Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Journeys in Thread Symposium

Registration includes all events, speakers, exhibits, Friday evening meet and greet, Saturday social evening, nutrition breaks & meals and more. 
Visit this link to get the details.


Monday, February 14, 2022

Call for Participation! We need you.

Kelowna Retreat in 2017

How can you contribute to our region?

Hello everyone. For those of you who are new my name is Jennie Johnston and I live in BC and was the Western Canada Representative for 3 years (2017-2020)

There are many things that make a region rewarding for members, and some of them require volunteers to stay running. We have two main homes on the internet beside the SAQA website itself that are for sharing and staying connected in our region. This blog is one method and the other is our Instagram account:

Our blog is for sharing new exhibits, techniques, personal journeys, and the social media accounts and websites of members. Since our dedicated member Margaret Blank (also a former Western Canada rep and active SAQA member from Alberta) stepped down from the blog, I have been doing my best to maintain it. My time is no longer allowing me to keep the blog updated and this is where you come in.

Please consider taking over this important connection point for our region. We use the Blogger site to host it and it is a very user-friendly platform that anyone can learn. Ideally one or two posts a month would be all you need to do to keep members engaged in both larger SAQA and things going on in our region. Contact myself at the email on the sidebar or Susan Selby our current rep if you are interested and I am happy to go over the logistics.

If no one steps forward I am afraid this wonderful resource will become dormant and not be updated with new member information etc.

For the time being, I will continue to maintain our Instagram, so please send me any images of your work and relevant information for the caption if you’d like to have your work featured. Currently we have over 500 followers, so this is a great platform to share your work on.

Thanks everyone.


Friday, August 20, 2021

Touch is Live!

Entry from Marie McEachern, Alberta

We are so pleased that Touch the SAQA Western Canada Regional Trunk Show is ready to go out into the world. Bookings are now available. Details, and all the pieces in the show can be viewed virtually here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Making of The Hockey Boys - Colour with A U

Our final behind the scenes look at Western Canada member's Colour with a U submission is Valerie Wilson's The Hockey Boys. Colour with a U opens this Monday June 28th and runs until  October 2, 2021at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton, Nova Scotia.

Valerie Wilson - The Hockey Boys 65.5" W x 42" H

This piece was based on a vintage black and white photograph. I liked the three boys together and liked the differences in appearance and the subtle differences in their uniforms. The photo I used had had people standing in front of the boys so that shadows fell on the skates and hockey sticks of two of the boys. It required some research into the era and the equipment used at that time and some attempts at sketching the missing elements.

The Hockey Boys includes commercial and hand-dyed cotton, tulle, wool batting behind the figures and cotton batting overall.
Created with fused, raw edge appliqué, machine quilted (upper area on a long arm) and the rest on my HQ Sweet 16 (midarm).

Sampling of the quilting for the ice

The Hockey Boys artist statement: 

"Hockey is a national sport that is a symbol of Canada. It acts as a unifying force to connect communities and diverse groups of people. Anyone can play hockey and enjoy the game. Here are three boys who came together to join forces and play their favourite sport. I can imagine them out on an icy pond or in their local ice rink skating around."

Friday, June 18, 2021

Grand National Exhibition Crossroads & New Call for Entry

Karen Johnson From the Ashes, 38 x 44 inches

 The Grand National Fibre Art Exhibition highlights wonderful art from across Canada. Currently on view is their 2021 offering Crossroads. Click here to view the exhibit. Crossroads will be traveling to various venues across Canada and is currently on view at the UNB Art Centre in Fredericton New Brunswick. From the Ashes above is SAQA Western Canada member Karen Johnson's piece in Crossroads.

Do not miss your chance to be a part of this fantastic collection of artists. The 2023 Grand National call has been announced. Find all the details below and at this link.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Become a SAQA Curator!

The Choice - Judy Leslie

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at exhibition curation? SAQA is giving you the opportunity to submit a proposal for just that with their Virtual Gallery Program.

Do you have a great idea for an exhibition? Learn about submitting a proposal here.

Keep an eye out for the virtual gallery open calls and you could have you work included in a virtual exhibition as well! There are currently three virtual calls for entry: Structures, Words Fail, and Legacies. Click on each title for more details about the calls.

