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May 23, 2013

Flagged for Boston

West Newbury quilter helps organize special exhibit at Museum of Fine Arts

Love and support for Boston will wave proudly this weekend in the form of hundreds of fabric flags hung at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Organized locally by West Newbury resident Amy Friend, “To Boston With Love” features flags created by quilters from the United States and around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Holland, Ireland, Japan and Scotland.

The exhibit was the idea of Berene Campbell of Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Right after seeing the news of the marathon bombings, she thought it would be nice to send expressions of love and peace to the city of Boston,” Friend said in an interview.

Campbell, who sells patterns and kits through her Happy Sew Lucky website, tells the story on her blog:

“I dreamed about a park with trees filled with bright bunting flags flapping in the sunshine. The flags had hearts, and messages of love and hope,” she writes. “People were sitting on benches and on the grass below the flags, looking peaceful and happy, comforted by the energy of the love flying above them.”

Campbell contacted friend and fellow quilter Krista Hennebury to ask her if she knew anyone in Boston. Hennebury suggested Friend, with whom she had connected online through their sewing blogs.

Friend quickly jumped on board and started spreading the word online, through her blog, Flickr, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild, Boston Modern Quilt Guild and Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild (of which Friend is a member) all agreed to participate, in addition to a number of other guilds and individuals from all over the world.

Tasked with finding a location in Boston for the exhibit, Friend wrote on her blog that “there was a constant nagging feeling inside me that said that I just had to contact the MFA.”

The museum, which opened in 1876, was originally located in Copley Square, the site of the bombings on April 15.

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