Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Stitch Across Canada - Month #2

Canadian  quilters across the country are putting in an effort that has never been seen before in the history of quilting!  With determination and thread they are trying to get from Newfoundland to British Columbia, and if last month was any indication of their perseverance, they are going to do it!

Let's pop in a few statistics.   In September, 39 guilds entered their inches, in October 61 came out and tallied their totals!  Way to go quilters.

The total inches doubled from September to October.  Here we are all the way to almost Val D'or Quebec.   (The black and white quilt block is marking our progress each month.) We are making a stop here till next month, so everybody better practice saying this:

Ou se trouve le plus proche magasin de la courtepointe?  (Where is the nearest quilt store?)

This guild demonstrated the caring and compassion of Canadian quilters.   Anne Marie Pearle writes:

Our guild, Paradise Village Quilters in  Nova Scotia, is adding our inches to the challenge of Quilt Across Canada.  To date, we have 10,878 inches.   We have been very busy the past couple months.  One of our main contributors to this are all the baby/children quilts we are making for the IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax.  I think this is also motivating to many of our guild members to finish some of those UFOs so we can add up more inches.  We  are so very pleased to be able to add this big a number for such a small group (30 members).   

Can you believe the dedication of this little group?   You guys have spirit!

Keep racking up those inches quilters, and we will see where we go next month!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Fun Tips and Giggles #4

Do you love going to quilt shows, yet sometimes travelling can be a little difficult?   How about seeing the 2012 quilt winners of the Des Moines AQS show right from your own home?
Click on this link and enjoy a wonderful show.

Do you want to see one more quilt show?   Go grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair and take a peak at the 2012 Pacific International Quilt Festival at this blog.

'Never Again...Again' by Joan Dorsay
1st Place - 2012 NJS
Excellence for Traditional Wallquilts and Bed Quilts from Books/Patterns

Here is a quote found on
"You haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running."

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Meet Regional Representative - Shona Barbour

I would love for you to meet this bright vivacious quilter who is CQA's Regional Representative  for North West Territories.   I have been fortunate enough to meet Shona and she is full of passion about quilting and promoting it in Canada.   The perfect combination for an ambassador of CQA/ACC.   Read on to learn all about Shona Barbour.

You recently signed on to be a Regional Representative for CQA/ACC, tell us what your motivation was.
I signed up to be the NWT Regional Representative in 2010 when the position become vacant. I am involved in a few other activities (yoga and curling) and really believe that having a national organization is important for growing and promoting an interest. I am also involved in Guild activities both in Yellowknife and Inuvik and felt like I had good connections in 2 of the larger quilting communities in the NWT.
Fabric Arts show quilt

Tell us a little about yourself? 
I am originally from Yellowknife and moved to Inuvik in 2004 after graduating from the University of Alberta with a degree in Native Studies. I am definitely a Northerner and feel truly rooted in the NWT. I have always been involved in both arts and sport and love the idea of being able to combine both into my life. I don’t see people as either an athlete or an artist but rather that you can and should enjoy both. 

My interests in art started with a very strong arts program in high school in Yellowknife and then increased with art history classes in university. As for sports I have participated in 5 Scotties Tournament of Hearts for curling and continue to be a member of Team Kerry Galusha out of Yellowknife, NWT. I am also a certified/registered yoga teacher (Ashtanga yoga) and am planning/hoping to run a half marathon in the next year.  

How long have you been quilting? 
I have been quilting since 1999. I was introduced to quilting by my Godmother at a time when I needed some more patience in my life! It was a great time to be introduced to textiles arts as the rotary cutter, etc was in full use and the modern quilting movement was beginning not too long after that. I think those things have kept my interest as a younger quilter.
Summer Quilt

How often do you quilt? 
I try to quilt almost every day; whether it is sewing binding in front of the tv or spending a full day in my studio. I have an old workshop in my house that is set up with 2 machines and contains ALL my quilting materials and fabrics. I feel that when you have a full room or studio set up you can get a lot done in even just 10 minutes. I used to quilt in the morning but now I use that for my gym or running time. In addition, the Inuvik Quilting Guild meets every Monday night and depending on curling travel I usually attend these evenings.

