Local quilter, ready to teach her passion to others

From the age of four, she began sewing under the critical eye of her grandmother who would often ask her granddaughter to redo her work.

  • Nov. 25, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Mona French holding one of her colourful quilts.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier


For Mona French, quilting isn’t just a passion, it’s a lifestyle.

From the age of four, she began sewing under the critical eye of her grandmother who would often ask her granddaughter to redo her work.

But this isn’t how French ended up creating the most vibrant, detailed and elaborate quilts. It was also her need to tell stories and to tell them through her work.

“Each piece tells a different story,” French says. My grandmother used to always tell stories when she sewed. Maybe this is where I get it from.”

Every quilt French creates vividly explains a personal experience, remembers a loved one and brings her story alive through nature, colour and fabric. “I love nature and landscape,” French says.

And this is evident in her work as the sun, stars, trees, eagles and bears make their way in and out of various pieces that French holds up. “I also love fabric. I love choosing the colours and patterns.”

And fabric, French has. Plenty of fabric pieces, in all sorts of colours and patterns surround her quilting room along with hundreds of quilting books and various family portraits.

French, a mother of four, is so grateful to have had quilting in her life. In 2000, she created her first piece. “There are a lot of tears in this piece. At that time, I was going through such a difficult time. Quilting helped me,” French said.

Since then, French has created many pieces and each one moves from one personal experience to the next as she personalizes the art that she has grown to be so passionate about.

French, married 15 yrs, has gone through some hardships and through each piece she tells her story. “It’s an expression of myself,” French says. “By telling my story, I share it and it makes me stronger.”

People of the Stone is a piece that remains dear to French’s heart. “The people, this is my heritage.” French grew up in Fort St. James. “Some of the rocks depict bear paws and these two paws are my two grandchildren and others that I hope to have, God willing. The white back ground represents the reflection of God’s love,” French says.

French has won numerous awards through the years including a viewer’s choice award at a quilting show in Nelson in 2006. She has also donated a hockey themed quilt to the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver recently.

French hopes to continue to enter quilting shows nationally and internationally.

What advice does French have to share for future quilters? “It can be expensive and you have to know your math. But, it is so rewarding. To have a vision, and make it come alive, it’s amazing,” French said.

French’s wall comes alive in a room in her home named Sundancer Studio named after her mother. She places another piece of fabric in place while she assembles her next piece.

“I usually work from the bottom down, but this one, I am working from the centre out. We’ll see how it turns out,” she says.

French isn’t afraid to take chances and she will be teaching a beginner quilting course for the first time at the Learning Hub in Fort St. James.

“I’m really looking forward to it. This is my passion and I’m excited to share it.”

Classes will take place at the Learning Hub on Nov. 23, Nov. 24, Dec. 10 and Dec. 11. Classes are from 6-9 p.m.

To register call: (250) 996-7078 or e-mail: obeec1@cnc.bc.ca





Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

Coastal GasLink prepares sites of construction work camps

Unist’ot’en condemn 14 ‘man camps’ housing 500-800 workers as threatening safety of women and children

TSKLH Nation sues Province over Brucejack mine revenue sharing

The Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha seeks to assert rights and title in the area around Pretivm gold mine.

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read