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To Boston with Love

May 31, 2013

To Boston with Love display of flags at the Museum of Fine Arts. Photo credit: MFA Boston

The past several weeks have been full of eager anticipation for me, as I watched the brainchild of Berene Campbell take shape and unfold into one heck of an art installation.  In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, she initiated the To Boston with Love movement. She, along with the help of Amy Friend  and the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild, asked quilters and sewists worldwide to send handmade flags of love, peace and hope to Boston where she initially hoped for maybe a thousand flags to perhaps hang somewhere around Boston for a day.

The response was inspiring. The idea caught like wildfire throughout all the online communities. Instagram – #tobostonwithlove, Flickr, Twitter and a slew of personal and Modern Quilt Guild blogs lit up with the message to make and send healing flags for Boston.

Even though my creative mojo had been derailed for many months, I just had to join in and make at least one flag.

Suddenly, I had the desperate need to bring out my Ruby for the occasion.

Ruby – Vintage singer circa 1923

Even though my Janome would have been much better suited for the curved applique work I wanted to do, she was hopelessly buried in clutter. My Ruby’s simple yet perfect straight stitch would have to do, and I plonked her on my dining room table.  I  couldn’t find any fusible web around my studio to save my life. Oh well…


Since I was well ahead of the deadline, I thought I’d prep all 16 letters of the phrase “To Boston With Love” just in case.

It’s funny how much you’re capable of doing when you’re motivated…

I wrote inspiring quotes of love and healing on the backside of each flag.

Nearly done…

Here they are strung up together..

It was then, when I learned that the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston had agreed to install and display the flags! They even offered to fly Berene out from Vancouver (with 200 flags in hand from the VMQG and FVMQG) to oversee the installation.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Photo credit: MFA Boston

Amy Friend and Berene Campbell prepping the flags. Photo Credit: MFA Boston

She and Amy then hung over 1700 flags in the Shapiro courtyard in time for the Memorial Day Celebration the MFA had planned.

Photo Credit: MFA Boston

I can’t express how honoured I feel to have some of my handiwork included in the display!

My flags! Photo credit: MFA Boston

The weekend was a huge success with nearly 30,000 people taking in the exhibits at the MFA.

Below is a link to a video the MFA posted on Facebook about the Memorial Day celebration, which shows quite a lot of the flag display.

The flags will be up until July 7, 2013 and will be hung as a recurring yearly exhibit.

The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild Facebook page has been amazing at posting all of the news coverage about Berene’s vision, the exhibit and makers of the flags. I particularly enjoyed the interview Berene gave on the CBC radio program.

Thanks so much for popping by and reading everyone! I have lots of news to catch up with on here, so here’s hoping for another good chunk of free time to post about it all!

Have a fabulous weekend!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Paula Jarosz permalink
    May 31, 2013 7:08 pm



  2. May 31, 2013 7:40 pm

    So awesome – amazing work you, and everyone else, did!

  3. May 31, 2013 7:52 pm

    Sigh…Such a lovely project, such lovely people, such lovely flags and such lovely messages! I feel all warm and fuzzy now!

  4. May 31, 2013 9:39 pm

    this is awesome! wish I had known about it, totally would have contributed. Boston is my hometown and will forever be in my heart. love the banner flags you made, great work!

  5. Barb permalink
    June 1, 2013 9:26 pm

    Love your flags and really love reading the inspiring quotes’ on the back. I am so moved by this project and how it grew and the wonderful message and media coverage it generated I was glad to get a to make flag for it. Barb FVMQG
    I too really enjoyed Berene’s CBC piece.

  6. Hannah permalink
    July 25, 2013 3:37 pm

    This is such a gorgeous idea! It reminds me of the origami cranes on the statue of Sadako Sasaki in Hiroshima. I love how these projects demonstrate the way the arts can be used to bolster communal sentiment.

    Do you know the crafting community Kollabora? I often encourage people to post their projects there as inspiration for the group, but this is inspiring in multiple senses of the word. I think everyone else there would really respond to the idea!

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