Impressions from Oceania features a piece by Western Canada member Judy Leslie.

Keep up the good work and don't forget to take advantage of the many opportunities to show your work with SAQA.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Spotlight Auction Starts April 15th!

The SAQA Spotlight Auction is held during the SAQA Conference every year! The proceeds from this auction support SAQA exhibitions and programming. 

Anyone can bid, whether you are attending the conference or not. 

Details about how to bid can be found here.

Here are some of the pieces in the auction made by Western Canada Members. Support their work and add to your art collection.

Christine Johannink - From Scraps Comes Art

Janet Scruggs - Dendritic Dots

Jaynie Himsl - Floating

Margaret Blank - Spring Run-Off

Marie McEachern - G "Rounded"

Susan Selby - Garden Chives

Michelle Craigen - Purple Iris

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Colour with a U Artist Feature: Janet Scruggs

Colour with a U is still touring Canada and will be on display at The Muse, Lake of the Woods Museum in Ontario from April 6 to May 22, 2021.

Below Janet Scruggs shares the inspiration behind her Portraits, Women I Would Like to Have Met piece.

Janet Scruggs - Portraits, Women I Would Like to Have Met

When thinking about what makes Canada Canada, I thought about our history and
the contribution women have made. There have been so many that I decided to narrow my focus to the Arts. Still a vast array of women who have contributed to our culture. I decided to look at those who were “first” in particular categories of the Arts. This took significant research to narrow down each one of those categories to one woman I felt represented a significant contribution and a first in some way. In
researching each of these women, I felt they embodied characteristics I admired. 

They each battled norms in society and often persevered through personal tragedies or difficulties to achieve their goals. Once I made the choice of whom to include, the task then became finding usable photos of each one. As I worked on each step in the process of creating the photos on cheesecloth and stitching, I felt myself becoming not only an admirer of these women, but a kinship and pride in their efforts and their courage.

Once I had picked the women, it was time to find a usable photograph. There are several sites that have public domain photos and scouring these took many days! Trying to track down and locate relatives to obtain permission of photos on other sites seemed too daunting a task with the time I had available. Sometimes there was only one photo available to use so I had to ensure that it was in the public domain, even if the photographer’s name was known. The next step was to convert these old photos to black and white (instead of browns) and bump the contrast as much as possible. 

Next I used paper lamination to get the photos onto cheesecloth. As the title of the exhibition is Colour with a U, I decided to choose a vibrant colour of hand dyed cheesecloth for each of the women. Luckily I have an overflowing basket of hand dyed cheesecloth pieces to choose from! It saved a lot of time. I also needed to coordinate a fabric for the cheesecloth photo as well, but I have a lot of that also, so it wasn’t too big of a challenge. (I am determined to use only what I possess, so buying new fabric was out of the question.)

Those decisions made, it was time to work through getting the photos onto the cheesecloth. I used the same screen to apply the gel medium as I did want some consistency in the look of the photos, even though one is never too sure what the result will be. This meant doing some of them more than once - after all you do want the face to be there! I no sooner finished this part of the process and hung them upon my design wall when I realized that one photo was wrong - she was much to small within the photo compared to the others. So, back to editing and redoing that one. 

With photos complete, hand stitching followed. Many evenings filled with embroidering the backgrounds and choosing part of their clothing and how to embroider it. I wanted some variety in the stitching so each one is unique. Finally with each one stitched, I sewed the individual portraits to a felt background by hand. Finished…… well almost. 

I realized that if this became part of a travelling exhibit, the cheesecloth (not attached) would be scrunched and mushed up (technical language). So, I added small bits of Misty Fuse around each portrait to ensure that the cheesecloth stayed relatively in place. FINISHED! And, so thrilled when I found out it was accepted as part of the exhibit! While I cannot here provide each life story of these wonderful women, I would encourage you to read about them. 

Briefly, they are:

Esther Hill - First female registered architect & award winning weaver.

Portia White - First internationally acclaimed Black Canadian concert singer. 
A person of national historic significance.

Lucy Maud Montgomery - Author of Anne of Green Gables, one of the best selling books worldwide.  A person of national historic significance.

