Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Where Do We Go From Here?

It's cold enough to freeze your Winnebago!
Looking forward over the top of my computer screen I see a grey end-of-December afternoon, fingers of an intermittent "breeze" ruffling the brown leaves on the clematis vine and clattering the trellis hanging outside my window.

Looking backward over this past year in the Western Canada Region, though, there were many moments of inspiration, encouragement and creativity -- enough to warm my heart and send me into 2015 with a smile on my face and hope for another 'good enough' year.

Come into My Parlour...

SAQA's Regional Reps and Co-Reps are charged with trying to have at least one meeting -- a "Parlour Meeting" each year.  In a region the size of Western Canada, with vast distances between members and Reps, this is indeed a challenge.

  • Co-Rep Dawn lives in Dauphin, MB -- two hours' drive to Brandon, over 4 to Winnipeg, almost 5 to Regina, SK, 5 1/2 to Moose Jaw and 6 to Saskatoon.
  • Co-Rep Marg lives in Mirror, AB -- an hour to most of Red Deer, 1 1/2 or 2 to most of Edmonton, 2 1/2 to Calgary, over 4 to Lethbridge or Medicine Hat.
  • Co-Rep Katie lives in Maple Ridge, B.C., in what's referred to as the Lower Mainland -- less than an hour to Vancouver, not to mention the various cities and towns along the way -- but several more hours to get to the Island (including waiting for the ferry) and a good 9 1/2 hours to Prince George.
Nonetheless, a group in the Lower Mainland meets every two months for 'Show and Shine', and this group hosted a very successful weekend workshop, lecture and slideshow with artist Pat Pauly in October.  

Margaret managed to combine one Parlour Meeting (over lunch) with an intrepid group of members at a workshop with Susan Purney Mark in the midst of a September snowstorm in Calgary that felled trees and downed power lines.  At that meeting, members expressed a desire to continue to get together; member Marie McEachern has volunteered to organize a meeting as soon as she returns from her winter hide-away down south...some time in March.  Those in the Calgary area, please look Marie up in the SAQA membership directory and get in touch so she knows you're interested!

On tap for 2015...perhaps a local members' show in the Lower Mainland (ideas are forming), perhaps a meeting "down south" timed around Quilt Canada in Lethbridge (June), perhaps an online "Go to Meeting"...

Watch this space -- and read your Regional e-news to stay informed!

"F" is for 'Fascination'

2014 began with a reminder of the Call for Entry for the SAQA 25th Anniversary Trunk Show.  Section "F" of this show has been touring western Canada since Katie Stein Sather brought it into B.C. in June.  It's been here in Alberta since the beginning of November -- an apparent source of fascination for the three guilds to which its been shown -- Central Alberta (Red Deer), Stettler and Sylvan Lake.  There's one more stop -- Calgary on January 2 -- before it moves on to Manitoba to work its magic there.

Members fully engaged with the Trunk Show
Sylvan Lake Quilters' Guild, December 9, 2014

Where in the world is The Burgess Shale?  

This is the question I tried to answer in my regular Regional newsletters, and on the blog's "Networking" page.  Under the auspices of TREX and the Alberta Society of Artists, this all-Western-Canadian exhibit continues to tour the province.  Patti Morris kicked off the tour with her Artist's Visit to the first venue, Annie Gaetz School in Red Deer.  Hanne Seidl paid an Artist's Visit to the show during its stay at the Exshaw Public Library.  Leslie Barnes, Deborah Bray and I fired up an art class making fabric postcards when it toured at St. Albert the Great School in Calgary.

Best of all, at one of the venues it caught the serious attention of Mr. Godfrey Nowlan, a member of the board of the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation...who made introductions and got the ball rolling for the exhibit to move into a permanent home in Field, B.C.  A dream come true -- this will happen at the end of the TREX tour at the end of August, 2015.

Show and Shine -- Indeed!

