Sunday, December 4, 2016

Upcoming SAQA Meeting

Upcoming Lower Mainland SAQA meetings.

Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location: Terry Rammell’s Studio (behind her house; come to the left of her house)
                117 Regina St.
                New Westminster
Bring: bag lunch, new work, work in progress, experiments, a new book, etc.
Theme: Critiqueing Your Work – approaches you use, help you may need; what do you do that helps your work improve?

Please email to confirm your attendance.


Museum of Anthropology Private Guided Tour

Our March 8, 2017 our SAQA group will be meeting at the Museum of Anthropology for a private tour with the curator of the exhibit “Layers of Influence: Unfolding Cloth Across Cultures”.

Time: 10:30 (participants must arrive by 10:15)
Admission Cost: Group rates:
                Adults $16.00
                Seniors (65+) $13.00
                First Nations guests are free of charge.

Cost of Tour: SAQA members $5.00
                         Guests may register after February 15, 2017 for a cost of $10.00, if space is available.

To register please pay the total amount to Karen Johnson
#316 5360 205 St.
Langley, B.C.
V3A 7Y6

Arrangements regarding a group lunch will be made later.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

2017 Trunk Show -- Samples to Inspire

Over a month ago in this space, we posted about the SAQA Trunk Show and the opportunities it afforded for trying on techniques, for getting exposure for your work, for automatic acceptance (no jury) and for having some fun.

Now, however, The End Deadline is Near!  That's right, colleagues!  If you've been procrastinating about entering this every-three-years opportunity -- you have a mere four days (and a few hours) left.  The deadline for your online entry is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on November 30 -- which translates to 8:59 p.m. Pacific, 9:59 p.m. Mountain and 10:59 p.m. Central Standard Time.

Soooo...if you're needing a bit more inspiration, here are a few examples from your SAQA WC colleagues who've already submitted their entries...

From B.C., Terry Aske:

Croatian Door (C) 2016
Terry Aske
Terry's statement about her piece:
While visiting Croatia, I took a photo of this small rustic door, tucked under a flight of well-worn stone steps, and set deeply into a rough rock wall. The passage of time can be seen in the shape and surface of the door. I wondered: how old is it; what history has it seen; what might be behind it?
Techniques:  Digital image, computer enhanced, then printed on fabric.  Rock surfaces machine-quilted through one layer of batting.  Grout and door quilted through two layers, resulting in a dimensional trapunto effect.

From Alberta:

Margaret Blank, Mirror:

Autumn Colours (C) 2016
Margaret Blank

Margaret's statement about her piece:
I was inspired by the trees and the sky on the Central Alberta prairies in late September found in the view from my back lane.  Yes, the sky here is really that blue!

Marie McEachern, Calgary:

Off the Grid (C) 2016
Marie McEachern

All Marie would divulge is that she hand-dyed the fabric...

Mary Wilton, Camrose:

Ireland View (C) 2016
Mary Wilton

Mary was a painter before she was a quilter, and when she discovered painting on fabric...she became an art quilter.  She is now developing an entire body of work with painted backgrounds.  Mary took a quilting tour to Ireland last spring, which was the inspiration for this piece.

Okay; now you have your inspiration!   Translate a photo; go abstract; add surface design; paint a background -- it's your turn!

What are you waiting for?!                         


This is my last post as Editor of the SAQA WC least, for the foreseeable future.  I am handing the reins on to Val Wilson, Co-Rep for MB/SK...with my blessing.  Please give her your support, and send her your news to share with your SAQA WC colleagues.  You can reach her at

I want to thank each and every one of you, SAQA WC colleagues, for your support, your feedback, and your faithful readership over the past three years as I served you in the Region.  I have no idea what's next for me in the SAQA world, beyond making a modest contribution to the Region's first-ever Regional Retreat in West Kelowna in May...but I welcome whatever comes!

Should one of you in Alberta decide you might be able to manage being Co-Rep here for a couple of years (the term is really only two years; I stayed on one more for a variety of reasons)...please get in touch with either Coleen Adderley (B.C.) or Val (as above)...or with SAQA Reps Coordinator Desiree (Desi) Vaughn. (Please note that my job as blog editor was by choice; it's not a requirement of whoever serves in Alberta! LOL!)

There is Co-Rep training provided as well as a manual and other materials -- and I have a box of goodies to pass on that I'd love to get out of my back room! ;-)

May SAQA continue to excite, educate and inspire you to show your work within the organization and elsewhere.  May you continue to use the opportunities it offers to build your confidence and skills as textile artists...and may you always remember that you whatever you contribute to any organization, you receive in return, many times over.

See you in West Kelowna in May, God willing! 'Bye for now!

