Wednesday, March 30, 2016

More Than Colleagues

When I wrote "Why Go to a [SAQA] Conference?" and the series of posts on the Fiberlandia event in Portland last year, one of the reasons I mentioned was the opportunity to meet up with and make new friends.

It is a special blessing when at such a gathering of like-minded spirits, one meets a particular person with whom one just "clicks".  On the first full day, at the Reps' Meeting, I met Maggi Birchenough.  We sat next to each other much of day, and spent a great deal of time together over the course of the Conference.  Then we kept in touch...right through the devastating news of her cancer, to as recently as a few days ago, when I got confirmation she'd received my Easter card.

Not only a Co-Rep, Maggi was a key person posting to the Europe/Middle East SAQA Region's blog , and was working on having a SAQA Trunk Show for the Region -- asking about my experience with it here in Western Canada.

A talented artist, Maggi had her own blog, and also was a Resident Artist on the popular blog, "And Then We Set it on Fire", where she posted a series of surface design tutorials in July 2015.  

We'd hoped that I would be able to squeeze in a visit to her on the way up to Scotland on my trip planned for 2017...

So...why go to a Conference?

Margaret and Maggi
Portland, OR,
April 2015

Oh Maggi, I hardly knew ye...but I will miss you.
Rest peacefully, my friend.

The Doctor is IN

Dr. Sandra Sider, art critic, quilt artist, SAQA Past President and currently curator, Texas Quilt Museum, has asked us to share her latest offering: Creativity Workshop: Art Quilt Inspirations at the beautiful Stony Point Art-Space, Stony Point, New York, September 25 - 29, 2016.

The workshop was developed out of Sandra's critique workshops, written about in her Studio Quilt monograph series and illustrated in her new book, 1000 Quilt Inspirations.

The program will include exploring a variety of surface design/printing techniques, and one-on-one work with participants, evaluating their work and suggesting directions for developing each piece; thus, attendance will be capped at 12 attendees.

Quilters will need to bring materials with which to begin their pieces, plus sewing machine, supplies, tools and an iron.  All levels of quilters are welcome, but students must have a strong foundation in sewing and be knowledgeable about their particular sewing machines.

The Gilmor Sloane House - built 1856
Workshop Tuition: $500
Workshop Materials: $40
Accommodation: $450 - $775 (including all meals) - depending on type of lodging selected.

All amounts are in US funds.

In addition to the Art-Space, Stony Point offers scenic venues, peaceful gardens, a meditation space, labyrinth, working farm, library and gift shop.  Attending a workshop in this venue would make for a very special and creative holiday!

For more information and to register, follow this link to Stony Point HERE.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Alberta Quilt Project

Art quilters often come from a long-standing family quilting tradition...and know of or own quilts handed down in their families.  If you are an Alberta-based quilter with such a heritage -- or are interested in Alberta's quilting history -- this is for you...

with Lucie Heins,
Acting Curator, Western Canadian History

Lucie will be presenting a talk on Wednesday, March 23, about her work with  the Alberta Quilt Project.
  • Location: Royal Alberta Museum Theatre
    • 12845 - 102 Avenue N.W., Edmonton, AB T5N 0M6 
    • tel. 780-453-9100
  • Doors Open: 6 p.m.
  • Presentation Begins: 7 p.m.
  • Admission: FREE

Road Trip!


I'm so thrilled with this first event created by the Calgary-area SAQA POD, that I'm bustin' my buttons!  I'm planning to travel straight down the QE II Highway to Calgary to attend the opening.  It's time for a Road Trip!

An Alberta Member Brings Spring Sunshine

Orange (Detail)
Deborah Bray
Alberta member Deborah Bray of Calgary has been featured in the March 20th e-mail newsletter produced by Janine Vangool, Designer, Editor and Publisher of UPPERCASE magazine.

Founded by Ms. Vangool in 2009, UPPERCASE is a Calgary-based company that publishes books and a magazine "for the creative and the curious", introducing readers to products and services that "spark the imagination and inspire creativity".

Ms. Vangool saw Deborah's piece in 2015 when it was still a Work In Progress, and asked Deborah to share both photos of the piece and its back-story with readers in her latest e-mail newsletter, "All About YOU: Orange".

I had the pleasure of working with both Deborah and her friend and SAQA colleague, Leslie Barnes, when we spent a day at St. Albert the Great School in Calgary as "artist visitors" with the Burgess Shale Project.  (To see what happened that day in 2014, check the SAQA WC blog post HERE.)  Deborah's background in geology fueled her passion for this exhibit; along with Alberta member and former Co-Rep, Patti Morris, she was instrumental in arranging its donation to the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation for a permanent exhibit location.