Members across the Region participated in several art quilt exhibits this year -- whether with SAQA, the SDA (Surface Design Association), FAN (Fibre Arts Network), FFAA (Focus on Fibre Arts) or with guilds and/or groups in their home towns:

  • B.C. members -- including Kristen Rohr and Gloria Daly -- who belong to both SAQA and the Vancouver Island SDA -- participated in "Current Threads" at the Nanaimo Art Gallery in January and early February;
  • Margie Davidson of Edmonton had a solo exhibit of her installation, "Measuring a Year", at the McMullen Gallery, University of Edmonton, from late March through early May.
  • Ilse Anysas-Salkauskas, Diane Duncan and Wendy Klotz of Calgary participated in SDA Alberta's "What's on the Surface?" exhibit at Atlantis Framing and Art Studio, Calgary, in April.
  • "Meet the Best of the West" -- the first of SAQA WC's two touring exhibits, curated by Patti Morris of Red Deer, completed it's two-year tour with a four-month stay at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, as part of the collaborative exhibit, "Western Threads" which ran from April through the end of July.
  • At the Central Alberta Quilt Guild Show in Red Deer in early April, member Wendy Greber won a "Best of Show: Art/Innovative" for her piece featuring a beautiful rendition of aspen.
  • Karen Jurek's piece, "Cu Later", is part of the the SAQA exhibit, "Radical Elements", which opened at the Cafritz Foundation Arts Center, Silver Spring, Maryland, in May, and continues to tour.  It's next booking is at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., opening in April 2015 and running through September.
  • Several members participated in "Prairies" -- the 2014 Biennial Juried Show curated by the Focus on Fibre Arts Association out of Edmonton.  It toured venues in Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan before it closed at the end of November.  Contributing members included Anna Hergert (SK), Jaynie Himsl (SK), Paula Jolly (SK) and Margaret Blank (AB). 
  • In June and July, B.C. member Catherine Nicholls re-united with her UK partners, Linda and Laura Kemshall when as thr3fold, they held the exhibit "thr3fold: unfinished business" at FibreWorks Studios on the Sunshine Coast.
  • Diane Duncan of Calgary was a contributor to the Alberta Society of Artists' exhibit, "Self Portraits: Within the Artist", in the Northern and Southern Jubilee Auditoriums fro May through July.
  • In the fall the Quilted Mouse Guild of Calgary held a successful exhibit at the Fish Creek Library, including work by Calgary members Alison Cowitz, Diane Duncan and Trudy Cowan.
  • In October,  B.C. member Catherine Nicholls had work in "Wonderland", presented by the North Vancouver Community Arts Council.  
  • Seven members contributed pieces to the SAQA Benefit Auction for 2014: Marie McEachern (Calgary, AB), Terry Aske (New Westminster, B.C.), Patti Morris (Red Deer, AB), Jaynie Himsl (Weyburn, SK), Susan Purney Mark (Victoria, B.C.), Anne Rayner-Gould (Greenwood, B.C.) and Margaret Blank (Mirror, AB) -- and all pieces were sold successfully.
It's been a year full and rich -- and 2015 is bound to be another such year -- beginning with "Our Prairie in Fibre", an exhibit of almost 40 pieces of textile art curated by Saskatoon artist, Monika Kinner-Whalen, which opens January 16 in Saskatoon.  Participating SAQA WC members include Judith Panson (Lockport, MB), Jaynie Himsl (Weyburn, SK) and Rita St. Amant (Willow Bunch, SK).  Artists include quilters, thread painters, embroiderers, rug hookers, creators of wearable art, felters...If you're in the area, do go and see what looks to be a remarkable exhibit!

As to Membership...

Our numbers remain consistently between 88 and 90.  This year we welcomed these artists to SAQA Western Canada:

Between February and May:
  • Michelle Gibson, Calgary, AB;
  • Mary Ann Hardy, Nanoose, B.C.;
  • Trudy Jaskela, North Vancouver, B.C.;
  • Linda Kallos, Duncan, B.C.;
  • Anna-Maria Lawrie, Prince George, B.C.;
  • Anne Wise, Lake Country, B.C.
  • Trisha Joel, Gibsons, B.C.
  • Dianne Firth, Edmonton, AB;
  • Donna Herman, Saskatoon, SK
I hope I (Margaret) will meet several of you when I take the Anniversary Trunk Show to Quilt Canada in Lethbridge (June 4-6) -- if not at Fiberlandia in Portland, OR (April 30 - May 3). 

Best wishes to all for a healthy, happy, creative 2015!  
- Margaret, Katie and Dawn

Friday, December 5, 2014

A project note sent via Executive Director, Martha Sielman...

