Monday, August 12, 2019

ON NOW in the Gulf Islands

It opened on July 25, but this exhibit by the members of Island Textile Artists (ITA) will be up through August 30 -- in the front lobby gallery of Artspring, Salt Spring Island.  SAQA WC member Karen Selk has a piece in the exhibit, so if you're travelling 'round the Islands in the next few weeks, do try to stop in!

Artspring is located at 100 Jackson Avenue, Salt Spring Island, B.C.

Karen tells us she also has a piece in an exhibit entitled Connections coming up in Arizona in October, so stay tuned for more about her work. 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

"All Things Must Pass"...

A reminder from Co-Rep Susan Selby:  Grand National 2019 is currently on exhibit in Portage la Prairie, MB.  The Exhibit closes August 10 so if you're in the area and want to see it, now's the time!

Still in Manitoba?  Articulation's current exhibit, Connected Heritage, including work from SAQA WC members Lesley Turner and Wendy Klotz, is on in Gimli through September 2.

But if you are in central Alberta, and want a road trip up to Camrose, you can visit a variety of locations there for their 2019 Art Walk.  SAQA WC members Mary Wilton and Margaret Blank have pieces in Section 1 of this two-part event -- currently showing at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre through August 11.  Section 2 of this event opens on August 15.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Carefully Curated Collections

In recent months, browsing around Facebook, I've come across memes that describe yarn and or fabric stashes as "carefully curated collections".  Given that they are bouquets of colour, texture and inspiration, I'm not the least surprised!  Doesn't a "c c c" sound so much more artistic than a stash?

That said, to truly put together a collection -- to convey a theme through gathering a selection of art work or by commissioning a group to create one -- isn't always as easy as all that.  It takes time, effort and thought -- not to mention, in the case of a themed commission, the challenge of creating it from the ground up!

Articulation Textile Group, including SAQA WC members Lesley Turner and Wendy Klotz,  recently mounted a new collection of work entitled Connected Heritage, at the New Iceland Heritage Museum in Gimli, MB.

This exhibit began when the group visited the area in 2016 for its annual study session...and the results are now ready for the public to enjoy and ponder through Labour Day, September 2.  Lesley describes her experience with this project on her blog -- with links to earlier posts about the study session -- and Articulation's own website has additional insights posted HERE.

Meanwhile, SAQA members can once again try their hand at creating their own Carefully Curated Collection -- using the artwork contributed to the SAQA Benefit Auction for 2019.  Anyone can challenge him/herself to assemble a Dream Collection -- what one might want to collect for one's home, office or studio, if money were no object.

Several members have done so already (including yours truly)...and at least four of the Dream Collections include work from SAQA WC members!

Look for these...

  • "All Margarets" created by Margaret Phillips;
  • "Trees" created by Sue Rasmussen;
  • "Marvelously Minimal" created by Connie Griner; and
  • "Nature" created by Rebecca Richard-Shupert.
See if you can find the work of your colleague(s) in each one -- and be inspired to create a Dream Collection of your own!

This year's Auction begins online on September 13 with the Diamond Day, and runs through October 6.  Whether or not you manage to snag your favourite piece for real, can always create an entire collection of your dreams!  

Monday, July 15, 2019

Getting to Know Susan

In her June Newsletter, our B.C. Co-Rep, Jennie, introduced a new Co-Rep for our SAQA WC Region -- Susan Selby (MB/CA).  At last!  😊  Jennie's been working hard, flying solo for several years now, so it's great news for the Region that for at least the next ten or eleven months, she'll have a "partner in crime", so to speak.

You can see Susan's smiling face in the left-hand side-bar of the blog (scroll down).  To go along with her photo, I asked her to share a bit about herself for blog readers.

She reports that "[she's] lived most of her life on the Canadian Prairies and draws inspiration from the prairie landscape – the local skies, fields, valleys and forests provide the scenes she photographs and interprets in fabric."  She grew up in Thunder Bay, ON, where she still has family, but she's currently residing in Springfield, MB -- just east of Winnipeg.  Susan says she believes this makes her the Eastern-most member of SAQA WC.

Like many of us, Susan began working with fabric by sewing garments and home decor items, moving first into traditional quilting and then into art quilting.

