Thursday, May 31, 2012

Quilt Canada 2012- Shows, Shows and More Shows

Although Saturday is my day to really go through the major quilt shows at Quilt Canada. I wanted to stop in to both the National Juried Show and the Invitational Show to see the impact of so many beautiful and amazing pieces hanging in one single space. Neither of these shows disappointed. After seeing things on a grandiose level I will use Saturday to really get up a clsoe up and see the details and workmanship of the pieces. Again, amazing! There are no cameras aloowed in the NJS show, you are not even allowed to have pens in the show (not to mention food and drink) and NO touching the pieces. if you want to see the back, you must ask the women in the white gloves to lift pieces for you. Good quilt show etiquette! The invitational show cameras are permitted; I will try to credit as many artists as I can remember but just in case please refer back to for more of the completed listing of teachers, artists, and participants.

1. Heather Stewart included a muted down Broken Dishes pattern that I have to feel connected too as I share of love a smaller, repeated pieces jsut like Heather. I took her postage stamp class yesterday and can also claim to ahve a done a very similiar Broken Dishes quilt using a Kaffe Fasset design a few years ago (it showed at GNAF that year). Heather's piece was made of textured Japanese fabrics... amazing!

2. Elephants- This piece was catching many people's EYES at the show and so I took a detailed photo of the EYE of the elephant. There is a lot of detailed and small scale machine quilting on this and it seems to be them of quilting recently/this year. Many of the NJS pieces have it also and it must be what judges are looking for; note to self. remember this is not your grandma's quilting!

3. There was two great pieces by Jo Diggs, including the under the sea images that caught my eye. People LOVE quilting fish and under the sea themes and they usually do NOT interest me at ALL but this one captured my attention.

4. Finally, a large scale photo and a detail of a piece that I have HUGE respect for. I amazes me when artists focus on abtract peices AND hand stitching/embellishments. I could sew a straight line with aneedle and thread to save me life and I am sure my hand would start cramping up after a few stitches! Big props to textile artists who explore this type of work!

Enjoy... and keep encouraging creativity and art!

Quilt Canada 2012- Northern Participation

I am planning a few posts tonight as today has been a busy, busy day at Quilt Canada 2012 in Halifax. All the photos and information included and added tonight is meant to inspire creativity and give a bit of an idea of where/what quilting is today. Don't think for a second this is sewing squares together like what your Granmother and/or Great Grandmother did!

I started a 2 day class today which is a first for me and I highly recommend it. I think I have moved beyond the 1 day classes where you only learn one or 2 specific techniques. A day 2 day class means that the instruction concluded on day 1 and now I have a full day of sewing and designing on my own. My 2 day class is Lines, Curves, and Wonky Log Cabins with Maggie van der Weit and so far she has been great. I have entered this class and have dove in with no plans or idea where this piece is going. For sure it is a sampler project as with each technique today I jsut added another strip to an ever expanding collage of things... don't laugh at the colours and design 'mistakes'! Included is also a start of chakra petals that I am experimenting with as I am really thinking of a class that combines yoga AND textile art. Again, I sooooo wish i could be an art therapist! I think the pieces could be use with an alter, meditation space, energy work area, etc.

I am very proud and a bit shy that I also have a piece in the 2012 Invitation Quilt Show that is held at Quilt Canada. This is a show where individuals are asked/invited to participate in based on their involvement with the CQA and/or Quilt Canada. Many people have commented on my piece including my instructors and I am very honoured by this. I know the piece is not perfect and is not ready something like the National Juried Show but respect that art is a journey and I think this is a good step/space to be in right now. It has given me a big of confidence to keep progressing and experimenting with things.

Although, I am the only person from Inuvik we have a big group of Yellowknifers and ex-Northerners here. They are so inspirational and encouraging and obviously, great company. Yellowknife Quilters has always been a strong Guild and many of these women were core to this Guild over the years. I have included all the photos of their show and tell from Judy Farrow's class. Fingers crossed that we will soon be going to Parksville, BC for a retreat/5 day workshop/studio time with Judy!!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quilt Canada 2012- Day 1 of classes is complete!