The author of the original request for support, Mary Moniz, contacted me first from an out-of-date e-mail list I was on when I belonged to The Applique Society chapter in Cochrane, AB.  I referred her to Martha Sielman as I didn't feel I had the authority to promote her project on behalf of all of SAQA.  (grin)  

Now Martha has referred it back to all the Canadian Regions, so I am passing it on to you, sharing the post directly from the SAQA Central Canada blog.  -- Margaret

                                                     ******     ******     ******     ******

Please respond to Mary Moniz directly if you are interested in participating as an artist in this project.....
(Martha has asked that all Canadian Representatives share the information with SAQA members in Canada who might like to be involved.)

Hi Martha,
You were referred to us by Margaret Blank, one of your members from Alberta, Canada.
I work for a family-owned and operated PR firm based out of Toronto and Montreal, and am writing to you today because one of our clients has amassed an all-star group of organizations to work together on a remarkable cause-related program in 2015. Together with our client, we've struck a deep-rooted partnership with the Canadians Aids Society (CAS) and the Elton John AIDS Foundation in an effort to run across Canada in 2015 educating Canadians on the new realities re: HIV/AIDS and raising money for related programs in Canada and developing countries. 
The initiative is in its final stages and we’re exploring opportunities with quilting organizations in creating a quilt to commemorate the run and to help raise funds for HIV/AIDS. We have reached out to the Canadian Quilters Guilds - for a chance to be part of the Canadian history and to seek their assistance/expertise in developing a quilt created for silent auctions. The quilt would travel across Canada with the runners and is the highlight of our relay.  
We’re hoping to find a way to enlist the support of your Canadian members in creating a 12’ x  12’ quilt by April 1st, 2015.
Not only will this quilt travel across Canada, provincial dignitaries and general public will be signing off on this quilt as well. In addition of this quilt being recognized as the nations 'first-ever' quilt designed for the Aids relay, the quilt will also find a permanent home at a designated museum.
Please know, right off the top, the extent to which we appreciate your time. I’d be grateful if you would consider chatting with me about this? Please feel free to contact me.
Thank you so very much.
Mary Moniz
Account Executive/Office Manager
Torchia Communications
Tel. : 416 341-9929 Ext. 221 / Fax: 416 946-1451 
Strategic Counsel in Public Relations / Conseils stratégiques en relations publiques
366 Adelaide St. East, # 337, Toronto/ON M5A 3X9

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Up-coming Mentorship Call!

SAQA's Education Committee announces an up-coming SAQA Webinar!

  • Feature: International Artists' Panel:
    • Alicia Merrett -- born and raised in Argentina; now living in the UK;
    • Barbara Lange - born and raised in Dallas, Texas; now living in Germany (site is in German); and
    • Ute Lenk - Germany (site is in English).
  • Subject
    • These artists will be sharing their art work and discussing how their art is influenced by where they live.
  • Date/Time: Tuesday, December 9 - 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Registration is limited, so to do so, click HERE (.Go To Meeting).  Never fear; if you miss the webinar 'live', it will be available within a few days afterward, as an online recording.

Alicia Merrett

Barbara Lange

Ute Lenk

Grand National 2015 -- A Call for Entry

Dwayne Wanner, Co-Rep for SAQA Central Canada, has asked us to pass along this Call for Entry for Grand National -- one of Canada's most prestigious quilt shows.  Open to all Canadian quilt artists, the theme for Grand National 2015 is "CONNECTIONS".

This Call is open through February 27, 2015; the Exhibit will run from May 10 through September 27, 2015.  Click HERE to find out more about this opportunity!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The 25th Anniversary Trunk Show -- Section F: It's Alberta Debut

After touring 'round British Columbia between June and the end of October (sorry, no photos provided at this writing), Section "F" arrived in Red Deer in time for the November 3 meeting of the Central Alberta Quilter's Guild.  Member Wendy Greber and I set the pieces up on two long tables at the side of the meeting room.  Joined by member Patti Morris, we sat near the display as the room filled for the Guild's regular business meeting.

Just before the break for refreshments, I was introduced by the Guild's President, and was able to say a few words about art quilts in general, SAQA, and it's mission.  Then it was the Guild members' turn to view the exhibit.  There was general hub-bub, lots of "oohs" and "aahs" and I was able to field some questions.  I had two dozen brochures with me and over half of them were picked up, along with some of my Rep business cards.  I hope this means there will be new members in our future!

Central Alberta Quilt Guild Membersline up to view Trunk Show "F" 
Special thanks to the Central Alberta Guild for supporting the Trunk show with a donation to defray the cost of shipping.