Mary Augusta Hiester Reid - First Canadian woman to have a solo art exhibit and first woman to have her work in the National Gallery of Canada.

Mary Pickford - 1st Canadian woman to win an Oscar. Co-founder of United Artists Studio.  A star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.

E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) - Mohawk/English author, poet and performer. First Canadian woman, Author and Aboriginal Canadian to be commemorated on a stamp. A person of national historic significance.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

SAQA 2021 Conference Registration Now Open!


This year brings a new opportunity for learning, sharing and connecting with other art quilt lovers for SAQA's annual conference. 

Ocean's Apart Connected by Art is open for registration now!

For this year, we’re going to beautiful Oceania—mainly Australia and New Zealand—for a deep dive into unique, exciting art quilts, and textile art. New York Times bestselling author Austin Kleon will discuss how quilting has inspired his work and ideas about creativity during quarantine. The world’s leading wearable art competition, World of WearableArt, will give us a special look behind the scenes. Prepare to be WOW'd!

To learn more about registration and conference details visit this link.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Calls For Entry & Regional Zoom Meet-up

Touch entry, Turbulent Indigo by Jennie Johnston


There are many wonderful things going on in our art quilt world despite the winter days and social distancing we are still enduring. Check out these details below for some interesting art calls and our next regional Zoom meet up.

Touch Call For Entry Reminder

Susan is accepting entries for the first SAQA Western Canada trunk show! Get your entries to her asap. 

TOUCH - What touches you? What do you touch? Touch can be physical, emotional or spiritual. Touch is part of our well-being, an elemental form of communication, and a lack of touch can affect our physical and emotional health. We say ‘Keep in touch’ to those we wish to have contact with, ‘I’m touched’ as an emotional response or ‘don’t touch’ to keep people away. 

Create an 8” x 10” piece (either orientation) in response to the theme of TOUCH; these will be assembled into a Trunk Show for Western Canadian members to share with groups in their area. The works will be mounted to an 8 ½” x 11” board but will NOT be covered in plastic when shown; the mounting will help protect the pieces from excessive handling and soiling but viewers will be able to see and visually touch the art without a screen of plastic film. 

A plastic envelope will be used to protect the art during shipping and storage. This should be kept in mind when designing and constructing your art quilt; everything must be securely attached and nothing should extend beyond the 8” x 10” measurement or protrude more than ¼” above the surface. Edges may be finished in any way, be uneven or remain unfinished. 

All information about the piece should be attached to the back of the board: title, artist info, artistic statement, materials and techniques.

Email your entry information and direct any questions to susanlselby@gmaildotcom 

City of Lacombe, Alberta Artist Call

The City of Lacombe is seeking four Art Quilters / Fabric Artists to work collaboratively on an art quilt for the Servus Credit Union Room located in the Lacombe Memorial Centre. The Art Quilt will be comprised of four - 3’6”w x 6’ h panels. For example, each panel could be the same image shown in different seasons, or the four panels create one larger scene.

Details for eligibility and how to apply can be found here.

SAQA Western Canada Regional Zoom

Check your email for the Zoom details for the call happening Monday March 8 at 12:00pm Central, 11:00 am Mountain and 10:00 am Pacific time.

SAQA Global Calls For Entry

Fur, Fangs, Feathers & Fins - Call for Entry

Call for Entry Deadline

Celebrate wild animals in their natural environments. From amphibians to apex predators, depict or represent wild birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles doing what comes naturally. Go WILD! 

Words Fail (SAQA Virtual Gallery) - Call for Entry

Call for Entry Deadline

We are visual communicators, and sometimes what we want to say cannot be said in words. Words may be insufficient to describe positive, satisfying, or deliriously happy emotions. Or words may fail us when we try to express strong emotions, retell the story of a moment in time, or describe events that leave us scared, concerned or angry. Our world is filled with an enormous variety of both amazingly beautiful occasions, as well as those that test us in more difficult ways. Symbols, color, composition, or other design elements may provide the narrative to communicate the depth of your story. When our words fail us, imagery can present what we are unable to articulate through words.

Artists are invited to create work that engages viewers in a dialogue based on imagery and composition, exploring the idea that in some cases words are not the most effective means of communication.

For More SAQA Calls for Entry visit this link.