What are your favourite techniques? 
I consider myself a traditional piecer. I enjoy putting fabrics together that you might not expect to go together and also to combine commercial and hand dyed fabrics. This is a good lesson I learned during a class with Carol Soderlund. I have taken quite a few art quilting classes but don’t like to store all the supplies/materials for this in my own home. I try to limit my textile time to traditional quilting and Procion MX dyeing.
Hand Dyed and Printed Quilt

What are the challenges you face quilting where you live?  
The challenges of being a quilter in a remote location?!?!?! Actually, I cannot complain too much. As I travel on the World Curling Tour I am on the road a lot and know all the quilt stores in various cities that are close to curling clubs (Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Regina, Saskatoon, etc). Some people really get into internet shopping but I tend only to do this for dyeing supplies. Machines tend to fit under the seat on airplanes (remember to take out the needle) and so I bring my sewing machine with me every so often to get it serviced. I think the biggest challenge with not having a quilt store in the area is that it is hard to keep the interest of beginners. We have a lot of people who take our Guild’s beginner class but then it is hard to move onto another project or get inspired without a quilt store for inspiration.

There are 5 communities in the NWT with quilting groups (Inuvik, Yellowknife, Tuktoyaktuk, Fort Smith and Hay River), plus a couple other communities where there are a handful of quilters. All these groups send me reports for 'The Canadian Quilter' newsletter so I feel we have a good voice for northern quilters. There are a few of us who travel to Yellowknife frequently for classes as the Yellowknife Quilters attract amazing, world class instructors. These connections are key!
Is there anything you want to tell our Canadian quilters?
Eventually, I would love to see the smaller version of Quilt Canada (alternate year event) come North of 60. I think we might be  far off from doing this (volunteer base, facilities, etc) but it is something that I often thinking about pursuing.

I think it will be great seeing where Shona ends up in Canadian quilting, one thing is for sure, her passion is contagious.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Fun Tips and Giggles #3

Do you ever create a fantastic quilt for a room and then get stuck in figuring out what paint colour is going to match it?   Wonder no more.   There is a fantastic and easy program on the internet that does it for you.   ChipIt matches your picture up with paint chips that corresponds with the colours in your quilt.

It is done in 2 easy steps.
1.  Go to the website.

2. Click on the 'Upload an Image' button at the bottom and find a picture you want to upload.  It doesn't have to be a quilt, can be a picture of anything.

Once it uploads, to the right of your quilt, are all the paint chips with names and number that correspond with the colours in your quilt.

You don't need to login to do this.  If you wanted to do a few or save a particular one, the login procedure only requires name, password and email.  Very easy to do.

Now, if you are wondering where to find this particular paint 'Sherwin-Williams', click on this link, type in your postal code, and it shows you the stores near you that carry this paint.

Photo: Indeed!  -Jessica

Friday, 5 October 2012

Stitch Across Canada - First Update

This is so exciting!  Our first month of our challenge to stitch right across Canada one inch of stitch at a time is completed.   We did fantastic, we started at Newfoundland and managed to get right through that wonderful province and are just on the tip of Nova Scotia.  It is amazing to see the participation from our member guilds.  Way to go!
The top 5 guilds were:
1. Nanaimo QG
2. Sudbury and District Quilting and Stitchery Guild
3. Waterloo County QG
4. Norfolk County QG
5. Parksville Quilthouse QG

Now what the Waterloo County QG does to inspire members to count their inches is pretty fun.   At each meeting the quilter with the most inches wins a prize.   A tape measure!  Is your guild doing anything to inspire members to get quilting?

See the black and white quilt block on the coast of Nova Scotia?   We have left Newfoundland and are heading west.  We have just got our oil changed, filled up our tanks, packed our snacks, and the convoy of quilters is ready to roll!

So Canada, get quilting this month so we can wrack up the kilometres on our highway and let's head  out to British Columbia by the end of February!   

