Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Braggin' on the West!

This past weekend -- the Opening of the twin exhibits for My Corner of the World -- far exceeded my expectations...dreams...I kept wondering if I'd wake up and find it was all in my imagination.

The dual exhibit is wonderful.  Beautiful.  Well laid out.  Creative.  Colourful.  Touching.  Stunning.  Excellent.

And SAQA WC, you did us proud!

While I will post on my personal blog about pieces from other corners of Canada and the are some photos of  the Western contributions to "MCOTW: Canada" taken in situ, "up close and personal"...

First, my travelling companion, Jaynie Himsl of Weyburn, SK, with her piece:

Jaynie with Poplar Point
MCOTW: Canada
Stratford Perth Museum, May 21, 2016

Now the individual pieces which, once these begin to tour, you need to see to fully appreciate them:

Inside the Tipi - Terry Aske, B.C.
32" W x 42" L

It's Still About the Sky - Margaret Blank, AB
27.25" W x 23.5" L

Poplar Point - Jaynie Himsl, SK
23" W x 34" L

The Road Home - Paula Jolly, SK
29.5" W x 24.5" L

Downtown - Marie McEachern, AB
36.5" W x 30" L

Beaches #1 - Mardell Rampton, B.C.
27.5" W x 22.5" L

Looking Down - Janet Scruggs, AB
27.5" W x 21" L

The Museum had some challenges hanging so many pieces (81 in all)...and there were optical illusions along the wall with the ramp that allowed access from one level to another.  My piece and Jaynie's are along that wall; the way the brain works, there was some sense they were crooked, but Micaela assured us they'd been hung with a level...

And don't you just love the effect created by hanging a blue piece on a red wall versus one painted in a neutral colour?

Thank you to everyone who contributed...thank you to Bethany Garner (SAQA Central Canada, curator of MCOTW: Canada), thank you to Micaela Fitzsimmons (SAQA member, museum liaison, juror, and curator of MCOTW), thank you to Lisa Ellis, SAQA's new President...

I think it's been shown that SAQA can open an International Exhibit in any corner of the world...and it will intrigue, entertain and inspire any and all viewers. 

Stay tuned for it's eventual arrival in this corner of the world!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Make Art, Buy Art, Do Good!

It's the Mennonite Central Committee's Springfest 2016 in Winnipeg, MB!

Included in the three-day festival, which runs from May 27 to 29 this year is the Annual Quilt Show and Sale.  Manitoba member Cathie Ugrin will be displaying her Table Art at the show, which is being held at Ten Thousand Villages.  All proceeds from the show will go to support the work of MCC with the ECS Mother's Union Development Project in Sudan.

Here's a taste of what Cathie will have on offer:

Iris Musings

To see the beauty that's on the other side of each piece, you'll just have to go to the exhibit!  ;-)

For details, admission fees, times, and links to the full range of SpringFest activities, click HERE.

Monday, May 16, 2016

If You're Going to Stratford This Weekend...

An invitation to Exhibiting Artists for the concurrent

SAQA Exhibitions: 

My Corner of the World and My Corner of the World - Canada.

Stratford Perth Museum

The Exhibition Opening is May 21st, 2016 at the Stratford Perth Museum, 1-3 pm.

Exhibiting Artists Reception 
5-6:30 pm

THE Stratford Perth Museum and SAQA'S Representatives are excited to welcome the many exhibiting artists who are planning to attend the OPENING of MY CORNER OF THE WORLD and MY CORNER OF THE WORLD - CANADA Exhibitions - some traveling from as far away as Calgary and Texas.

The Invitation is open to our exhibiting artists, SAQA members, guests and friends.

Please join us for an evening reception after the museum closes to the public at 5pm. It will be an opportunity for artists and guests to spend more time together discussing their work and getting to know each other better.

Please note that this evening reception is in addition to the formal 'Opening' of the exhibition on Saturday afternoon from 1-3 pm at the Museum. Refreshments will be served. 

The reception will finish by 6:30 pm to accommodate visitors who have engagements in the evening, but of course you are welcome to stay longer and visit.

Please RSVP so that we can plan for this exciting event! 

Please contact or for information, Micaela Fitzsimmons, SPM Collections and Exhibits Manager, at

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Time to Make Bed Quilts

If you haven't made a bed quilt (or even a throw or a lap blanket) in a while, the time is now.  And if you have, it's time for more.  Dig into your stashes, recruit your long-arm buddies, and let's dig deep folks.

