Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Guild Charity Knows No Bounds

It is simply amazing when you look around at Canadian quilters and see what they do with their talents and resources.   You only have to look at your nearest guild to see the charity work they do with quiltmaking.   Here are just a few unique samples of how our guilds give back.

The Kennebecasis Valley QG in Quispamsis, NB, ( near Saint John) is one such guild that believes in charity.  From making tiny quilts for the Neonatal unit at the Saint John Regional Hospital, to making quilts for one of the local nursing homes each year, donating quilts to be used as raffle quilts for worthy causes, when possible giving quilts to people in need, and also supporting Victoria's quilts (a national organization which gives quilts to people with cancer.
Pictured below are some from the latest Victoria Quilt Day.  

The Sudbury & District Quilting and Stitchery Guild “adopted” a family in need of some holiday cheering in 2013.  The family was identified by the local Lion’s Club.  The parents and each of their four children will be  warm this winter with the new quilts lovingly made by the members.  Other gifts from the guild included Christmas stockings for everyone that are overflowing with goodies including mitts and hats; wrapped toys and jammies  for under the tree; a gift certificate for Cineplex; food enough for their Christmas dinner and more, plus a gift certificate at a local Grocery store.  

The London Friendship QG had a Place Mat Colour Challenge. They used lovely greeting cards from J.Lee Cards and Photography in St Thomas, ON. Those who entered the challenge picked a card (sight unseen) and then made a place mat using as many of the colours in the photo card as possible. The place mats were all donated to Meals on Wheels.

by Megan Griffith - 1st place

by Lorna Martin - 2nd place

by Edith Ward

by Cathy Shephard

by Tiny Campbell

It is so inspirational, not only reading about what charity the guilds do, but the creative ways they go about making it fun and interesting to their members.

If you have something fun to share, please drop me a line at

Jackie W.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Member Challenge Participants

There were eleven thoughtful and sometimes humourous  entries for the challenge "Things I Can't Live Without".
Every entry seemed to be oh so true. Really, can you live without your birthday or your socks?

Our apprentice judge, Valerie Harrison, who is enrolled in CQA/ACC's Quilt Judge CertificationProgramme had a lot of fun picking three winners for the great prizes provided by Carol Richards from Sew Sisters, a Canadian quilt shop dedicated to all things quilting. Check out her store at 3961 Chesswood Drive Toronto, ON or online.

The three prize winners, as chosen by Valerie, will be published in the next issue of 'The Canadian Quilter'. 

by Sherri Watier
I always seem to have cold feet, so when thinking of this theme's challenge, I immediately thought of SOCKS!  I am always wearing socks around the house and I made this mini quilt from a photo I took of my feet!

 by Mary Field
We all must eat and my large collection of fruit and veggie fabric inspired me to create this tablecloth.  The saying "Eat Food Not Too Much Mostly Plants" is a quote from Michael Pollan. When my grandson Joseph was about three he "read" it when we were all seated at the table as "eat food, not too much, mostly flowers" ... we still chuckle.

by Mary Field 
I created this wall hanging for my daughter-in-law who is a dietician and sometimes uses it as a backdrop when she does presentations. 

by Diane Carson
BIRTHDAYS!  Who can live without them?  Our family has fun with this wall hanging with interchangeable numbers.   It has been used for Grandchildren 3 and a Aunt at 103. Designed by Terry Griffin , Long n, lean series.

by Marvella Smith
I created a bingo card but used a more appropriate word to reflect things I can't live without and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it as winning at bingo is very much like can't always have a full card.....sometimes it's just a line that pays off! 
I included my husband as well....a carpenter so he's represented by the tools.

by Rolanda Tovey
  I couldn’t live without my sewing machine.  I learned to sew when I was very young on my Great-Grandmother’s treadle machine and I’ve since acquired one.  I love to piece quilts, table runners, wall hangings...anything but clothes or mending.
This piece was done in memory of my Mother who taught me to sew and only trusted me to use the treadle machine, not her “good” machine. 

by Catherine Henderson
 I absolutely can't live without COFFEE!
While learning an arrowhead block, I came across a package of coffee themed fabric, grabbed some extra fabric from my stash and put together whatever combinations took my fancy, eventually ending up with enough blocks for 12 mats with a Bali batik border. 

