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...