Thursday, December 10, 2015

Time for Creativity

Inuvik is a community full of artists and creativity. It is one of many reasons I have to remind myself why I love Inuvik (and why I don’t move somewhere else!). I still always dream that Inuvik could have an artist’s co-operative and I always say if people want to try to form/build a co-op that I would volunteer to Chair this initiative in a heartbeat. I think a co-op would do some much to support Inuvik’s artisan community and especially all the sew-ists, beaders, textile arts, knitters and quilters. I can image it now; a space where we could all work together and support each other, a gallery space to display rotating shows of people’s work, regular workshops and lectures, a store to bring in revenues and so much more. Please can I win the lottery!?!?!?!

The Great Northern Arts festival ( organized the Great Northern Art Exchange this fall and it was the first time I have the time to participate. Each participant started a canvas and each week the canvas rotated through a five person team. Yes, this meant that my yoga lotus flower and 7 chakras turned into a lion with a star fish on its head! All the canvases were amazing and again, the talent our community has is huge!

The GNAF also hosted the Annual Christmas Craft Fair in November. Not only is it a great way to make some money, it is the best time of year for visiting and being inspired by other’s works. We had a whole group of textile artists that had tables and the Inuvik Quilting Guild membership was well represented. My mom has been staying Inuvik this fall and her ceramic tiling mosaic work and rug hooking sold out on Friday night. A newer quilter had an amazing table display (including the LOVE quilt) which I walked by frequently in awe of! Not only do we have great artists but we have a great community who supports these works and activities!

I did it... a Tula Pink bag!

Events in life always seem to be connected. Hazel Wainwright from Yellowknife was once my Brownie leader (Brown Owl) and now she comes to Inuvik to teach annual quilting classes with the Inuvik Quilting Guild and so 25 years later she is my quilting instructor! I believe this is the 7th year that Hazel has come to Inuvik to teach classes and is usually supported by funds from the NWT Arts Council. The Guild a large cohort of beginner quilters this year which made Hazel’s November classes the largest the Guild has seen to date (10-12 participants).
I wasn’t sold of the idea of a quilted bag class but I reluctantly signed up and I am so happy I did. In my addiction to Twitter (@arcticyogi), I am forever seeing posts of Tula Pink (@TulaPink) fabric being turned into amazing bags by her followers. Now I can claim to have made and use my own Tula Pink bag. Yes, I am a Tula Pink-oholic which means I collect the books, the fabric, the patterns, the articles, etc. but until now I haven’t cut much into my Tula Pink fabric staff. I love that there is now a part of quilting where you can follow along with fabric designs and be inspired from this process to. It is so much more than just walking into a quilt shop and not knowing the stories behind the fabric collections and designers. Love this!

Leanne Chahley workshop in Inuvik!

Over the years the Inuvik Quilting Guild has always accessed NWT Arts Council funding to support the workshops and intermediate classes that we host each season. In summer 2015, the Guild decided to use our own fundraising dollars and host a summer workshop that was new to the annual calendar. We invited Leanne Chahley to Inuvik ( for a weekend of classes, lectures, sharing and a bit of a trunk show.  I continue to be inspired by the tips and techniques of quilting artists but more importantly I am inspired by their stories and their approaches to their quilting. Leanne is so laid back and believes so much is the entire process of quilting and more importantly enjoying the process of creating a quilted piece. She is gentle in her linear quilting designs and has a softness to the finished look of her quilts. I was in awe the entire time. And she is also funny and sarcastic which I also love! We live in a somewhat weird or unknown part of the country it is an honour that quilt artists and sew-ists come to Inuvik and embrace all the uniqueness of our community!
Of course, I used my 2.5 days with Leanne to the full extent and got a ton of sewing done! You can definitely see her weekend’s influence in my projects!

Catching Up... Again!

As usual my blog posts are few and far between but the Inuvik Quilting Guild is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016 and I feel like I need to make more of an effort to keep up with information, photos and updates of quilting (and curling) in Inuvik. This Guild was first started in 2006 with myself, Carolyn Hunter and Beth Pechter (who now resides in BC). The support and members the Guild has had in 10 years continues to amaze and inspire me and the amount of activities we have taken on is huge, especially considering we are a community of only 3,800 people in total.

Catching up on projects and activities! The Guild hosted its 9th Annual Summer quilt show in Inuvik in summer 2015. We did a Twelve By Twelve challenge and display inspired of course by the original projects/initiative ( . This show was hung at the Inuvik Community Greenhouse ( and at the Great Northern Arts Festival (

I LOVE these projects that we do each year! My project this year was Tinny Loves Picking Cranberries and was a pattern that I created in a workshop a few years ago with Yellowknife artist Janet Pacey (@signedYk). I have wanted to do this pattern for long and finally got a chance!

Happy Sewing Everyone!