Confirmed bookings for the Trunk Show currently include Stettler (November 20), Sylvan Lake (December 9), Bow River Quilters, Calgary (Jan. 2, 2015) and Cochrane, AB (May 5, 2015).  

Negotiations continue re: the Central Alberta Quilt Guild Show (Red. Deer, April 3-4, 2015) and Quilt Canada (Lethbridge, June 4-6).  

January through March the trunk will be travelling into Manitoba and back to B.C. before it's final swing into Alberta and back to the U.S. (June 10).

If you are interested in having the Trunk travel to your neck of the woods for your art quilt group or local quilt guild, please contact your Co-Rep ASAP so that arrangements can be made.  Please be considerate of time frames for shipping and turn around times based on the above-mentioned bookings, however tentative those bookings may be at this time.

Thank you for your support!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pat Pauly Workshop and Lecture a Success in Langley, B.C.

Pat Pauly - website photo

Artist Pat Pauly brought her talent for improvisation, use of bold colour and unusual fabric combinations to a two-day workshop for SAQA members in B.C. on October 10 and 11, when she taught her "Cutting up the 'Pretties'" workshop.

SAQA WC Co-Rep (B.C.), Katie Stein Sather, reported that 17 or 18 of the 20 registered participants made it to the workshop proper, and 50 attended the Friday night lecture -- this, on the eve of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend!  Katie described the workshop experience thus:
We worked through some design exercises, first tearing up strips of calendar photos and glueing them on to 4" x 6" cards. Quickly, several of them. Then using a 5" x 8" card, using both paper and cloth, created a slightly larger one.  Then we enlarged our favourite using tracing paper and freezer paper (for patterns) to make into a cloth piece. 

Some loved the design exercises, but found the detail in the photos too difficult to render into cloth in the end. Some were able to translate it all well.
Thanks to member Jennifer Cooper for these photos, which illustrate what Katie described:

Pat's technique - making a 4" x 6" design from calendar pictures
This is Jan Kuyelka's sample

Karen Johnson, playing with her "pretties"
Jan K's freezer paper design
There was colourful fabric everywhere...

Judy Leslie's design wall
and chair...
and table...
and floor...
Pat's "selfie" taken the evening of her lecture captures the enthusiasm of the group that ran through the two-day artists' "date"...

At the Lecture with Pat Pauly (lower right corner)
Looks like a good time was definitely had by all!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SAQA Members In Successful Exhibit at Fish Creek Library

SAQA members Alison Cowitz, Diane Duncan and Trudy Cowan were part of a colourful exhibit that was shown recently in the light and airy space that is the Fish Creek Public Library in Calgary, AB.  The exhibit was sponsored by the Quilted Mouse Guild and hung in the library from September 8 through 27.

The theme for the show was a colour wheel challenge.  Each Guild member chose a colour (swatches from the work of Joen Wolfrom) and made a piece 16" W x 32" L (about 40 cm x 80 cm) to reflect their chosen colour.

Colour Wheel Challenge 1 - Unidentified artists

Colour Wheel Challenge 2 - Includes work of Diane Duncan

Colour Wheel Challenge 3 - Includes work
of Alison Cowitz and Trudy Cowan
Alison tells me that Trudy's white piece on the far right of the above photo was based on her work with our workshop presenter, Susan Purney Mark.

Here's some more work, including a large piece by Trudy:

And more by Alison and colleague, Marilyn Samuels

And encompassing the entire theme of this exhibit is this large piece by Vanecea Greene:

Thank you, Alison, Diane and Trudy, for sharing this show with the Region!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Still More To See

Catherine in Wonderland

For those of you who might not follow B.C. member Catherine Nicholls,  she has a piece in the exhibit "Wonderland" now showing through October 11 at the CityScape Community Art Space in North Vancouver.  Her piece is entitled "Jaberwocky" and she blogs about it -- and the opening reception last week -- HERE.

Where in Alberta is The Burgess Shale?

The Burgess Shale has begun its second year of touring with TREX under the auspices of the Alberta Society of Artists.  In order that some of the good folk in North-central and Northern Alberta get to see it, the exhibit will be travelling "up there" between now and the end of February.  It will then return to Southern Alberta for the remainder of its tour before it takes up permanent residence in B.C. near the site of the Burgess Shale excavation.
The Burgess Shale opened this tour September 3 at the Hinton Municipal Library, where it will remain through October 1.  October 10 through November 5 it will be on show at Peace River High School.  Additional tour dates can be found on our Networking Page.  If you have family and friends in these places, do let them know about the Project.  