For more information and to donate tops, batting, time, pick-up locations, etc.:

Monday, May 2, 2016

On and Off Our Walls: Cathie Ugrin

It's been over a year since I posted under this banner, and I'm delighted to do so again!

Cathie Ugrin, a SAQA member from Manitoba, recently reported that her piece, Listen Softly, has been accepted into the Canadian Quilters' Association 2016 National Juried Show.  When I congratulated her, I asked her to share with us a bit about the piece, and here's what she wrote:

Thanks for asking me to send you info on 'Listen Softly'. 

It was created as a bit of respite after a very busy time for me; CRAFTED show at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in November and participation in one of our local studio boutique's December/ January show of 12 Small Pieces by 12 Artists for which I made 20 pieces just in case. 

I love the feeling of being sheltered and alone in our local forest in the middle of winter on a snowy still day so that is what inspired me. I am also always aware that the frozen ground I am walking on is just a blanket covering all that rich organic life lying dormant underneath. Basically, these concepts are what make the two parts of the piece. Then I added hundreds of small snowflakes throughout the light section of the 'phantom wood' and a glittering starry presence at the top. As I was making Listen Softly, I realized it met the criteria for SAQA's Tranquility and Turmoil exhibit so I did enter their Call for Entry as well as Quilt Canada's. Unfortunately, it was not accepted by SAQA but I am so pleased it is going to Quilt Canada.

Here's a photo of the piece plus a couple of detail shots:

Listen Softly

Back detail

Front detail

Cathie's Artists' Statement for her piece reads as follows:
Tranquility lives within the quiet still spaces of nature. Here among the trees of a phantom winter wood, a wondrous and mysterious presence glimmers down from above whilst the dormant layers of a vibrant, living earth lay below, sleeping under a dense, snowy blanket. Inspiration flutters down like countless luminescent snowflakes as imagination stirs. There is room here to shift the tensions and turmoil of life and breathe fully. A place to rediscover the innocence of peace. Freedom to pause and listen softly.

Congratulations on answering more than one Call for Entry with this lovely piece, Cathie, and for your acceptance at the NJS.  Best wishes for continued success!

What's happening On and Off Your Walls?  If you're working on a special project, or have exciting exhibit news to share, please contact Margaret (see sidebar), who's the current Blog Editor.  Thank you!

Introducing Tracie Maryne

Tracie Maryne is a new SAQA member living in Anmore, B.C.   She surprised me recently by writing to introduce herself and make sure that her name was on the Members' List in the blog's sidebar.  That's a first for this blog admin! (grin)

In return, I asked if she would share a bit about herself and her work with her SAQA Western Canada may I introduce Tracie, in her own words:
Like many my love affair with fabric started when I young.  My grandmother taught me how to sew on her old Singer foot pedal sewing machine making rag dolls and Barbie clothes.  Years later with the help of summer sewing jobs, I obtained a degree in Fine Arts, majoring in ceramic sculpture.  Twenty years later, with the passing of my grandmother, I found expression through making a memory quilt to honour her and what she had taught me.  One thing lead to another and I found my way back to fabric and a new creative quilts.   The move from creating ceramic tile wall pieces to fabric art quilts seemed like a natural transition: both are piecing together of parts to make a whole.  
Most of what I have learned about art quilting has been self-taught.   My main techniques are piecing, fused appliqué, thread sketching/painting and fabric painting.   I also like to take fabric to a 3-dimensional realm in making fabric vessels.  I often use photos I have taken in my travels through life, incorporate drawings I have done or just let my imagination run and play.  I always remain open to learn new techniques and use whatever works in order for the piece to say what I want it to say.   More often then not, my work incorporates a mixture of all of the above.    
My motivation comes from a need and love to create things.  My inspiration comes from mother nature, human nature and the world around me.  I try to express a symbolic narrative of the effect these have on my inner being and reflect it to other to see and hopefully feel something of what I felt.
My work has been shown in local galleries in the Vancouver Lower Mainland area, published in art quilt magazines and has been shown and won awards in national juried competitions.
And some examples of Tracie's work...


Blue Moon

Blog posts come and go...but for future reference, you can find this information about Tracie on our "Featured Members" page as well.

Thanks for sharing, Tracie!