Thursday, 12 January 2017

Cheryl Arkison, Canadian Quilter Becomes Fabric Designer


How fun is it to watch a published Canadian quilter take things to the next level and become a fabric designer! Meet Cheryl Arkison.


Cheryl is no stranger to CQA/ACC and you know her generousity, as she has allowed us to use her 'slab block' pattern for the Big Quilt Bee to make 1,000 quilts for kids in care at Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada.

A little about Cheryl:

Writer, quilter, and mom. I write and teach on quilting, craft, creativity, food, and family. And it all comes from my dining room empire in her crowded, colourful house. From this space I wrote Sunday Morning Quilts (co-authored with Amanda Jean Nyberg), A Month of Sundays, and You Inspire Me to Quilt. I teach quilting around the country and online via Craftsy and Creative Live. A proud first generation Ukrainian, I am committed to not letting the artistry of food and craft from my heritage pass by unnoticed in the modern age. With three kidlets running through the house, on top of an incredible barking dog, it is amazing that I get anything done. My compulsion to create is fueled by that chaos. Not only does my family, especially my daughters, inspire me to be true to myself, they drive me to create. In part so that they don’t drive me crazy! Whether at the end of the day, in the early morning darkness, or in a stolen moment of quiet I find joy and respite in fabric and words. And feed me a really good burger and I will love you forever, ask my husband.



When we asked Cheryl about designing fabric, she had this to say:

When tasked with designing my first fabric collection I first went to the idea of graffiti. I love good graffiti - the colours, the text, the idea of leaving your mark (even if it is illegal). But graffiti is an art form in and of itself, so I took the notion of making marks to my design work. I started with the first literal marks we often make, scribbles on the wall, and worked my way up to our last words. The collection is text based, graphic in nature, and available in black, grey, and white. There is a range of scales of prints too. I think the versatility shows through, making some prints great where you might otherwise use a solid, some are perfect backgrounds, and others are wonderful features. Together the entire line has good contrast and great potential. You can get the fabrics directly from Connecting Threads.


Congratulations Cheryl! We look forward to see the exciting things that happen in 2017 for you!


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Central Alberta QG Shows Talent!

It is so much fun to showcase the talent of quilters across the country. Thank you so much to Wendy Greber of the Central Alberta Quilt Guild, CQA/ACC Co-ordinator, for putting this altogether!


Central Alberta Quilters Guild in Red Deer, Alberta, consists of close to 100 members and meet once per month.  They hold a large annual quilt show and in 2017 it will be number twenty-six. 

This guild actively makes charity quilts and placemats  throughout the year.  Education to members is a priority and courses are regularly held instructed by other qualified guild members, national and international instructors.

Here are some of the quilts that won at 2016 Quilt Show.

  Best in Show and First Large Quilt – Cheryl Whitten


Viewers Choice CQA/ACC ribbon – Terry Rowland


First place Art Quilt – Wendy Greber

Here are other outstanding quilts in the show:

Made by Debbie Hatt


Made by Diane Andrews


By Elaine Cumont


By Elizabeth Hanson



By Francis Cheeke


By Glenna Ramsay


By Jasmine Travers-Charbonneau.


By Shirely Adam


By Shirley Cullum


Thank you Wendy and Central Alberta QG for sharing your talent with us!
If anyone else would like to share what your guild is up to, please email socialmedia@canadianquilter.com.

















Saturday, 10 December 2016

Big Bee Quilt Labels & Etiquettes Grosse corvée de courtepointe 2017


To quilt label or no quilt label?  Well, that’s not the question today!
Today we are giving you a label to use for the wonderful quilts you are making for the Big Quilt Bee 2017.  We have this in a few different formats so that you can choose the one(s) you want to use:


  • An image (jpeg) that you can import into an image program like Adobe Photoshop Elements (purchased) or Inkscape (free)  to add your information or edit (these appear above for you to download and use – Right-click on the image you want and a menu should pop up.  Click on ‘Save image as’ or ‘Copy image’ to save it to your computer).


 Let's review the process of printing the quilt labels on inkjet printers (see further down the page about printing services if you prefer not to print them at home). 

Inkjet printers spray the ink on to the fabric, so the trick is to have the fabric absorb the ink and retain it, wash after wash.  One of the first products to help with that is still available is Bubble Jet Set 2000.  After soaking cotton or silk in this solution, then drying it, you press an 8½" x 11" sheet of freezer paper to the back of the fabric.  Trim the sheet and it’s ready to run through your printer.  You need to know which side of the paper your printer prints on (usually the underside of the page in the printer).

 If you are not keen to make your own paper-backed sheets as described above, there are several companies who sell fabric sheets that have been pretreated to help with ink absorption then backed with a paper or plastic to hold the fabric taut during the printing process.  Your quilt shop will have at least one of these in stock.

Each of these products has explicit directions about printing and dealing with the fabric sheets once they come out of the printer.

The sheets of quilt labels are saved as Adobe Acrobat files (pdf), and once you download them to your computer, you can open them in Acrobat Reader and print them out.  Deal with the labels according to the directions for the fabric sheets you are using and then you can use a fabric pen or permanent marker (or crayon) to fill in your name, the date and the location your quilt is coming from (this could be just the province or the village/town/city and region).  It’s usually a good idea to ‘heat set’ the label with a hot iron to set the colour permanently.

