Getting Ready for the Festival of Quilts

Part 20: Almost showtime!

I few people have inquired if I have been abducted by aliens, as there have no recent updates on this blog. You might be happy to know no aliens were keeping me away. The truth is I have been very busy on several fronts.

It is the eve of the quilt festival and as the communications lead, I hope people come and enjoy the show. My final count on advertising is 4000 business sized art cards, 4350 post cards, 300 1/2 page flyer that have mostly been  distrusted by guild members over at least 3 provinces. Good job! Hundreds of e-mails were sent to various groups and individual, as were dozens of announcements posted on media, travel, quilting publications, newsprint and more online sites.  If that was not enough Instagram, Facebook and web pages were all tacked thanks to our web master and my daughter. Who would have thought my smart phone was too old for Instagram!!  The roadside signs look great and all that is left  (I think) to do is tie a quilt to the tree outside our show venue.

Progress on the on the sale of maple leaf 9 patch blocks was more than I could have hoped for …. And again a big thanks you to guild members and even some of my non quilter friends. Last count we will have roughly 250 9-1/2” blocks for sale at the show. I hope they will inspire new quilters or  new Canada 150 celebration quilts ready for July 1st. All proceeds will go to the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, supporting Literacy and parenting programs for newcomers to Canada. I think a fitting theme for a country that has been largely built on immigrants.

My traditional Canada 150 quilt is almost done…. Yes I said almost. As I have never hand stitched a quilt and any quilt from 1867 would have been hand quilted, you will find my quilt on a frame at the show. I welcome everyone to help finish this project by adding your hand stitches.maplequilt

My other distraction was ELLA. If you are over 55 (or maybe 50) you should check out the Edmonton Lifelong Learning Association that runs a three week program, in May, at the University of Alberta. I was in heaven learning new acrylic paint application techniques and taking my 1st photography course. All turned out to be very relevant to my textile work.  The core strength program also was intended to keep me in top form to do my art without pain.  Look what happens to a paint clean up cloth, encounters a sewing machine.giraffe

However since a quilt show actually needs quilts to show, I put my nose was to the grindstone in the late winter and early spring completing 6 pieces.

For those of you that will not be coming to the show below is my recent work.

Hosta” never made it into the show as I was at my limit for entries. It was started at the last quilt show in an Elaine Quehl class. Looked at it on my design wall uncompleted for almost 2 years … finally designed a 3rd leaf and YES DONE!


Inspired by Travel” is a group effort with the design based on my suitcase.suitcase I finally think I have fallen in love with my embroidery attachment after hours of stitching out designs for the centre of the flowers.  I love the funky look.

inspired by travel

12 Steps Program with Jane Sassaman” was a project I started at Quilt Canada last year. If you can ever take a course from Jane, I highly recommend her. I loved the technique as you can layer as much as you like with no fabric build up or stiffness. However you have to very carefully plan the construction process.  I got carried away (as usual) with this the design… so yes it took 12 steps to complete. Right at the end I accidentally cut a hole in the top layer which meant an additional layer, which than made the design heavy at one corner. Solution put it on point and make it look like it was all intended.12 steps.jpg

Back Alley Beauty” Was a photo of mine I had printed on fabric when I took a guild course with Martha Cole years ago. I never ended up using this photo fabric in class. I was too afraid I would destroy it. I really enjoyed the process of making this one.

back alley beauty.jpg

Summer Memories” incorporates raw silk I used at the end of summer to capture the imprint of leaves around my house. The leaves were placed on the fabric, rolled on a copper pipe and placed in a large pot to simmer lightly for an hour. It is remarkable the detail that is imprinted.  The sumac leave is wet felting with wire support. I am sure there will be more cooking in my backyard this summer.


Mirror, mirror on the Wall” is my favourite quilt because it combines my favourite activity felting and it is a quilt too. It is a tribute to the Group of Seven Franklin Carmichael (Mirror Lake).  It took me about 12 hours to layout and blend all the wool fibers and then felt and full it carefully so the roughly 30 % shrinkage was consistent. It was important to keep horizon lines straight. Connie Anderson spent about as much time quilting this 40” wide piece. I realize I don’t actually have a photo of the finished quilt but I have included a photo of the original painting  and my felted piece.

mirror, mirror on the walllakecharmichaelimages

So what is my next challenge? I think it will be Climate Change and the upcoming Focus on Fibre Art show. I suspect the research and planning for this will be another interesting and perhaps controversial topic.



2 thoughts on “Getting Ready for the Festival of Quilts

  1. Thanks Joan. Making the 150 quilt was a rewarding exercise. Who would have thought quilt history and Canadian history could be so interesting. I hope the block designs I decided on were also meaningful to other people. Yes it looks like the quilt will be at The Works …. not sure, but there may be another opportunity for people to leave their stitch marks on it. No experience necessary! The beauty in this quilt is not about the fabric and design but rather all the people that will be a part of it.. The diversity of mark makers will make the quilt beautiful… and isn’t that what also makes Canada a great place to live.


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