Inspired by the landscape around her home, much of her work features the trees and forested areas of the prairies.  She uses a wide range of fibre materials and techniques to achieve the effects of her work -- preferring to create her own fabric surfaces and colours with dye, paint, stamps and stencils, and incorporating cottons, silk, cheesecloth and assorted found textiles.  Her current favourite?  "...well-used damask tablecloths and used napkins"!

Susan reports that she makes work almost every day -- though it's harder to manage in the summer, when, as for so many of us, the outdoors beckons.  Still, she says she "...feels a little lost" if there's nothing on her design wall or under her needle.  Ah...Susan!  We hear you on that score!  

Her goals include learning techniques that will "...give [her] work more depth", and, although she has work in private collections in Canada, the U.S. and overseas, she'd like to  "...[have] more of [her] work out in the world so more people can see it."  

To that end, she's thrilled to share that she's just had one of her pieces accepted into SAQA's Global Exhibit, Upcycle!, which premieres at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX this fall.  She is one of just three Canadians whose work was selected for this exhibit, and joins SAQA WC member, Paula Jolly, as part of that trio.  Congratulations, Susan!

Here are two pieces Susan has shared to show examples of her work:

Drifted Snow

Springtime in a Prairie Forest

You can see more of Susan's work in the photo gallery on her Facebook page.  And you can contact her via Facebook or by e-mail.

AND if you're able to attend, you'll be able to 'meet' Susan through the wonders of technology at our online SAQA Western Canada first-ever Zoom meeting on Sunday, August 18th!  Remember, the meeting starts at 1 p.m. in B.C., which is 2 p.m. in Alberta and Saskatchewan and 3 p.m. in Susan's home province, Manitoba.  And again, details of how to set up Zoom on your computer can be found here. You can also call in by phone if you’d prefer not to use the computer. Jennie will send out a reminder closer to the date and please email her if you need help with the technical details of how this works.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

New Online Workshop -- from Janet Scruggs!

B.C. SAQA member Janet Scruggs wants to share her new online workshop with you!  She writes:

Have you ever wanted to create your own designs?
Does it seem daunting, maybe even impossible - you have no idea where to start?
Introduction to Design workshop will teach you several methods for creating designs. Methods which can be used over and over again to create original designs from any source of inspiration. You will find that not only is it easy, but it’s fun!
The workshop is comprised of 6 modules. These include warm up exercises and design exercises to lead you in creating a minimum of 14 of your own original designs.
It also covers the elements of art, design principles, interpreting your designs in textiles and stitch, material considerations, theme and technique based designs. The workshop uses both video and print materials.
You will learn how to use many types of inspiration with different techniques to produce original designs. 
For example, how did I go from the inspiration on the piece of linen (left) to the bird design (right)? It may seem impossible, but one of the methods we use in this class will show you how!
Inspiration: Block-printed linen
"L'Orage" (The Storm) designed by
Eric Bagge (1929) and
manufactured by Lucien Bouix

Design: Reverse applique and stitched bird on microfibre
cleaning cloth, using dyed, inked and foiled Lutradur (R),
shisha mirror and commercial trim.

$75 CDN includes unlimited access for 6 months. In our classroom, you can upload photos, chat and email privately or with the group. All notes are printable.
 Next online start date is June 21, 2019.
Sign up for Introduction to Design by emailing me at:

Friday, May 24, 2019

There's Still Time!

And there's still space...

If you want to see spectacular art work and hear about the artist's creative inspiration and approach, you can still attend Mary Pal's Trunk Show on Thursday evening, May 30 -- a mere 6 "sleeps" from now!

Morning Conversations - (C) Mary Pal

2115 Urbana Rd NW, Calgary, AB

Thursday, May 30, 2019
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

$15 at the door 
In Advance!


Lighthouse Keeper (C) Mary Pal

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Advance Notice!

As you're rushing to finish your SAQA Benefit Auction 2019 piece and get it in the mail so it will arrive at the curator on or before June 1...

Here's some News from Rep Jennie Johnston, in advance of her regular Newsletter. 