Remember, though, if you wish to view it in a school setting, which is not generally open to the public, please contact the school and arrange an appointment in advance.  Thank you for your support!

Friday, September 19, 2014

"Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat Nor Gloom of Night..."*

*creed, US Postal Service

Shall keep determined artists from their workshop!

Shaganappi Community Hall -- without snow!
Eleven intrepid SAQA colleagues and friends drove carefully through heavy wet snow, by-passing fallen tree limbs, to attend our Calgary workshop with Susan Purney Mark on September 10th.  Another joined us later for the Parlour Meeting over lunch.

It was a time of learning, experimenting, and sharing amidst laughter and lively camaraderie inside the cozy log walls of the Shaganappi Community Hall in Southwest Calgary.

As the Co-Rep who initiated the event, I was blessed and thankful to have members Alison Cowitz, Marie McEachern and Helene Blanchet as my "feet on the ground" -- procuring the venue and helping with all the details of The Day -- including unexpected snow shovelling!

Susan led us in her "Colour It, Fuse It!" workshop...and the photos speak for themselves...

Susan PM introduces the workshop.

Starting to paint our fusible webs and inter-facings.
(L)-(R): Trudy, Diane, Marion Susan, Marie, Pat

Marion gets colourful with her fusibles,

Shalaya and Bush are focused!

During lunch, we had our SAQA Parlour Meeting.  Many of the participants had never met before the workshop, and were eager to get together and meet again in similar or smaller group(s).  Not having a formal "chapter" system like some organizations needn't be an impediment to meeting -- and members don't need a Co-Rep to be present! :-)  Ideally, though, Co-Reps will be kept informed about groups that form and what they are up to, so they can share information with the Region at large and with new members looking for a way to connect locally.  (Refer to the "May I Have a Word? Vol. 1, No. 2" article about the formal "Pod" system established by Co-Reps in Florida around major population centres.)

One Calgary member has offered to be a point person for a group there, with meetings starting in the spring (like many, she's a snow-bird)...and I know there are "clusters" who meet in various locales in B.C.  Why wait till spring?  Another issue of the newsletter will be going out soon...If you are interested in being "point person" for a small group where you are, contact me and I will forward that information on to the Region in the newsletter -- OR contact your Co-Rep (me in AB, Katie Stein Sather in B.C. and Dawn Piasta in SK/MB) so one of us can link you with members closer to home.

We ended off the lunch meeting with show and tell:

Trudy shows and tells us about her beautiful piece.
Susan's piece, A Bridge Between Equals
will be shown at  Quilts=Art=Quilts Schweinfurth Museum,
New York, November 1, 2014 - January 4, 2015
In addition to "Show" there was a "Tell" -- two bits of news from member Diane Duncan:

  • She has a piece included in the soon-to-be-released book, 1000 Quilt Inspirations! and
  • She and other Calgary-area SAQA members have pieces in a current exhibit by the Quilted Mouse Guild at the Fish Creek Library, 11161 Bonaventure Drive S.E., Calgary -- open Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sundays, noon - 5 p.m.  The venue is light, bright and airy, which shows off the artwork beautifully.  This exhibit runs through September 27, so if you're in the area, do drop by!

After lunch -- fusing with foil!

Susan introduces the foiling technique

Trudy gets the pressure just right.

Examples of our foiling fun.

Foiling was followed by a session using stencils and thermo-fax screens -- each one of us got to select one of each to try and to take home for further experimentation.

Throughout the day we were invited to shop for more delights -- hand-dyed fabric and threads, more thermo-fax screens, stencils, etc. -- in Susan's Workshop Store.  We could also sign up to receive her newsletter, "Design Notes".

Susan's Workshop Store
All in all, the day sped by...so that we forgot that out on the back of the Community Hall property, it looked like this...

Limbs down over the sidewalk near the drive to the hall.

Again I am thankful to the members who helped this day to come to pass, to Susan Purney Mark for her light-hearted and skilled presentation, and to the enthusiasm of the members who want to carry the ball for future gatherings to share their art, and their knowledge, establishing connections and making friendships that continue to grow and establish the art quilting community.

The final word is from Diane, who sent me this photo of her finished piece from the workshop.  She wrote:
It is off to the retreat as part of our exchange!  My theme for the show and tell is 'exploring abstraction'!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The 2014 Benefit Auction Opens Tomorrow!

