Mennonite Mona Lisa: Exploring the MHV’s Quilt Room

A sign on the door reads, “Welcome to our Quilting Room – The Management”. I venture forth, into a room that I never paid much attention to as when I was younger.

My Grandma Koop always had a quilt on the go. Quilts-in-progress were frequently stretched across her dining room or living room. She would proudly take me by the hand and enthusiastically yank me over to see her newest creations. And they were always beautiful. I noted how they made an impact in a room — in winter, a warm contrast to the snowy outdoors… and in summer, brightly picking up the leaves’ dappled shadows as they flitted in the breeze. On these quilting-related tours, she’d also show me the inside of the quilt, the batting, and the carding.

Because I’d seen quite a bit of grandma’s quilting prowess on display, I wasn’t that captured by the quilting room at the MHV. “Oh, a room for quilting grandmas — yep, got that at home.”

Years have passed and of course there is no longer a home farm with grandma quilting next door. I feel compelled to stop in at the MHV Quilting Room.

The first thing that catches the eye, is this quilt:

Mennonite Mona Lisa

Beneath, it says, “Mona Lisa – mother – grandmother / maternal and wise. Center of a household. This quilt was inspired by a close friend / a borrowed mother / an artist friend’s help / and lo… The beauty of the woman lives on in our memory.”

My mom has made some quilts too! I once suggested that she join the quilting ladies at the MHV, and she immediately said, “Oh no, I could never. Those ladies are very skilled. I would not be good enough.”

“Wait — do you mean there are try-outs for the quilting room?”

Hmmmm. Well I guess it makes perfect sense. I mean, these quilts are perfection.

Ever wonder what it costs to make a queen-sized quilt? The MHV quilting ladies break it down for you:

Materials (fabric, batting, thread, etc.) $280-$360

Time (piecing, setting, quilting) 512-950 hours


$1 per hour = $792-$1310

Minimum wage ($10.45 per hour) = $5,350-$10,287

Skilled labour ($23 per hour) = $12,056-$22,210

Kinda makes me think of all those quilts my grandma gave to each of us, a little differently.

Every once in a while, a very lucky person can obtain one of these quilts, for much less than $22,000 — all you have to do, is purchase tickets in the Quilt Raffle! Tickets are $5 each, or three for $10, available at MHV reception. I know! It’s a terrific deal.

Here are some other glimpses of the Quilting Room!

I think my Grandma Koop had the Quilt Pox.