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

"Transition in Tradition": Canadian contemporary textile works travel to France

You may remember the title of this post after reading it in the 2012 Autumn issue of 'The Canadian Quilter'.  The article written by curator, Sandra Reford got so much attention that we were asked to delve a bit more into the quilters and their quilts.    In her news release, Sandra tells us:

From September 13 to 16, 2012, Canada has the place dʼhonneur at the 18th Carrefour Européen du Patchwork and will be exhibiting in LʼÉglise de la Madeleine. International award winning textile artist and quilter, Sandra Reford, was asked to curate a body of work that is of an exceptional technical standard and that represents the current state of quilting and textile art in her country, Canada. The Canadian exhibit is just one of many in the carrefour. The event organizers are expecting 22,000 visitors to grace the Val DʼArgent area this September. 

The first quilter to be introduced is Yvonne Mullock.  Her story is unique.

I'm the lead artist on this community led quilting project. The project involves the skills and expertise of 23 individual quilters, 2 church groups and the local artisans guild 'The Wind and Waves', all of whom reside on Fogo Island and Change Islands - Newfoundland, Canada. Our collective aim is make beautiful, locally-made quilts for a 29 roomed 'Fogo Island Inn', currently being built in Barr'd Islands, Fogo Island. 

Here are four of the quilts.  All images are credited to Yvonne Mullock.
Made by AnnMarie Newman

Made by Doris Budden

Made by Iris Newman

Made by Iris Newman

Judith Tinkl lives in Ontario and her quilt Oma/Opa/Obi made in 2011, is in the show. 
It measures 73" wide, 63" high, machine pieced and hand quilted made from Opa's ties, Oma's fabric and a Japanese obi with buttons. Oma Opa Obi is a work that incorporated many of the elements of traditional quiltmaking. The fabrics are all recycled and have a personal connection. My mother-in-law died in 2010 – her husband had died in 1996 – but I found all his ties (and other clothes) in her cupboards. The star shape in the piece is constructed from the ties. She was a dressmaker and I found a bolt of brocade silk in her sewing room.  It was very bright but the back had a lovely subdued pattern and texture which I used to frame the work. I had long stored a black Japanese obi and the silk had a lovely damask pattern which caught the light in interesting ways depending on its orientation. This I used to surround the star.

The pattern structure consists of only two triangles, one making an octagonal shape and one making a square which fits onto the octagon, see working image:

 Here is the final version of the quilt.

Next up is Karen Neary from Nova Scotia.  Here is how Karen describes creating 'Log Canada'.
I have a real love for red and white quilts, and this one started simply as a full-sized red and white “Courthouse Steps” log cabin. The weekend I made the top, my sons were away on a Cub/Scout camping trip so I had three full days to sew (bliss!) I sewed all weekend and had it finished by the time they returned home.  Perhaps it was seeing the badges and uniforms on the boys that put me in a patriotic mood, but when I had the blocks pieced, they made me think of our flag.  A red maple leaf was appliqued in the centre of each block, and a wavy edge added to the border to emulate a flag blowing gently in the breeze.  I used the same maple leaf to draw a vine for the border, and a wreath for the white areas and had these motifs expertly quilted by Jacqueline Pohl of The Vintage Quiltery in Gladstone, Manitoba.  Jacqueline did her usual spectacular quilting.  Log Canada has been very well received: it toured the United States as part of the first “O Canada” exhibit with International Quilt Festival, made an appearance in a booth at Quilt Canada in Calgary and was featured in the book “Canadian Heritage Quilting” which I co-authored with Diane Shink. 

Riel Nason lives in New Brunswick.  She tells us about her quilt.
My quilt is called the 2010 Selvage Sampler and was made to celebrate my first year of quilting. I have been intrigued by the idea of quilting with selvages from the very first time I saw a picture of a selvage project online. It is such a new area of quilting too, with so much territory to explore. I wanted to go beyond simple string squares and see what I could come up with. So, I saved all my selvages from my first year of quilting, and then, as is the tradition for many beginner quilters, I made a sampler quilt to test my skills.

Hope you enjoyed taking a closer look at the quilt talent in Canada!

Check back on Friday to see our progress on 'Stitch Across Canada'.