Aspens in the Fall
Marie McEachern - Alberta
Monday, September 15, is the kick-off for the 2014 SAQA Benefit Auction.

Aspens in the Fall, contributed by Alberta member Marie McEachern, is in Section 1 -- the section for which online bidding begins tomorrow at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Modern Circles 3
Terry Aske - B.C.
Also in Section 1 is Modern Circles 3 from B.C. member Terry Aske.

A third in Section 1: Mountain Pass from Patti Morris of Alberta.

Mountain Pass
Patti Morris, Alberta
On the Grid from Saskatchewan's Jaynie Himsl is in Section 2 (opening September 22 and running through September 27), as is Flywheel from Susan Purney Mark of B.C.
On the Grid
Jaynie Himsl - Saskatchewan

Susan's Calgary workshop, Colour It, Fuse It! on September 10 was a great success -- despite the heavy, wet snow.  Almost a dozen intrepid students made it -- stay tuned for a blog post about all the fun!

Susan Purney Mark, B.C.

Yours truly's Reach for the Sky! is also part of Section 2
Reach for the Sky!
Margaret Blank, Alberta
while B.C.'s Anne Rayner-Gould contribution, Grey Sky, Bright Forest is in  Section 4 which opens for online bidding on October 27 and 28.

Section 4 is the section that will be available for in-person bidding at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX, October 29-November 2.  Congratulations Anne!!

Grey Sky, Bright Forest
Anne Rayner-Gould, B.C.

Be sure to take time to check out these and all the rest of the creative contributions to this year's auction.  Perhaps you'll be inspired to purchase one for your own enjoyment -- and to make one to contribute in 2015!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

By Chance -- Another Exhibit!

I continue to encourage members to send me information about exhibits and shows in which they're participating -- whether affiliated with SAQA or not -- so their work can be shared with all of us.  Sometimes, however, these things are brought to me serendipitously.   For example, I stumbled over this item from member Diane Duncan of Calgary while browsing Facebook this afternoon.

Diane's piece (the windmill, centre of the poster) is only one of what looks to be a fabulous exhibit of textile art by members of the Fibre Art Network (FAN).  If you happen to be in Duncan and area before it closes, do take it in!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Workshops and Exhibits

Susan Purney Mark
I know I sent out a newsletter earlier today...but to clarify: the date of the September Calgary workshop/Parlour Meeting -- featuring Susan Purney Mark -- is Wednesday, September 10 - at Shaganappi Community Hall.

Pat Pauly
The organizers of the Pat Pauly Workshop/Evening Talk (in Langley, B.C. in October) have advised that there are 2 spaces in Pat's class for interested parties!   Follow the link (above) for information.

And today the Alberta Surface Design Association (SDA) chapter has posted some wonderful exhibit information about up-coming and current exhibits.

Dana Roman has a solo exhibit opening in Canmore in late September and running only briefly -- Sept. 25 - October 7.
She works in acrylics, mixed media and textiles, creating silk paintings and semi-abstract landscapes (from her website).

The textile group Contextural has completed another ACAD residency and will be exhibiting the results in a show entitled "Organic Matters"
at various locations around the ACAD campus between August 25 and October 15th.  The opening reception is Sept. 4th at 6-8 p.m. on the ACAD Mall.  Check the SDA Alberta blog for details about both of these exhibits.

The 2014 edition of the SAQA Benefit Auction begins September 15th.  A selection of the submissions has been set up as a slide show (see the right-hand sidebar), but you can see all of these fine works -- including pieces from seven Western Canadian members -- HERE.

The Burgess Shale exhibit begins a new tour shortly -- check for an up-date as to locations and dates on our "Networking" page.  Members Deborah Bray and Patti Morris have been working with the folks at the site -- and it is a distinct possibility that this exhibit may be shown there after it finishes it's tour of Southern Alberta venues with TREX/The Alberta Society of Artists.  There may be a permanent home in store for this exhibit one day.  This would be an exciting outcome for the artists involved, for the SAQA WC Region and for SAQA and textile artists as a whole.  Stay tuned for developments!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mis(sed) Communications

Sigh.  As Robbie Burns would say, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft agley..."

Regional Reps and Co-Reps for SAQA have varying goals for their terms as your humble servants (grin). As some of you may remember, when I came on board as a Co-Rep for our Region in late October last year, I wrote a newsletter with the title, "May I Have a Word?"  Since then, I've put out 2 more volumes of MIHaW, and a few miscellaneous news mailings.   My goal is to improve the communications within the Western Canada Region.  Because our Region is so vast, this means using technology, for better or for worse!