Label Option 2:  Downloading one of the Two Images at the top of this Page and Personalizing Them
You may have photo software such as Adobe Photoshop Essentials and so you know how to add text to one of the jpeg quilt labels. If you don’t, you may be interested in trying Inkscape, www.inkscape.org/ which is free software for working with images.  Download the quilt label image (quilt_label_text.jpg) and save it on your computer.  When you open Inkscape (or any other photo software), you have a blank page to work with. 


Go to File -> Open and double-click on the name of the file to import it into Inkscape.  The image will fill the screen, so you will have to resize it.  You may have to change the Document Properties (under the File menu) to set the paper size to 11" x 8½" and the units to inches.  After setting the properties up, you can click on the image to see the image handles and then change the size to a width of 3.5” and height of 3.25”.

Changing the Label

You may not want to use the text the way it is set up on the sample label.  You are free to use the ‘eraser’ tool to delete the text that does not suit you and then type in your own text.

Adding text to the quilt label

In Inkscape, click the ‘A’ on the left hand menu and click beside ‘Made by:’.  Under the top menu, you’ll see ‘sans-serif’ and 32 – those drop-down menus offer all the different fonts and sizes.  For most regular fonts, size 16 will fit this size label.


It doesn’t make sense to print only one quilt label on a fabric sheet, so your options are to print out your label and 3 other blank ones for your friends...or to copy the label and fill in the information for them and then print the sheet!
Copying the quilt label
When printing on a fabric sheet, you can fit 4 labels or 1 ‘bee’ label and other labels for yourself.  It makes sense to make use of the whole fabric sheet.  Here are the directions for copying the image and creating a sheet of 4 labels:
  • From the ‘Edit’ menu, choose ‘Select All in All Layers’, then from the ‘Object’ menu, choose ‘Group’. 
  • After those choices, click on the label and from the ‘Edit’ menu, choose ‘Copy’, then go back to the same menu and choose ‘Paste’. 
  • Click on the image and move the duplicate copy to the other side of the page.  Choose ‘Paste’, twice more so that you’ll have 4 labels spaced on the page.
  • Click on the ‘A’, then highlight any text (like the name) you wish to change and type the new information.
  • Save the file and then print it according to the directions of the fabric sheets you have.

Using a Printing Service
You may have a local Tshirt or Embroidery store near you that will print images for you.  Usually you prepare the images according to their directions and bring them in a copy on a flash drive.  At my local store, I can bring in a sheet of 4 labels and have them printed on a polyester fabric sheet.

On the Internet, in Canada, there are a few options for printing on fabric:
https://designyourfabric.com

The last two print companies will print on quilting cotton.  You can send them one image and they will print anything from a swatch sample to yards - filled with labels.  These are excellent options if you are working with a large group and need a lot of blank labels that can be filled in later on.

 Label Option 3:  Downloading one of the Two Images at the top of this Page then using them in a Word Processor
After downloading the images, you may choose to 'insert' or 'import' them into a word processing program (like Microsoft Word) and then you can resize the image to suit your page.  If you want to print more than one label on a fabric sheet, 'Copy' and 'Paste' your image and move them on the page until you have all of them organized.  Don't forget to save your page before printing!

NOTE:  If all else fails, and there’s no-one available to make up labels for you, email me at lpmacdonald@hotmail.com and I’ll create a page of labels to your specifications.  I’ll email it back to you and you can print them out or send them out to be printed.







Saturday, 3 December 2016

Fibre Art Network

What IS the FIBRE ART NETWORK?


 (about the guest blogger: Jenny Perry is a Canadian/American fibre artist who has lived most of her life in Kentucky, and currently divides her time between Lac Le Jeune BC and Asheville NC. She is the website coordinator for the Fibre Art Network.)

Members of the Canadian Quilters' Association (CQA/ACC) who have attended Quilt Canada have probably noticed that each year there are special exhibits in addition to the National Juried Show. For a number of years now, the Fibre Art Network has had the honour of being invited as one of the special exhibitors and each year many Quilt Canada attendees look forward to seeing the latest work from its members.

The Fibre Art Network is an organization of professional fibre artists from western Canada. Membership is limited to the western provinces of BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, as well as Yukon and Northwest Territories. The group first formed about fifteen years ago when a small number of fibre artists sought to network and share their experiences and opportunities as artists with others who self-defined themselves as professional fibre artists. Although the group is predominantly art quilters, it welcomes weavers, knitters, felters, and others who create their art with fibre.

The Fibre Art Network regularly organizes exhibits which travel for a period of two to three years. Every effort is made by FAN members to procure venues for each exhibit and for many years now, Quilt Canada has been one of those venues. Exhibits shown have included:









In addition to the FAN special exhibits at Quilt Canada, individual members of FAN are always well represented in the National Juried Show. In addition, the Fibre Art Network annually sponsors an award at the National Juried Show—the Excellence in Innovation Award.