Deborah is a valiant cancer survivor, and it was during a workshop at Wellspring for cancer patients in Calgary that she was inspired to create her "Orange" piece -- a ray of sunshine and hope.

Thanks, Deborah, for your inspiration and thank you, Leslie Barnes, for sharing the UPPERCASE article with SAQA Western Canada readers.

A Special Invitation

Hot off the press from Micaela Fitzimmons (Juror, MCOTW: International, Stratford Perth Museum) and Martha Sielman (Exec. Director, SAQA):

My Corner of the World: Art Quilt Exhibition

Stratford Perth Museum, Stratford ON
May 21 to September 5, 2016

A Fall Day in Westport
Joan Reive, Belleville, ON


Saturday May 21, 2016

1-3 pm

The Stratford Perth Museum and SAQA Central Canada welcomes the rest of SAQA -- it's Western and Atlantic Canada Regions and its International membership -- to the Premiere of the companion exhibits, My Corner of the World and My Corner of the World: Canada.

To quote Bethany Garner, Curator of My Corner of the World: Canada, from the SAQA Central Canada weblog:

Canadian and international artists interpret their “corner of the world” in this colourful exhibition of exquisite art quilts.

This 80 piece show was developed in collaboration with SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates). A two-part exhibition, it consists 40 pieces from SAQA Canadian member artists, and 40 pieces from SAQA International member artists.

The artwork includes representational as well as abstract pieces, portraying a wide range of interpretations of the theme – from the geographical to the meta-physical.

The Opening Reception will be held on Saturday, May 21, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. We are pleased to welcome Incoming SAQA President Lisa Ellis, as well as other SAQA Representatives, who will offer opening remarks.

Our SAQA Artists who have work in the exhibitions are certainly encouraged to join in on the festivities, as are all of our Canadian SAQA members, family and friends who are able to be with us in Stratford for the Opening event.

Let's make celebrating this remarkable Exhibition a very special time to thank each of you who participated in the Call to  Entry, and shared their beautiful work with the Juror and to enjoy the beauty of the art pieces as they begin their journey across Canada and beyond.

Looking forward to seeing many of you in May!

Image credit: Studio Art Quilt Associates
Art by Maria Shell, Judith Roderick, Gail Sims, Martha Ressler and Ellie Kreneck

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Celebrating Spring in B.C.

B.C. member Catherine Nicholls is having a busy time of it this month.  In addition to Whisperings, her collaboration with Anni Hunt, she has work in sure-to-be lovely exhibit opening this week in West Vancouver:

Do get out to see it if you can.  This brown-prairie gal has cherry blossom envy!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Meanwhile in Edmonton...

Dahlia Log Cabin Series:
Quilt #2 - Terri Illingworth
Two Calgary-area members, Terri Illingworth and Lynda Williamson, are participating in an exhibit at the Alberta Craft Council -- on now through March 26.

X3 is a collaboration by three groups invited to show the 'cutting edge of fine craft' in their work.  Terri and Lynda are members of Contextural Fibre Art Collective, one of the three groups involved in the exhibit.

Alberta member Mary Wilton and I took a road-trip up to Edmonton on March 4; X3 was but one of the three exhibits we enjoyed during a day filled with colour and artistic inspiration.

If you're in the Edmonton area -- or are able to drive up there before this exhibit closes on March 26 -- we encourage you to do so.  In addition to the exhibit, you'll find wonderful textile pieces for purchase in the Gallery Shop, including work by Edmonton member, Margie Davidson.

(For a peek at a few of the pieces we saw while visiting the ACC, visit my personal blog HERE.)

-- submitted by Margaret Blank, SAQA WC Co-Rep (Alberta)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Opening SOON in B.C.!

B.C. member Catherine Nicholls has passed on this information to share.  Catherine is collaborating with B.C. member Anni Hunt on this exhibit, which opens March 25:

The text in the body of the above photo reads as follows:
The eminent artist Emily Carr wrote about "whisperings...murmurings..." of the forest in her 1936 journal, reprinted in the book Sunlight in the Shadows - The Landscape of Emily Carr.  These words have inspired Anni Hunt and Catherine Nicholls to explore the wonders of the West Coast rain forest. In an all-new exhibition to be held from March 26 to May 15 at the Fibre Works Art Gallery in Madeira Park, these textile artists present their own observations and feelings for the stunning forest landscape.  Natural materials as inspiration and media have led these two to listen carefully to the "whisperings" of the forest and record what they hear.  
Visit Fibre Works Gallery for more information!

Oooh!  How this writer would love to see this one.  Thank you, Catherine!