Day 1 of classes is complete and I believe has been a big success for not only the students and instructors but also for the organizers of Quilt Canada 2012. I honestly did not see any big issues at all over the course of the day.

I attended Heather Stewart's You've Got Mail class and if you are a quilter who likes little pieces and lots of repetition (like myself) then this class is for you. Just Google postage stamp quilts and start reading/learning about what this 1 1/2" technique is all about. Watch out Inuvik; as I am bringing this back to Inuvik for a weekend session!!! Sorry, but I cannot stay at home sewing that little of pieces together by myself! The photo attached is a detail of Heather Stewart's sample quilt and you check out her website at: I really great instructor and lots of knowledge and information on colour and design. She would be a great person to bring North.

Lots of the other 'northern' or 'ex-northern' quilters here attended a class with Judy Farrow which is a 2 day class. I am hoping that they show and tell all their projects for tomorrow's blog post. Judy is also an 'ex-northerner' and has created an amazing quilting career for herself and which is only expanding with an upcoming teaching session at Empty Spools in California. Yes, Google that too in case you want to quilt in a national park right on the ocean. I have included a photo of all the 'northern' quilters at Quilt Canada as I know how we all like to keep tabs on people who come and go from the North.

I also managed to do a quick walk about at the Merchant Mall today and boy is there a lot of 'stuff' out there to purchase. I always say that if you think of something (gadget, tool, book, fabric, supply) you can guarentee in the quilting world it has already been invented and retailed. I managed to find a really need little needle holder that for most people would be boring to hear but for all you quilters... I think it might mean the disappearance of the pin cushion sometime soon! :) Lots of good booths at the Merchant Mall, not as many as usual but still good in quality. Stitches is there from Salt Spring Island and their work and materials are always so inspiring. There is also Pippa Moore (and Joan) who work with ladies in Africa to produce some amazing quilting materials and fabrics. Pippa gave me a big hug this afternoon as I have previously taken a class with her and I really recommend people check out her blog at: She is such a warm and friendly person and is great for a new, modern approach to quilting. I use this Blog lots just to get a good boost of creativity.

I think that is all... day 2 tomorrow and the start of a big 2 day class that I have big hopes for!!! Enjoy!

I am Begging You All (35 and under)...

This Blog post is going to be the sound of me begging anyone 35 and under to take up textile arts and if you have already done so to really research the options and ideas out there for expanding your interest in it! Pleeeeeeease.

Day 2 is now completed on my trip to Quilt Canada. What I can report: Grey hair EVERYWHERE! This is normal for Quilt Canada but I am really noticing it this year and it has me concerned. For real! I have a real respect for the older quilters as huge leaps and bounds have been within quilting in the past even 10 years thanks to people pushing this area of art and design BUT I am worried about the future. Maybe not full on worried but at least somewhat concerned for sure. We need more younger quilters and not just those who take a beginner class and never go back but younger quilters with a real interest in the history, techniques, travel and organization of quilting. I honestly believe that every individual has a creative side to them and one's approach to quilting/textile arts should be no different than those exploring photography, watercolours, pottery, oils, dance, etc. And the more and more I indulge myself into the yoga the more I see our wellness activities intertwining into art and creativity.So come on people!!!!!

I began quilting in about 1999 through my godmother. I was someone with very little patience and I needed to correct this AND I had a good, solid background in art and design (Thanks to Betty Wilcox the art teacher at Sir John Franklin high School in Yellowknife!). What other high school art program do you know of that has regular art history lectures; no different than those at universities?!?! I taught myself to quilt with one simple book which was a Double Irish Chain pattern. At that time even, the variety of fabric was VERY limited. I remembered I used only 3 fabrics and all the quilting was done with clear acrylic thread. We all know now that this is awful thread to use, even for a small amount of quilting. From there I started building a fabric stash and colelcting quilting magazines. I still think magazines are the best resource for learning about design and colour in textile arts. I started going to classes once I connected with the Yellowknife quilters and the rest is history.

