colourful and intricate quilt measures 63” x 63,” and would look equally impressive on a bed or displayed on a wall.

The quilt is a result of the Electric Quilt Block Challenge, a contest originally devised by Phillips, who Pederson describes as a “marketing genius.” Participants were asked to design a 12” x 12” quilt block electronically, using a prescribed number of shapes and sizes and a palette of fabric. More than 850 quilters from 11 countries submitted designs, which were eventually narrowed down to 12 winning entries. Those entries, plus a 13th design created by Pederson and Phillips, make up the completed quilt.

After the completion of the challenge Pederson wrote a book highlighting the winning blocks and their designers. The book, her sixth, went on to sell over 15,000 copies.

Pederson, an internationally renowned quilting instructor who has taught on four continents, is still quilting, and also volunteers twice a week at Habitat’s Comox Valley ReStore.

“I came in as a customer, but I noticed the staff and volunteers were all having a great time,” explains Pederson. “So I asked for an application, was interviewed, and now I help with housewares merchandising and as a cashier.”

She’s also been able to put her creative talents to good use at the ReStore with her involvement in future ‘upcycling’ demonstrations that will show customers how they can transform used furniture into their own works of art.

This raffle is the second time that the Roses of Remembrance quilt will be used to support a good cause, as the original project supported the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, raising $50,000 for research.

Second prize is Birches, a painting by Lily Schreyer, a famous artist, longtime Habitat for Humanity supporter, and wife of former Governor General (1979-84), the Right Honourable Ed Schreyer. The Schreyers have championed the Habitat for Humanity cause since 1993, when they joined with Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter to build houses for Habitat as part of the Jimmy Carter Work Project. The Schreyers continue to graciously donate their time to build with Habitat affiliates and to increase the profile of Habitat for Humanity.

Third prize is a stained glass piece aptly titled Returning Home by Courtenay artist Nancy J. Morrison. Morrison’s artistic flair is well-known in the Comox Valley, as she has been designing and constructing original works of stained glass for over 30 years.

Tickets for the raffle are one for $10 or three for $20. Tickets are easier to purchase than ever before with Habitat’s new online raffling system. Purchase your tickets and read the full rules and regulations at habitatnorthisland.com/artraffle.

They can also be purchased at the Comox Valley ReStore (1755 13th Street, Courtenay) or the Campbell River ReStore (1725B Willow Street, Campbell River).

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