Richmond resident crafts quilts for family members

·1 min read

During the pandemic, Richmond resident Joan Dykstra has been able to dedicate her attention to a longtime hobby: quilting.

She recently crafted a black-and-white quilt, as well as a black, gold and gray piece, to be given as a gift for her son, Frank, and her grandson.

“It’s something I really enjoy. A lot of people go ‘Oh, I wouldn’t bother doing that, I don’t have the patience,’ but for me, it’s very relaxing,” said Ms. Dykstra.

A queen size quilt takes her about three weeks total to make, said Ms. Dykstra, provided she is working on it for full days. “If I have lots of stuff to do in between, then it takes a little longer,” she said.

Her preferred method is piece quilting, which is where the fabric is cut, then pieces of patchwork are sewn together.

She picked up the same technique from watching her mother, Winnie Howey. Her first quilt was made in 1989. It was a trial-and-error process until she got the hang of the piecing technique. Ms. Dykstra, who is turning 78 this week, has made more than 30 quilts over the years.

A queen size quilt can sell for about $700-$800, but Ms. Dykstra has not sold any of her finished works as it is not about the money, instead it is a heartfelt labour of love. She prefers to give the quilts as a personal gift to family members, just as her mother did.

Each of her five children has received two quilts, and all of her 13 grandchildren have received one. She has also given them to friends for special occasions, such as weddings.

Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express