In 2017, there will be two FAN exhibits available to travel: Ekphrastic and Botanical Reflections. If you’re aware of a gallery in your area that would like interested in exhibiting the work of this talented group, please contact FAN’s Venue Coordinator, Carol Seeley (seeleycarol@gmail.com) for additional information. Here’s a sneak peek:

 Beauty Persists: Foxglove in the Fall by Judy Leslie, from FAN’s Botanical Reflections Exhibit


Time is Called by Sara Judith (detail), from FAN’s Ekphrastic Exhibit


For more information about the Fibre Art Network, to view the galleries of our individual members, as well as all FAN’s past exhibits, please visit fibreartnetwork.com.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Orillia Quilters' Guild Rocks the Quilts!

We have an awesome guest blogger today!  Leslie has written about her super guild.  Read on to be inspired!

The Orillia Quilters’ Guild, comprised of 100 members and a hard-working, dedicated Executive, meets monthly (except July) at Branch 34 of the Royal Canadian Legion in a room overlooking the sparkling waters of Lake Couchiching. It’s a view once gazed upon by explorer Samuel de Champlain whose statue continues to do so from the adjacent Couchiching Park.



Gordon Lightfoot, Canada’s “National Treasure”, was born and raised here in Orillia, Ontario and to the delight of fans, still makes appearances now and then. On a crisp fall day in 2015 he was welcomed by a crowd assembled at Barnfield Point on the Gordon Lightfoot Trail for the unveiling of a large bronze “Golden Leaves” tribute monument in his honour.


Orillia is also where satirist Stephen Leacock’s summer home (a National Monument) and boathouse stand on the shores of Brewery Bay. Leacock’s famous book, “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town”, featured characters from early Orillia (aka Mariposa) in thin disquise. Even today a drive through Orillia’s main streets reveals business signs with “Mariposa” or “Sunshine” or “Leacock” in their names.


Incorporated in 2005, we are a busy guild whose members have individually and collectively made and donated hundreds of quilts, placemats, and dialysis bags to local agencies and special projects over the years. Last year our members rose to our annual President’s Challenge by donating 37 quilts to the national Quilts of Valour program. There wasn’t a dry eye as Jan Easton (second from left) received our quilts on behalf of the program and read us some letters of thanks from veterans who were previous QOV recipients.



 (L to R: Gillian Isnor-McVeigh, Jan Easton, Frances Westgarth, Leslie Quinn)

Early this year we held a members’ workshop to make a cheerful double and single quilt for a Syrian refugee family who were delighted to find them on their beds when they arrived, along with two other beautiful quilts created by individual members. It touched our hearts when the matriarch of this family bravely and shyly attended one of our meetings to express her thanks through one of the “Mariposans 4 Refugees” (M4R) sponsors who accompanied her.




Made by Brenda Stride

Made by Marilyn Lippert


This year is the 90th anniversay of the Legion, and in answer to their request for a raffle quilt, guild members recently provided not one but seven! They were gratefully received by Jack Hird, Branch 34’s Second Vice President and will be raffled throughout the year to raise funds for Branch projects and the national Homeless Veterans’ fund which supports homeless or nearly homeless vets, many of whom suffer from PTSD.
L to R: Nikki Watt, Jack Hird, Pat Hill 


L to R: Heather Smith, Jack Hird, Loretta Hughes 





L to R: Barb Archer, Jack Hird, Jeanne Wallace

Guest speakers are always a highlight at our meetings, and so far this year alone we’ve had the pleasure of learning about new products (Sue Polera from Thimbles and Things, owner of our wonderful local quilt shop), stained glass quilts (Joni Newman), scrappy stash busting (Kay Hanna and Elaine Theriault), the history of quilting in Canada (Pauline Grondin), landscape quilts (Pat Reynolds), a quilter’s personal journey (Noshi Gulati), threads and needles (Anita Zobens of The Cotton Mill Threadworks). As well, both Joni Newman and Pat Reynolds held inspiring workshops for participating members.

Our “Sunshine Quilt Show” (yes, that’s Leacock’s influence) was held in April and as many of you know it is an undertaking requiring long-range planning and dedicated guild volunteers committed to working hard. However, partnered with the smaller Evening Threads Guild, it was a labour of love and we had no shortage of guild members willing to do their part. One of the features of our show was a display of 14 amazing entries and 3 Viewer’s Choice winners of a Co-Presidents’ Challenge, entitled ‘Picasso-“Good artists copy…” ‘.


L to Rt: 3rd Judy Dagenais, 2nd Sandy McFadden, 1st Shelley Houser

In addition, Viewer’s Choice winners of the Sunshine Quilt Show included Brenda Stride, seen wearing her appliqué jacket and Sandy McFadden, posing beside her elephant wallhanging.




As you can see, our guild has many talented quilters and Nikki Watt, winner of the CQA/ACC ribbon at our show, is certainly no exception. Her hand appliqué won the admiration of many!



This spring a busload of guild members attended Quilt Canada 2016 in Toronto, a fun and inspiring experience for all participants. 
Upcoming events in 2017 include Quilt Canada in Toronto, and participation in CQA/ACC’s Big Quilt Bee. We can’t wait!