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the challenge!  See how easy and fun it is to do, and only members have the opportunity to win these fantastic prizes.   Stay tuned for the next challenge, it is going to make you chill=)

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


It started with an email to the Board of Directors back in 1997 from President Dusty Newey, that looked like this:

And boy did Marsha (now Cleveland) 'freshen up our newsletter'!  And along the way every member got to know her gentle patient nature.  Whether it was getting your quarterly newsletter, sending her an article or just asking her a question, you were interacting with one incredibly talented woman.

Marsha has now officially retired as CQA/ACC's Editor and if you are curious to see what she is going to do with all her spare time, read on.

 I am closing off the year with travel, something I haven’t done for a while. A friend I met in high school (so we have been friends for a long, long time!) asked if I would like to go to New York City with her.  Then I have a trip planned to Toronto to visit my Aunt and Uncle. I plan to spend more time with my grandson Riley.

After that, you can picture me spending nice, snow laden days snowmobiling with my husband Dwayne. When the weather changes completely, we will be boating out of nearby Pugwash Harbour or I will be sitting in the window overlooking the harbour in front of my sewing machine – and I will probably be sewing. Already, I have started to finish some of the many quilts I have started. I am also hoping to become, once again, more involved in my community.

It feels a little awkward to be recognized for doing what I have loved doing – I have had the most incredible experience working with so many talented and special people. That is without doubt what I will miss the most – well, after missing all those emails!

Thanks to all the quilters out there who have contributed/helped over the years. I wish Marcy all the best in her new position and know that she will be blessed with your wonderful support.

Marsha, there are not enough words to thank you for making 'The Canadian Quilter' what it is today, and not enough accolades to say thank you and we wish you all the best!

As you may be aware, we were fortunate to find a bright, exceptionally talented woman to become our new Editor.  Marcy Horswill has risen to the challenge of looking after our quarterly publication.

Here is a little background information from Marcy:

I currently reside in Cumberland, British Columbia, an artsy little community of 4,000 outside of Courtenay, BC. 

I am a quilter and fibre artist. I have been quilting for over twenty years. I started quilting traditionally at first, but moved to designing quilts and now on to fibre art, specializing in machine felting and the use of Tyvek. I belong to the Comox Valley Schoolhouse Quilters’ Guild, and we boast over 140 members. I am proud to be part of this guild and volunteer as the Program Coordinator.

I am a graphic designer and have been for over 28 years. This is apparent in my fibre designs... simple is better in my world. Despite my move to fibre art, I cherish hand work and love to hand bead and hand quilt.

I am excited to be the Editor of 'The Canadian Quilter'. I have wanted to be an editor of a magazine since I bought my first 'Victoria' magazine in 1989. This position is a dream come true 24 years later.

Already Marcy has her editorial team hopping and several new ideas are in the works.   It will be an exciting and fun time as we see what Marcy has planned for 'The Canadian Quilter'.  
Welcome aboard Marcy!

Jackie W

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Walk To Brock-Update #3

There was an amazing number of inches reported this month – probably because everyone is pushing to get their Christmas quilting done. Can you believe it – we made it to Inuvik! We are going to stay here over Christmas. This is the closest I have been to the North Pole and Santa! 

We came by way of the Dempster Highway and is Canada’s only public highway that crosses the Arctic Circle
Dempster Highway

While we are here, we should visit Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church also known as “The Igloo Church”, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Inuvik.

"Igloo" Church

And for all you gardeners, I think we should visit the Inuvik Community Greenhouse which is the most northern greenhouse in North America and the only one of its kind in the world - converted from an old arena. 

When reporting their inches, the Norfolk QG in Jarvis ON mentioned their “team UFO completion competition” which made a big difference in reducing personal piles of UFOs and increasing their inch count.

Timmins QG says that members are encouraging others members to bring their quilts for show and tell so they can add up their Walk To Brock inches.

At the Manitoba Prairie Quilters one woman brought 34 hand appliqu├ęd baby quilts.

Tunbridge Wells Quilters, from the UK is our only international Guild participating in  this challenge. The group formed in 1985 when Faye joined CQA/ACC to go to the conference in Victoria, BC. She has been to six conferences so far, does the Trend-Tex challenge and plans to come to St. Catharines, ON next year. The 15 member group makes several charity quilts a year including 24” square baby quilts for the preemie unit at the local hospital.

A few of the ladies from the Tunbridge Wells Quilters, UK

Looking forward to seeing how far we get next month.   Keep up the great stitching quilters!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Things I Can't Live Without - Member Challenge

Christmas is coming so why not make a gift that keeps on giving? Create a quilt for that special someone showing something you know they can’t live without, that way they get a great gift and you get an entry into our challenge!