Recently one of our members called to tell me the difficulties she was having receiving and/or reading the bulk e-mails I send out from time to time to update the Region on various events etc.  This service is provided to Regional Reps by SAQA, which updates and maintains the e-mail address records in the data base from its membership records.   This member is the only one from whom I've heard -- so far -- about the challenges of receiving the mass mailing.  (She has a MacBook Pro and iPhone. I have a PC with wireless internet service, and a land-line phone.)

Hoping to help her (and others out), I posted a query on the SAQA Reps' Yahoo group yesterday evening.  So far I've had little in the way of reply but one Rep did tell me that the person who called this to my attention is likely very definitely not the only one out there.  In her experience, there have been a variety of problems over the years, to the point where many Reps no longer use the SAQA mass e-mail service -- while others use it with impunity, and apparently no difficulties.

The issues have been raised with the tech people behind the scenes, she reported, but she has no idea if any have been resolved.  Typically, the issue isn't a simple one; these problems have a variety and combination of sources, such as:

  • The e-mail server being used by the member(s) doesn't communicate well with the server used by SAQA for this data base program. (@yahoo, @gmail and @hotmail -- all free e-mail servers -- tend to have particular problems; 'DOTedu' -- from educational institutions -- also sometimes has problems.)
  • The member may have significant security and firewall protection on his/her computer.
  • The Mac and the iPhone and/or Smart Phone may have problems unique to their technology.  The second Rep who responded to my query suggested that Apple users might visit their local "genius bar" for advice (found in Apple Stores).
You might be wondering, "Why don't I create an e-mail list and send out messages from my personal e-mail server?"  Well...I could do this -- but that means I have to make sure that every time I get a membership list update from SAQA, I go in and update the list.  Right now, the data base is maintained for Reps by SAQA and it's a piece of cake to use to send e-mail.

Keeping up a list on my own computer would not be an onerous task -- just time-consuming...but I'm prepared to do that if I hear from enough of you that it's what's needed to solve this problem and improve communications.

So here's the deal: if you are having trouble receiving and/or reading the mass e-mails I send out from the SAQA-provided data base, send me an e-mail directly, describing your problem.  I will pass the problems on to SAQA tech support and meanwhile, if there are more than 3 of you with ongoing problems, I will construct a regional e-mail list and communicate that way.

If you didn't get the information in the mass mailing I sent out recently, here's a summary of the information:

September 10 Workshop: Registration Deadline Extended!

Summer is a busy time, so if you haven't managed to get your registration form and cheque in the mail for "Colour It, Fuse It!", the workshop/Parlour Meeting on September 10 in Calgary featuring B.C. member, artist, author and teacher, Susan Purney Mark, you now have four (4) more weeks for it to reach me (Margaret) -- through Friday, August 29.  That's the start of the Labour Day weekend, and the workshop is just 10 days later, so to be courteous and considerate of Susan's time to assemble the number of kits needed, please make sure meet this next deadline.  The fee is $45.00 for members; $50.00 for non-members.  This includes the workshop kit (a $20 value).  (As of today -- August 6 -- 8 spots remain. We can take a waiting list.)  Contact me (margblank@xplornet.ca) for a registration form if you don't have one.

SAQA Trunk Show F is Available for Sharing!

Our Co-Rep Katie Stein Sather of B.C. has acquired the 25th Anniversary Trunk Show -- Section F -- for use in Canada till at least April, 2015.  Ideally this 51-piece show (each is 7" x 9" in size, mounted on black mat board and encased in a clear wrapper) will make its way east across Canada. 

Katie has advised that the following dates for the Trunk Show F have already been booked:
  • Sept. 17, 2014: FAN (Fibre Arts Network) Retreat;
  • Sept. 24, 2014: Langley Quilt Guild meeting;
  • Oct. 1, 2014: SAQA BC meeting;
  • Oct. 25-26, 2014: (to be confirmed) Blue Mountain Quilt Guild Show.
It is hoped the trunk show will be available for Alberta in November/December, and move to Saskatchewan and Manitoba for January and February.  There is a pending request for it to return to B.C. (Vancouver Island) in March.  It will also be offered to Central Canada and Atlantic Canada, so if anyone else in the Western Canada Region would like it sooner rather than later, please contact your Co-Rep -- Katie in B.C., Dawn in SK/Manitoba, or me (Margaret) in Alberta.