At the opening of Western Threads
"Meet the Best of the West" Exhibit
Royal Alberta Museum, April 2014

In Memoriam for a Colleague

SAQA Atlantic Canada posted this today:

We lost our good friend and SAQA Atlantic member Susan Tilsley Manley one week ago.

Anne Morrell Robinson created a small quilt as a tribute to Susan. 

Release by Anne Morrell Robinson 

Release by Anne Morrell Robinson of Margaree Valley, NS

 AMR: "Release" is a tribute to Susan Tilsley Manley and depicts some of her favourite things; crows, bubbles, flowers, and being able to celebrate who we are.

Anne's quilt will be part of SAQA Atlantic's upcoming regional trunk show. Read more about Anne Morrell Robinson on her website, Kingross Quilts

Read more about Susan Tilsley Manley, Artist and Maker of Things, here.

A tribute to Susan and her artwork will be published on our blog in the coming weeks.

Detail - "You've Got Mail"
Susan Tilsley Manley
I never met Ms. Manley but was introduced to her work when I saw her piece, "You've Got Mail" at the Opening of My Corner of the World: Canada in Stratford in May of this year.  At that time, former Co-Rep for SAQA AC, now Board  member, Chris Nielsen, told us that Ms. Manley had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour and had months to live.

Her piece touched my heart because it spoke of the demise of rural post offices and mail delivery, which is a sore spot out here on the rural Central Alberta prairies, as it is in many areas across our land.

Please hold Ms. Manley and her family in your thoughts and prayers at this sad time.  Canada and the SAQA community have lost a talented artist and self-described "Maker of Things".  

May you rest in peace, Susan.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Photo 2 Fibre: A New Call for Entry!

B.C. Co-Rep Coleen has received this request from SAQA member Brigitte Red, who is also a member of the Board for Gallery Vertigo, the sponsor of this non-SAQA Call for Entry.  The Gallery would like to expand its response for this annual exhibition, so this is open today for your consideration.  Thanks for sharing this, Coleen and Brigitte!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Now On in Manitoba!

Former SAQA Western Canada Co-Rep for Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Dawn Piasta, has just opened a solo show in Hamiota, Manitoba!  (40 minutes' drive -- or so -- north of Virden; just over 3 hours' drive east/northeast of Winnipeg...)

Dawn's shared a photo of some of the pieces in the show...

Titles on show include: Something Fishy, The Walk to Water, She Reclaims Her Voice, Waterhen Mermaid, Halls: An Unexpected Gift, Waterhen's Special, and Rainbow Road.

Note the date of the "Meet and Greet", which is near the end of the show: November 26, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

If you're in the area, please do drop by to see it...and celebrate with Dawn.

Alberta-based SAQA Artists Now on Exhibit in Lacombe!

In my previous post, I mentioned that the TREX (Travelling Exhibit) from the Alberta Society of Artists was coming to Lacombe.  I had a little bit of time there Saturday evening, on my way to the theatre, so stopped in for a look and took photos.

I found myself having to dodge some children who were running around in the area (the gallery is in a wide hall on the main floor near the ballroom, where a wedding reception was beginning), so please excuse some of the angles and a bit of blurring.  (I am a 'point and click' photographer and was using a Canon Power Shot A2600.)

There are only three artists in this exhibit, and two of them are SAQA members: Margie Davidson of Edmonton and Diane Duncan of Calgary.  This exhibit remains at the Lacombe Memorial Centre till December I hope to get back again to view it more slowly and carefully.

Perhaps these photos will entice SAQA members -- especially those in Alberta -- to do so too. (NOTE: The exhibit moves to Belgravia School in Edmonton thereafter, showing from December 14 through January 18.  School venues are a bit more challenging to enter, as you need to contact the school to confirm your visit, and during this period of time in particular, remember that schools will be closed for the "Holiday Season".)

First, from Margie:

Tom's Ties - 2016
Machine pieced and quilted

A Sampler - 2016
Hand-painted, stamped,
hand-stitched, machine quilted

And a trio, together entitled "A Sense of Place", in a seasonal palette:

Backyard Ferns - 2016
Sun-printed, machine quilted, hand-stitched

Canada Maple Leaves - 2016
Sun-printed, machine quilted, hand-stitched

Edmonton Elms - 2016
Sun-printed, machine quilted, hand-stitched

Now, from Diane:

Grandma Bella - 2016
Assemblage, fabric collage, quilting,
crochet, embroidery

Granny Alice - 2016
Assemblage, fabric collage, quilting,
crochet, embroidery

Mom Evelyn - 2016
Assemblage, fabric collage, quilting,
crochet, embroidery

Dad Ernie - 2016
Assemblage, fabric collage, quilting,
crochet, embroidery

Please note that in the second floor gallery of the same venue, Margaret Blank's Mark on the Body: Honouring Those Who Live with Type 1 Diabetes is up through Wednesday.  If you are in Lacombe before November 17, you can see both exhibits in the same venue, at the same time.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Coming Up in Alberta This Week -- and in November

Opening Reception in Lacombe

Alberta member Margaret Blank's three-part installation, Mark on the Body, is now on exhibit in the second floor gallery (visible from the foyer) of the Lacombe Memorial Centre - 5214 - 50 Avenue, Lacombe, Alberta.