It can be serious (clean air, bumble bees) or humorous (your tooth brush)  - what ever it takes to keep you going!

Join the fun with our current challenge. Your entry will get published either on our blog or in the newsletter. Take a couple of hours and create a quilt, any shape, based on the theme ‘Things I Can’t Live Without”. You can use any embellishments you want. Deadline to send a photo of your entry is December 5, 2013. Full challenge details here.

Oh, there are prizes!
Three great  prizes sponsored by: Sew Sisters Quilt Shop:  

1st Prize

2nd Prize

3rd Prize

Be sure to check out Sew Sisters at the various links below! 

We had lots of fun with our previous member challenges. Look at some of the entries we received for them: These Boots Are Made for Walking, Through a Bug’s EyeWhere do you Read the Canadian Quilter and Pincushions.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Walk To Brock Update #2

Great inch collecting everyone! We didn’t quite make it to Whitehorse in the Yukon, but we are close enough that I think we should stay there rather than freezing on the road in the middle of nowhere. Google says the number one tourist attraction is Miles Canyon which was originally called the Grand Canyon. The Yukon River squeezes through the narrow chute creating a ferocious foam of water – where many gold rushers lost their boats and their precious supplies. Let’s grab a ticket for the boat cruise and experience the mighty Yukon River for ourselves! And while we are here, let’s send warm greetings to our member guild, The Kluane Quilters Guild.

The Timmins Guild included inches for 60 lap quilts they made for the residents of their local nursing home who must move to a brand new facility. These thoughtful quilters want the quilts to provide comfort during this stressful transition.  Way to go Timmins QG!

Looking forward to seeing all the inches next month as we all start quilting our Christmas presents!

Monday, 4 November 2013

A Creative Guild Challenge

The creativity in guilds is mind boggling sometimes.   When Catherine Henderson, our BC Interior Regional Representative sent an email  describing a unique challenge that member guild Castlegar Quilters' did to incorporate ric rac into a quilt, it was definitely going to require showcasing!

'Something Geologic' is an art quilt wallhanging made by Heather Meyers, being held up by Val Dingwall.

Quilted Lunch Bag made by Sandy Lamont. She fell in love with the rainbow coloured ric rac and put it to good use.

 'Ric Rac and All That', this fabric had the ric rac design printed right on it, then huge black ric rac was added (binding not finished) by Ruth Sommers.

'Crazy Patch Pumpkin' using ric rac for the trim by Linda Cassidy.

Sharon Drew holding up her stacked plant pots wallhanging. The flower stem was bright lime green ric rac. Sharon stated the hanging was going in the garbage right after the meeting, and another of the members said, "Oh no it's not", and rescued the wallhanging.

Linda Chmielewski with her 3:30 pm start coffee mug rug, the meeting was at 6:30 pm. In that short space of time, Linda completed the mug rug and "bedazzled" it with sparkles. She is quite the gal!

Susan D'Andrea finished her silk ribbon embroidery vest (adding ric rac) was an ongoing project that took about 4 years to complete.

'Mr. Scream' is created by Verna Chernoff. Note the variety of ric rac used for the hair, some of it flying loose, and most was purchased at CQA/ACC Quilt Canada 2013.     The earrings are bits of copper pan scrub, the face was stuffed, and there's trapunto work to add three dimension to it.

 New Bonnet and dress for 'Cassandra', by Val Dingwall. The hat is quilted, using fancy machine stitches, and trimmed with ric rac flowers. She used an old Simplicity pattern dated 1966 and thought making the flowers would be easy. It took all of the latest James Bond movie to make one flower.

Well done Castlegar Quilters'!
Are any of you participating in a fun challenge?  Drop us an email and tell us all about it at

Jackie W.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Things I Can't Live Without-Member Challenge

Join the fun with our current challenge! All you have to do is show us that special thing you can’t live without. Your entry will get published either on our blog or in 'The Canadian Quilter' magazine. Take a couple of hours and create a quilt, any shape, any size based on the theme ‘Things I Can’t Live Without”. You can use any embellishments you want.  Deadline to send a photo of your entry is December 5, 2013. Full challenge details here

Of course there are great prizes too!

Three great fabric prizes sponsored by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop.

Visit their website  and their blog  and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Or visit the store in person 3961 Chesswood Drive, Toronto, ON.

This is what the 1st prize winner will receive.

2nd Prize

3rd Prize

If you want a bit of inspiration, take a look at the entries from our last challenge.     Get those creative juices flowing and enter our fun challenge.