First, Jennie's creating a new feature for the Newsletter and asks...
Would you consider sharing a short statement about your art and inspirations and a few photos for the newsletter? If you would, please email me at the address below* and I will send you a short set of questions to answer.
This is another way we can get to know each other despite the distance between us. I plan to start this feature in the September Newsletter. We all want to know about you and what you make! So please consider sharing with us.

Second, she asks that you...

For a...

Western Canada Regional Meet-up Over Zoom

We are lucky to have access to technology that can let us meet each other despite the distance in our region. 

for Sunday August 18, 2019 
1 p.m. in BC
2 p.m. in Alberta & Saskatchewan
 3 p.m. in Manitoba
 our first regional zoom meet-up!

This is a meet and greet, where you can log in to Zoom, and chat with other Western Canada members. We will have a chance to introduce ourselves, share about our art quilt practice and chat in a relaxed atmosphere. Consider this meeting to be informal and you can drop in any time during the hour and a half.

Details of how to set up Zoom on your computer can be found here. You can also call in if you’d prefer not to use the computer. 

Jennie will send out a reminder closer to the date and please email her (see e-mail address above) if you need help with the technical details of how this works. 

Again, the link to "All About Zoom" is

It's on my calendar!  How about adding it to yours?  "See you" on line!  😊

Friday, May 3, 2019

A New Class from Valerie Wilson! TIME LIMITED!

Val has been creating all sorts of wonderful classes to share her love of vintage portraiture-in-cloth.  Here are details about her newest offering.

That said, if you're interested, you have to ACT FAST because there's a VERY short registration window!

Valerie at work, assembling a figure...

  • Interested in learning more about creating fabric portraits and capturing your memories? 
  • Want to create a fabric portrait of a friend, or family member, but don’t know where to start? 
  • Are afraid of not being able to create a good likeness of someone in a portrait?
  • Unable to figure out how to do the values (light and shadow) in a portrait?
  • Or just wanting to try something new?

Val can help!  Join her Facial Expressions workshop now!

Registration is OPEN and the workshop starts May 6, 2019.
See all the details HERE.

Space is limited, so register now, so that you don't miss out!   

Val will only be taking 16 students. This ensures that she will have enough time to support and encourage each one of you.

Registration closes at midnight May 5, 2019.

NOTE: Family and friends bonus!

Projects are always more fun when shared with a friend!

If you have a friend who would like to join in the workshop contact Val with their name and email and she will send you both a $15 off coupon to put towards the workshop!

 Val hopes that you can join her class!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Is it in the Mail Yet?

Or were you able to deliver it at the Conference in San Jose last week?

To what am I referring?  Your 2019 SAQA Benefit Auction quilt -- that's what!  😊

Yes, it's that time of year again.  The Call for these pieces seems to arrive earlier every year, but that's due in part to the fact that opportunities to show them at Houston or other special venues have earlier deadlines.

There's only one deadline left now, though: the June 1, 2019 received by date.

Looking through the quilts collected so far, I see that in SAQA WC, Jaynie Himsl is an early bird, with her piece, Pansy Patch:

And Karen Johnson is too -- with her piece, Skinny Strips #6:

Then there's our Rep, Jennie Johnston's piece, Ragged Soul, featuring one of her signature ravens:

while Judy Leslie has submitted her work, The Open Door:

Karlie Norris McChesney has contributed another one of her colourful geometrics, MO 4:

And Debbie Plett has submitted Moon Birds Dance, evoking West Coast native heritage:

Terry Rammell's piece -- for me, resembling sun and shade -- is entitled Traces:

Nancy Riemersma has chosen to remember those who have died in war, with her piece, We Remember:

Susan Selby has created this colourful and textural autumn piece:

Nine early contributions!  That's a great start!

Mine went in the mail this morning; it's from my Scotland Series:

Mac's Garden: A Tribute
to Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Margaret Blank   (c) 2019

There's still time -- one whole month -- but remember: it's a received by deadline and there is that Customs and Border Patrol to consider. 

What are you waiting for?!  😉

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Are You Up for a Challenge?

New from SAQA WC member, Val Wilson!

Click the link above to take this journey with Val, wherein you'll...
  • Learn about value and its importance in fabric portraits.
  • Gain confidence in choosing skin tone fabrics that look blended, rather than patchy.
  • Understand how the use of value creates the contours of the face.
Starts Friday, April 26!