The Opening Reception and Artist's Talk for exhibit will be held in that gallery at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26.  Margaret will be signing and selling copies of her book of the same title, with all proceeds going to Type 1 Diabetes research (JDRF Canada) and education (Canadian Diabetes Association).

TREX* Comes to Lacombe

The Ties that Bind exhibition, which began travelling in September as part of the Alberta Society of Artist's TRavelling EXhibits program, features the work of four contemporary Alberta artists who, through needle and thread, explore our ties to the past, present and future and to the ‘family’ of man. 

Alberta members Margie Davidson and Diane Duncan are two of those artists; currently on show at the Darwell School, Darlwell, Alberta (through November 2), yours truly will get to see their work in The Ties That Bind when it moves to the Main Level Gallery of the Lacombe Memorial Centre, November 9 through December 7.

From Lacombe it moves on to Belgravia Elementary School, Edmonton, Alberta, from December 14 through January 18, 2017.

On the Wind Coming to Camrose

Wind Play, Wind Power
Mary Wilton
On the Wind is a touring exhibit mounted by Western Canada's Fibre Art Network, and for the month of November, it will be on show at the Chuck Maclean Arts Centre, 4809 - 52 Street in Camrose, Alberta, installed by  Alberta SAQA and FAN member Mary Wilton and her associate, Jane Cherry Lemire, Arts Director of the Camrose Arts Society.  The Opening Reception will be Saturday, November 5, from 1 - 3 p.m.

SAQA WC members participating in this exhibit include Terry Aske, Helene Blanchet (now relocated to Atlantic Canada), Joyce Brown, Margie Davidson, Diane Duncan, Dianne Firth, Jaynie Himsl, Karen Johnson, Judy Leslie, Judi MacLeod, Terry Phillips, Susan Selby, Katie Stein Sather and Mary Wilton.

Mary will also be teaching her workshop, "Fibre Art Creations", on November 18 and 19 to introduce techniques for painting on fabric.  For more information or to register for the workshop, please click HERE.

*Editor's Note: TREX was also the program through which our successful exhibit, The Burgess Shale, curated by former Alberta Co-Rep, Patti Morris, travelled Alberta from September 2012 through August 2014.  The Burgess Shale now has a permanent home a the Burgess Shale Interpretive Centre in Field, B.C. 

Missing Quilts!!!

In a recent post, we shared that Katie Stein Sather and Karen Johnson of B.C. were mounting a new exhibit in Vancouver this month.

The show was hung a week ago in the Unitarian Church, 949 - W. 49th Avenue, Vancouver.

When Katie and Karen arrived for their Opening Reception their horror, several pieces had gone missing!!!  Katie has posted these photos on Facebook, and thankfully the post has been shared by several hundred viewers.  For those of you not on FB, please keep your eyes open for these beautiful -- stolen -- pieces of artwork in the Vancouver area in particular:

(L) Two Paddles - Katie Stein Sather
(R) - work by Karen Johnson (title not provided)

Alberta Poplars - Karen Johnson

(L) (Title not provided) - Karen Johnson;
Centre - C'est l'aviron qui nous mene - Katie Stein Sather;
(R) - Three Paddles - Katie Stein Sather

Manitoba Poplars - Karen Johnson

(L) Mud Bay - Karen Johnson;
(R) - Alouette Stump - Katie Stein Sather

Katie has reported that the pieces were all still in place on Tuesday, but appear to have gone missing sometime Wednesday or Thursday.   There were pieces hung in the Sanctuary which were untouched; the missing pieces were taken from the exhibit in the Parish Hall, which is across the atrium from the Sanctuary.  If anyone has any information, please contact Hunter, the church's office administrator.

Contact information:

Tel.: 604.261.7204, Ext. 224 - Congregational Administrator


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

SAQA Members "Travel" to La Conner with FAN

In a recent blog post, we shared the information that Alberta SAQA member Margie Davidson, whose piece, "Remembering" is part of the Ekprhastic exhibit recently debuted by FAN -- Fibre Art Network, the Western and Northern Canadian fibre art co-operative.  Of course, Margie isn't the only SAQA member who is also part of  FAN... :-)

B.C. SAQA -- and FAN -- member, Judy Leslie, has shared the wonderful news that this exhibit is now up at the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum for an extended time -- through the end of this year.  The Opening Reception is Saturday, October 15, at 2 p.m.

