Thursday, May 29, 2014


If you haven't (yet) donated to the SAQA Benefit Auction 2014 -- you've been given an extension.  There.  Now you have no excuses!
The DEADLINE to receive entries has been extended to
June 15, 2014 need to be ready to fill out your submission form NOW so that SAQA can know when to expect your piece.  Executive Director, Martha Sielman, has already sent  you this information in an e-mail.

  • Art quilts are your passion, your means of expression
  • SAQA supports your passion.\
  • You reap what you sow = you get out of an organization what you put into it.

What are you waiting for?

Reach for the Sky! (C) 2014
 Margaret Blank, SAQA WC Co-Rep (Alberta)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Artists' Visit a Hit at St. Albert the Great School, Calgary

Three artists who contributed to The Burgess Shale Exhibit were able to share their passion for textile art with the students of the Art 7 class at St. Albert the Great Junior High School in Calgary on Friday, May 9.

When Margaret Blank arrived, she found the class well under way -- lead by the enthusiastic duo of Leslie Barnes and Deborah Bray.  Carolyn Lutz, the Art 7 teacher, and Caroline Loewen, the Manager/Curator for TREX Southwest (Alberta Society of Artists), were in on the excitement and the learning that went on all morning.

The chosen project?  Fabric postcards of the Burgess Shale critters.  Most of the students hadn't handled a needle and thread before, or cut up fabric, or worked with buttons and trims, irons and fusible web. The photos from the day say it all...

Caroline L. irons the fusible

Stitching away...

Stitching suggestions from Leslie -- or Deb?

Working in sketchbooks

The challenge: thick thread!

Deb works on a piece

Crazy-patch critters!

Choia sponge interpretation

Sponges I

Sponges II
Finished Collection
In the end, twenty-eight pieces were ready for the students to display at the school's up-coming Art Walk.  The artists left behind a ton of fabric scraps and bundles of embroidery floss as a memento of their visit -- and an invitation to have another go at textile art.  They came away with a greater gift -- the energy of 28 students -- girls and boys aged 11-13 -- who set the class-room a-buzz with their enthusiasm, their creativity, and their eagerness to learn.

The Burgess Shale Exhibit left St. Albert the Great School yesterday and will open next at the following venues:

Should you live near one of those venues and want to arrange an Artist's Visit, contact Co-Rep Margaret Blank, who will put you in touch with Caroline Loewen at TREX/ASA.   While most venues would welcome a visit from a participating artist, not all require or expect the artist(s) to provide a hands-on project.  The artist(s) might be called on to do an artist's talk about the exhibit and/or his/her own work and process.  Making a visit requires only that you have a passion for your work, and an ability and willingness to share this with viewers.  Go for it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Don't Miss the Deadline!

Reach for the Sky! (C) 2014
The final 2014 SAQA Benefit Auction submission deadline is June 1 -- and that's a received by date.  If you haven't created your 12" x 12" piece for this annual non-juried show and sale to benefit SAQA, now's the time to step on the gas and get going!  

Yours truly is mailing her piece this morning -- my sixth contribution to the exhibit. I look at it as an opportunity to put my work "out there" for only the cost of shipping (twice I was able to hand-deliver the piece at a conference) -- and what's more, I get to contribute to an organization that has brought me friends, colleagues, contacts, education, and exhibit opportunities.  Funds raised by this auction, in fact, support SAQA's travelling exhibits internationally.

Every year it's exciting to see the contributions and watch the bidding.  Three of my first five submissions were sold -- including my very first one.  That was a kick, I'll tell you!  :-)  Somebody liked my work enough to buy it!  Whoa!

The SAQA website has all the scoop on how to submit your piece, and you can see the ones already received.  The main online auction begins September 15, 2014 with the first of three sections; you can read how that works HERE.  In addition, a special selection of quilts will be reserved for exhibit and auctioned off at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, October 27 - November 2, 2014.

If you like, you can publicize the auction with a poster -- click HERE.  

So what are you waiting for?  Let's show the world what the SAQA Western Canada Region can create.  If you have a photo of your 2014 auction piece, send it to me by e-mail (margblank AT xplornet DOT ca) -- it would be great to share it here on the blog.