With 3 others I started the Inuvik Quilting Guild in 2006 and became the NWT Rep on the Canadian Quilters Association in 2011. I have worked with some of the best teachers in North America and know my bucket list of activities and classes that I still wish to teach. I am proud to say that our Guild is one of the youngest (participant wise) in Canada but I think that has to do not only with promotion and welcoming young members but also with our town's demographics in general. I encourage other Guilds to follow this lead.

Yes, I don't always admit to people right away that I quilt (or that I am off to Quilt Canada) and I really wish I did this more freely. There is a lot to say about promoting those things that we love.

So for now I encourage everyone 35 and younger to tag along with an Aunt, your mother or you Godmother and discover the world of quilting and textile arts.... but use your own young eyes to see things through your own perspective and to leave judgement at the door. It is time we start moving this artwork into our own Generation Y.

Think... next year Quilt British Columbia is in Pentiction, BC... we could quilting by day and drinking beer and houseboating by night!!! Yes, this could be the new reality of Quilt Canada and textile arts.

Photos to come in the next post!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quilt Canada- Arrival and Reasoning

Here I am at another edition of Quilt Canada. This is my thrid time to Quilt Canada if you include the smaller regional events held between the bi-annual Quilt Canada. And we are in.... HALIFAX! Which to date has already really impressed me.

First, it is hard to admit that I quilt but yes, I do. And not only to I quilt but I have a full time dedicated sewing room, have learned from some of the best quilters in Canada and the world, Chair the Inuvik Quilting Guild and sit as a Regional Representative on the Canadian Quilters Assoication. This is more than just a hobby for me. My curling off-season means quilting seasons starts and ends.

I know quilting is stereo-typed into an old lady activity and for sure by the most part it is but there is a small group of young-er quilters like myself that are desperately trying to change this image. Many cities now offer a 'Modern Quilt Guild' which moves away from some of the traditional pieced projects and encourages a more contemporary approach to textile arts. Then there is the whole art quilting arm of quilting which younger artists are really entering into. There are even college and university programs dedicated to textile arts (as opposed to Home/Human Economics). That being said the sad reality is that if we do not continue bringing young-er people into quilting it could easily become a dying hobby. Sad but true.

So my reasoning for attending Quilt Canada beyond trying to keep quilting going and being quilting obsessed... I think we NEED a national quilting body.... in whatever form and organiazation. Period. And for quilting right now it is the CQA (Canadian Quilters Association). It is similiar to any other sport, hobby, or group in this sense. I know some people are a bit apprehensive or question-able when it comes to the CQA but for me this organization's focus must be; promotion of quilting, encouragement of development of artists, and sharing between regions of Canada. Like any other national organization I think sometimes politics, funding and other issues might be in the way but at its core the CQA must remain and be present to organize and encourage quilting in Canada; for individuals, Guilds, artists, and retailers. I feel very strongly about this.

As for my reasoning why I quilt... I believe that bringing creativity and artisanism into your life is as important as being physically active. I know this sounds a bit crazy but I honestly believe it. I look at rates of heart disease, mental health issues, stress, alzeimers, etc and I can only hope that some of my time quilting is helping decrease my chances of some of this. In addition, I think imagination, dreaming, imagery, colour, design, geometry, etc are huge impacters when thinking of wellness and calm within ones self. We do a lot to encourage art and creativity in young children, and some of us get to experieince art classes right through high school but as adults it is something we lose time for or shy away from. EVERYONE is artistic and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

So that in a nutshell is why I am at Quilt Canada for another year and why I quilt. Maybe somedays I quilt just because a fabric had caught my eye or that I want a neice/nephew to be wrapped a warm and comforting quilt or that I have an image or feeling that needs to get out of my head and into fabric but health/wellness and belief in quilting as an art/movement is what keeps me volunteering and promoting quilting.

Happy quilting to everyone at Quilt Canada...