(Please note that the SAQA Trunk Show Calendar has this show --Trunk Show F -- scheduled for Canada only through April 2015.  Arrangements can be made to with SAQA to extend this tour if there is enough interest in it across the country.)*

*One member has since suggested I contact the CQA re: Quilt Canada's show in Lethbridge in June 2015; if anyone can advise me who the contact person would be, I would be delighted to do so.

And thank you for your support!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Gone to Connecticut

Vicariously, that is.  Alberta member Margaret Blank's piece, "Tree Study III", is touring in SAQA Trunk Show "C" which is currently touring the Connecticut area through year-end, including a stop at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT from October 4 through January 4, 2015.

Thanks to the efforts of Katie Stein Sather, Trunk Show F is available for exhibiting in Western Canada -- and possibly across the country -- through April 2015.   Ideally, it will be shown first in B.C. and then travel east.  To acquire this show for exhibit at your local guild or art group meeting, contact Katie directly via her blog.  She'll fill you in on what's needed to get the show to your group and/or venue.

Have any SAQA WC members contributed to the 25th Anniversary Trunk Show?  Please share the relevant information -- contact Margaret via her blog or by e-mail: margblankATxplornetDOTca.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Great Summer for SAQA WC Artists!

This summer is a great one for taking in work by our Western Canadian members.

"Western Threads", the collaborative show that includes our exhibit, "Meet the Best of the West", is up for a few more weeks (till August 4) at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton.

Several members have pieces in the Focus on Fibre Arts Association's Biennial Juried Show, "Prairies", on through the end of August at the upstairs gallery at Enterprise Square in Edmonton.

And "The Burgess Shale" exhibit is currently on at the Beiseker Station Museum in Beiseker, Alberta through July 30.  It will move to the Sundre Municipal Library for July 30 through August 25.

Alison Cowitz's piece, "Ozzie" has won a red ribbon at this year's Calgary Stampede!  You can see it on display there through Sunday.  Here's what she wrote me yesterday:
I entered a One Block Wonder quilt in the Stampede Western Lifestyles Creative Arts & Crafts Competition last year, and I was really surprised to get a 3rd place ribbon for my first time entering!
As a young girl I loved going to the Calgary Stampede and seeing all the creative things that people would make and enter into the Showcase. I think the competitive nature in me just wanted to enter again, so I raised my bar and pushed hard to finish Ozzie in time for the June 23rd deadline (remember I had him on my design wall over the winter?). A deadline reason to finish is more motivation for me than anything.
Let me mention that the quilting part of finishing a quilt is not my strong suit. I have a background in Graphic Design, so the design and colour part comes easier to me. I had more fun designing and building the piece, but when it came time for the quilting I was almost paralyzed with fear. Where do I start? How do I build this? What do I do in this area? How much is too much? I did take a one day free motion quilting class with Lorraine Stagness (excellent teacher!) a few months ago to warm up my skills. There came a time when I just had to let go of the practicing, put my fears aside and gather the courage to just go for it with Ozzie! So I put my “big girl panties” on and tried. It was really scary at first, then some things started to turn out well, then I became addicted to the possibilities. It was going well until my thread started breaking a lot and my usually wonderful Bernina 820 would only sew in one direction. ...my doubts came flooding in, and then I visited Michael at My Sewing Room here in Calgary, who gave me a crash course in tension, threads and needles (I owe him a 6 pack for that).
I stressed about the finishing, had my quilt done on the day of the deadline and in the end I am very happy with the results. This work represents who I am today. I heard on Friday, the opening day of this year’s Stampede, that there was a red first place ribbon beside my Ozzie! I went down for a look myself, thinking that I must have been the only entrant in this category. It was a VERY humbling experience to see my work hung amongst the many other beautiful works. In fact it's what gives me the jazz to make art quilts. It’s not about the ribbons for me, but to stand up and be counted among other talented traditional and art quilters. To be amongst such talented people is encouraging me to keep doing this with enthusiasm. I am already plotting about what to enter in next years Stampede Competition.
Now Saskatchewan member, Jaynie Himsl, has work in this show in Duncan, B.C.:

She posted about her piece recently on Facebook with this photo:

If you're in the area next month, be sure to stop by and take a closer look at what looks to be a fabulous exhibit!