Congratulations to all the participants!  

From British Columbia...

The Edge of the Pond
Terry Aske
Mindful Shadows
Gloria Daly

Seasonal Forlorn
Donna-Fay Digance

Woodsmoke and Whiskey
Marcy Horswill

Remembering Our Stories
Karen Johnson


In Praise of Shadows
Judy Leslie
A Moment in Time
Judi MacLeod

Pippa Moore
October's Fragile Beauty
Terry Phillips

There is a Season
Katie Stein Sather

From Alberta

Winter Sprites
Joyce Brown
Call for Redemption
Alison Cowitz

Margie Davidson

The Promise
Diane Duncan

Poem on the Stairs
Dianne Firth

Visitors at Dawn
Mary Wilton

From Manitoba

Winter Deer
Dawn Piasta
Winter Deer
Susan Selby

From Saskatchewan

My Turn
Jaynie Himsl

To see all of the pieces in the Ekphrastic exhibit -- if you can't get to La Conner -- click HERE.

Thanks again to Judy Leslie and Co-Rep Coleen Adderley for forwarding the photos.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

SAQA's 2017 Trunk Show: An Opportunity to Create and Educate

Detail, Circle Play - M. Blank, Alberta
from "This is a Quilt!" Trunk Show, 2011-2013
Commercial & hand-dyed cotton, sequin waste

Very shortly, I'll be submitting my third contribution to the SAQA Trunk Show.  Since 2011, I've used this travelling exhibit as a vehicle for experimenting with an idea, for playing with shapes, colours and materials -- and it's been a lot of fun.

It wasn't until I worked with a SAQA Trunk -- one of eight filled with pieces created to celebrate SAQA's Twenty-fifth Anniversary -- that I really understood the Trunk Show's other purpose: public education.

Alberta Debut - Red Deer -
November 2014
In the fall of 2013, then B.C. Co-Rep, Katie Stein Sather, booked a Trunk to come to Western Canada the following spring.  The trunk toured in B.C. from June through October, and then came in to Alberta before moving East to Manitoba, then back to B.C. and Alberta, where it ended it's year-long Western Canadian tour at Quilt Canada 2014 in Lethbridge.

While it was here in Alberta I was able to get some photos.  The first stop was the Central Alberta Guild in Red Deer, with thanks to members Wendy Greber and Patti Morris for helping me arrange this.

There was a similar fascination with the pieces at the Sylvan Lake Guild...

But not everyone was enthralled, and I overheard a couple of quilters distinctly unimpressed with this "art stuff".

Ah well... You can't win 'em all!

In Cochrane in May, there was modest enthusiasm, though one of their own -- Karen Jurek -- is a SAQA member who has a piece touring in Radical Elements.  I'd just returned from the Portland Conference and had with me the catalogue of that exhibit, which was well received indeed.

The final stop at Quilt Canada was a three-day affair, and the booth was full much of the time.  I am thankful to SAQA WC members, Coleen Adderley, Jaynie Himsl, Karen Johnson and Val Wilson for spelling me off at the booth even though many of them were also working at the Fibre Art Network booth immediately behind the Trunk Show booth.

These photos were taken of the booth before the show opened -- after that, there were too many people in there!

Half the pieces here

Half the pieces there

SAQA materials for sharing

In each and every venue, the fascination, the curiosity, and the surprise on the faces of viewers -- quilters and non-quilters alike -- was fun to watch.  Though the pieces are wrapped in clear envelopes so they can be picked up and examined. people had to be encouraged to do so because folks aren't used to being able to handle artwork this way.

Therein lies a great "plus" for Trunk Show participation: your work gets "out there" into the public eye, shown around the world to those who share your passion, those who might want to make art with textiles but are hesitant, and those who've not seen much artwork at all, ever.

The next SAQA Trunk Show will be rolled out at the Conference in Lincoln, NE in April 2017.  Everyone who is a SAQA member can participate; there's no jury and no entry fee.  The only cost is shipping the piece once its entered.  Your piece can also be offered for sale.  The pieces tour for up to three years, and receive wide exposure, travelling to such places as Taiwan, Australia and Europe -- not to mention around the U.S. and Canada.

This year to encourage participation, SAQA has initiated a Regional competition.  At the Conference the Trunk Show pieces will be displayed by Region -- and the Region that has the highest percentage of contributors will win $250 USD to put toward a Regional event -- such as a Regional Exhibit, Regional Retreat or Regional Conference!

Let's show our stuff, Western Canada!  For full information about the 2017 Trunk Show, and to see its prospectus, click HERE.  And thank you for your support!

Detail, Tree Study III - M. Blank, Alberta
25th Anniversary Trunk Show - 2014-2016
Commercial cottons, acrylic paint, dryer sheets