Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guild Inspiration

Inuvik is a town of 3,800 people located on the Mackenzie River Delta, above the Artic Circle, at the end of the Dempster Highway and only kilometres from the Arctic Ocean. There are many things that make Inuvik unique including; the igloo shaped Catholic Church, rows of rainbow coloured houses, the utilidor system allowing our water and sewage pipes to be above ground and away from permafrost and the Inuvik Community Greenhouse (an old hockey arena turned into over 100 community garden plots) but we also have a Quilting Guild that averages 25-40 members annually with huge participation and a regular annual calendar of activities and classes. Check out more of Inuvik at: www.inuvik.ca or the Great Northern Arts festival at: www.gnaf.org.

One of the major accomplishments of the Inuvik Quilting Guild is that we have built a big quilting community with no access to a quilting store! This means beginners are introduced to quilting only through the eys and knowledge/skills of other members. The intrigue of fabric and gadgets is gained only through trips to the 'south' or through online shopping. Everything else is a sharing of ideas amoung members.

Each Monday night the Guild members meet at the local College (in a classroom space donated) to sew. Everyone brings their own sewing machines but mats, rotary cutters, rulers, irons, and boards are shared and stored in the classroom. Even in 40 below weather we have good turnouts!

Here is a sampling of what you can see on a Monday night in Inuvik with the Inuvik Quilting Guild. remember that these are all quilting who have been quilting less than 7 years (the Guild began in Summer 2006).

Crazy Curves by LS. This was a class we did in Winter 2013 to introduce members to the Drunkard's Path block using templates. LS got back into quilting after moving to Inuvik.

1930's 9-patch by KA. KA is the newest mom in the Guild, after a 1 year baby boom in the Guild. During a Winter UFO weekend there was a row of carseats at the front of the class. This is a very 'young' Guild.

Machine Quilting by AJ. This is AJ's first time machine quilting and look at the Hawaiian flowers. The quilt was pieced during a Beginner Bento Box class in Fall 2013. AJ is also a new mom and brings experience with a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Alberta to the Guild (hence her amazing doodling skills).

Batiks by LK. This fabric was purcahsed as a kit online which is not uncommon in the Guild. LK is the newly wed of the Guild, following her July wedding and now finding time to quilt.

Tiles by CM. This project stunned the Guild last night. CM is a new quilter since Fall 2012 and has jumped right in. CM said it great last night that she got back into sewing and the gym and feels so energized from this.
So proud of the Inuvik Quilting Guild and I cannot wait to see what the 7th Annual Summer Quilt Show and a new quilting season brings us.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Challenges (The Good Kind)

The past couple of weeks have been full of Challenges. The fun, creative type of Challenge, so don't start worrying about things! For the last few years, I have been really into quilting challenge projects. The Challenges provide a basic set of rules or guidelines and then the rest is up to you to complete. The Inuvik Quilting Guild has launched an annual challenge each year and I am proud to say that 2013 is the 7th Annual New Year Creative Challenge. We continue to get a good contigent of new (and old) participants in this each year. Now that I think of it, it might be a good idea to a pan-territorial quilting challenge, rather than just with Inuvik Quilting Guild!

The first Challangee I worked on was for the 2013 Trend Tex Challenge, organized through the CQA. If you do not know about the CQA then check it out at: http://www.canadianquilter.com/. I really believe in having a national quilting organization and encourage people to purchase a membership or think about attending Quilt BC 2013 or Quilt Canada 2014.

2013 Trend Tex Challenge
Artist: Shona Barbour
Location: Inuvik, NT
Title: Summer 2005
This piece uses the goals of the Modern Quilt Movement. The theme was interpreted as a set of feelings, rather than an image. This took me back to a road trip to the Okanagan in Summer 2005. Ideas of the warmth from the sun, wind in our hair as we cruised with the convertible top down, the taste of sweet wine, clean rows of grape vines, and the pleasure of being with friends and family.

The next challenge I completed, again organized by the CQA was the Where Do You Read Your Canadian Quilter Magazine?. This idea came to me suddenly last week and I knew I had to complete a project for this.
'North of Sixty and North of the Arctic Circle'
12" x 12"
Hand dyed fabrics
Shona Barbour
Inuvik, NT
When thinking of where I read The Canadian Quilter it occurred to me that the magazine is usually my reading when I travel. North of Sixty refers to my frequent trips to Yellowknife (my home town), where I am usually curling, attending quilting classes with the Yellowknife Quilters or visiting with family and long time friends. North of the Arctic Circles refers to my travel associated with work. Although my office is located in Inuvik, NT, like most government offices, we services the most Northern region (Beaufort Delta Region) of the NWT. This means lots of time spent on the plane or in hotel rooms and lots of time for catching up with quilting activities from the Rest of Canada!
Only the land mass north of the sixtieth parallel has been included in this image; Alaska, Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, Northern Quebec, and Greenland.The lower red line indicates 60 degrees and the upper red line indicates the Arctic Circle. I completed it after Earth Hour on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

And so now I am left with only my Inuvik Quilting Guild challenge to complete. However, for now, I have no idea what I am going to do for this one but it will come to me at some point. Due July 1 so lots of time?!?!?!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring and Transition Time

This is always an interesting time of year for me as I return from the Scotties to Inuvik where there is a significant amount of more sunlight than when I leave for the Scotties. This two week period from mid- late February makes a huge difference to the seasons in the North. It brings me back to Inuvik with renewed energy and a real sense of home and place. This year was no different.... I love Inuvik in the spring.

It also means that my focus lessens on curling and increases onto quilting. I am craving time in my sewing studio right now and have been squeezing in as many spare moments each day to escape into my studio for just a few extra stitches and seams.

Yes, the Scotties was amazing. Great fans, great teammates and major attention on yourself all the time (!!!!), plus all the time to compete against and catch up with your good friends. Each year I have so much to be thankful for with curling. Curling really has been a great blessing in my life and as an adult I am even more apprecaitive to have competitive sport still in my life. In Kingston, I managed to play one game, against BC. When the girls first asked me to play I was very hesitant but then decided if nothing else I could punch a bit of extra energy in them to take on Team Canada in their final game. And so I stepped up and played third for team NWT, maybe not playing as stellar as I could but holding my own and pumping up the girls. We lost that game on a last rock shot by Kelly Scott and team but it was a good showing for our team that had been struggling. And more importantly, the girls played their last game that afternoon against Team Canada AND yes, they pulled out the win. A perfect way to end a tough week!

I returned from Kingston on the Monday, rested that night and then re-entered the quilting world! More handstitching of binding (boring) and some new projects (exciting). I had to put my million class projects/samples aside and focus more on a project that challenged me. Therefore, I pulled out some fabric Eric Carle panels (yes, I know , everyone has them!) but started on a Kaffe Fasset block arrangement to complete the quilt. I think this is an interesting (and not boring) approach to a project! I love Kaffe Fasset and his appreciation of repetition and a million little pieces. And so, yes, I have been sewing lots of 16 patch blocks but loving every minute of it!

I'll continue to see what the lengthening days bring into my sewing room and what the sunlight inspires me to create as we continue into the Arctic spring days!