THE HAMEFARIN Quilt was launched at the Town Hall yesterday by SIC convener Sandy Cluness and Ann Hill, a keen quilter who was born in Shetland and now lives in Dumfries.
Mrs Hill is looking forward to coming home for the Hamefarin, which will take place in June 2010. Many people throughout the world will return home to celebrate their own birthplace, the birthplace of their forebearers or the place they used to live in.
Mrs Hill came up with the idea of hamefarers bringing something home to Shetland with them as a gift to the people of Shetland. The quilt has been started with blocks being provided by her and three other Shetland exiles: Aly Bain, Alan Beattie and Lesley Bloomer. They have each provided a quilt block depicting what Shetland means to them.
Mrs Hill’s fondest memories are of her time as a member of the group “Bella’s Lasses” and her love of music and dancing throughout her life. She was a singer with Jim Halcrow’s Dance Band for 10 years in the 1970s.
Aly Bain is one of Shetland’s most famous musicians and now lives in Edinburgh. He travels the world sharing his love of Shetland traditional music.
Alan Beattie is now a doctor in Kent but keeps his links with Shetland alive by being an active member of the Shetland Family History Group, travelling north several times a year and attending history group meetings throughout the UK.
Lesley Bloomer was born in Lerwick, the daughter of John and Wendy Bloomer. Dr Bloomer was a senior registrar at the Gilbert Bain Hospital. The Three Nornes pendant was given to Ms Bloomer by her Shetland godmother and added to throughout the years with other pieces of Shetland silver craft.
Looking forward to visiting for the first time since she left 28 years ago, Ms Bloomer is now a teacher in Edinburgh.
The Hamefarin logo provides a welcome feel to the quilt with the lighthouse attracting us home against the warm background of the simmer dim.
The organisers now need others to provide quilt blocks to allow Mrs Hill to finish the quilt in time for the Hamefarin. If anyone knows somebody who is coming home to take part in the celebrations they are asked to consider getting a square made for the quilt. They will be required to provide a block which is no larger than 10 inches square and should be made from 100 per cent cotton fabric.
Mrs Hill can be contacted on (01387) 830638 or at Mouswald House, Mouswald, Dumfries, DG1 4LT. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Her mother is Violet Laurenson of 39 Cairnfield Road, Lerwick, and letters can also be passed on through her.
Mrs Hill said: “I am so excited about bringing the quilt together. It will give us exiles the opportunity of giving something back to Shetland.
“Although I have been away from the islands for nearly 30 years I still consider myself very much a Shetlander and enjoy coming home as often as I can. I hope other exiles around the world will get behind this project and share their stories about what Shetland means to them.”
Mr Cluness said: “This is the very kind of imaginative project that will help strengthen the links between hamefarers and Shetland as we prepare for the celebrations in 2010.
“I am grateful to Ann for devising the project and I would encourage others with similar ideas to celebrate the Hamefarin to get in touch with us.”