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Topic: The Women of Aspenland
Article: Violet (Carlson) Brandt
Date Posted: December 28/2011
Main District: Wetaskiwin
Decades: 1920's to 2010's

Esteemed seamstress, generous, creative.
Violet (Carlson) Brandt was born August 6, 1918 on a farm about seven miles north-west of Bittern Lake. Her parents, Arthur and Anna had emigrated from Sweden in 1913. Violet and her seven siblings spent much of their childhood helping their parents around the farm. One of Violet’s chores was to take the cows back and forth to the to the pasture and in the summer always in her bare feet.

After taking a secretarial course at secretarial course at Alberta College in Edmonton, Violet worked at both the Treasury Branch in Wetaskiwin and the South Side Treasury Branch in Edmonton. In 1943, she married Earl Milton Brandt and moved to their farm in the Crooked Lake area.

They soon made friends and joined groups and clubs in the district. Violet was a founding member of the ladies Homemakers Club, embroidery and knitting group who supported community projects.

Violet was passionate about sewing for which she had a natural talent. She had started when she was only six years old making clothes for her doll. Soon she was sewing clothes for her family and close friends and then for the neighbours around her new home. However, Violet’s favourite garments to sew were wedding gowns and dresses for the bridal party. The last wedding gown she sewed was for a great niece in 1997 when she looked at a magazine picture and made the gorgeous gown without the need of a pattern.

Throughout the years she has made thousands of garments for hundreds of people, all beautifully done. Examples of her sewing are shown at the Wetaskiwin Museum in the beautiful replicas of gowns from the late 1800’s. She has created many beautiful petit-point and large-scale needlepoint pictures, as well as oil paintings, one of which hangs here in the museum. Her relatives and friends have been the lucky recipients of many of these handmade treasures.

Violet has kept in touch with her relatives in Sweden and often has provided more than just bed and breakfast for those who come to visit. Her delicious family meals included homemade bread and buns, topped with even more delectable pies and sweets for dessert. Her specialties though, are big sugary cinnamon buns which people will drive miles to savour.

Violet is well-known for her tremendous generosity amongst friends and family . One neighbour of Violet recalls the many times when she and her husband would return from church on Sunday to find a batch of Vi’s legendary cinnamon rolls sitting on the cupboard, awaiting them. She was the kind of friend who always made herself available whenever someone was in need.

Although she tends to be shy in large groups, her light-hearted personality always shines through when around a few close friends. She is very close to many relatives and friends – and now their children and their offspring–treating them as her own. She will always be known to all as Auntie Vi.


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Blaine Kjorlien
Board Member - Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum
Webmaster - Wetaskiwin Online


Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum
5007 - 50 Avenue
Wetaskiwin, Alberta T9A 0S3


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