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The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Meaningful Keepsakes

Ann Lange

Cat's-Paw IV
Fast Passage, 40, Cutter rigged
February 19th, 2019

This is Barry and I when we accepted our BCA circumnavigation award in December 2017. The two tall volunteers are holding up a quilt my mother made us. She has quilted for many years and as we sailed across oceans, I would stop and buy exotic fabric that caught my eye. On one occasion in Fiji, I presented, via great Internet access, my mother with a selection of fabrics to choose from.

As we neared the end of our voyage, my Mom was wrapping up her quilting career. I asked if she would make me a quilt from the remaining pieces of cloth I had sent her. My sister-in-law, who is also a quilter, heard about the project and encouraged my Mom to purchase the fabric map of the world that is the quilt’s focal point. I embroidered our route on the quilt, changing thread for each year of our voyage. I also embroidered a number of island nations that were not on the map, such as the Marquesas, Mauritius, St. Helena, the Canaries and the Cape Verde Islands.

In 2005, before we left Victoria, my Mom quilted a cover for our table on Cat’s-Paw IV. By the summer of 2018, it was getting quite worn, so I asked if she would make me a new one. I suggested she use remaining scraps from the material I had previously sent her. I thought a circle would be nice in the centre, as it would complement the cut out for the mast. I had not realized that circles are not generally used in the quilting so my request caused my Mom a few headaches. She machine quilted it herself at the age of 90.

Now, I have two absolutely gorgeous keepsakes from our sail around the world. I keep the quilt in our Red Deer apartment and the tablecloth adorns the boat, our winter home, which is now located in the Sea of Cortez. Each piece of cloth evokes memories of the places where we purchased them, the adventures we undertook to find the fabrics and the cultures that produced them in all their magnificent designs and colours.


  1. Homers' Odyssey says:

    Great story.

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