Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Stitch Across Canada #3

Who needs the NHL, when we are in an all out race to get to BC in six months!   We are at the third month in our Stitch Across Canada Challenge.   Pull out the party hats as we are almost half way across our country!  Last month we grabbed one last poutine and said 'au revoir' to Quebec and started making our way through Ontario.   Our stop this month is Dryden.  It is the smallest community in the province of Ontario designated as a city.

Now what really shows dedication, is those guilds that actually record .5 of an inch.   Way to go Quilted Mouse of Calgary and Cochrane Quilters.   It would be remiss of me not to mention the guild that recorded .25 of an inch at the end of their total.  Love the enthusiasm Near North QG in North Bay!

This month, Faye Martin from Queen's Quilters, NS wrote:
Queen's Quilters of Queen's County joined the Stitch across Canada last month with a small number of inches.This month,  we bumped the numbers way up. Show and Tell  for November included 2 of our charity initiatives of the year. Our 14 "Love Quilts" measuring 40"x 60" go to Family and Children Services and 2 larger quilts go to Queen's Manor. We also provide placemats to the VON to give out with Meals on Wheels Christmas deliveries.

Way to go Queen's Quilters for racking up those inches for such worthwhile causes!

Let's relax,  grab a cup of java... and go visit Dryden's official mascot - Max the Moose.  

Although we are halfway in terms of when the challenge ends, we are not quite halfway on the map, so we need to make up some inches in December to get back on track.  

We will see you next month, keep on stitching those inches!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sshhh.... a little secret

I have a little secret to let out.   You all know about CQA/ACC's conference  blog that tells you about our upcoming conference Quilt BC 2013, and all the exciting events that are related to it, but did you know where Quilt Canada 2014 conference will be held?   None other than the beautiful Niagara Region in Ontario.  Marilyn Michelin, the Chair of the Local Organizing Committee or LOC as we call them,  sent a little message along:

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
The news is starting to get out there - Quilt Canada is coming to Niagara in 2014 at Brock University, June 11-14.
The Local Organizing Committee  and representatives from CQA/ACC have been busy organizing this national quilt show and conference, called the 'Wonders of Niagara'. It will truly be a wonder in Niagara, with quilts from across Canada in the National Juried Show, Canadian and international teachers, and many visitors coming from far and wide. Mark your calendars. 
If you need more information, please contact Marilyn Michelin, Chair  at

Local Organizing Committee and Board Members at Brock University conducting a Site Visit for Quilt Canada 2014

From left to right:  Jackie White-Board member, Effie Faubert-Merchant Mall Chair, Susan Bowslaugh-NJS Coordinator, Kathy Tucker-Board member, Gloria Meyer-Assistant Chair and Special Events, Gayle Szmurlo-Board member, Carol Ann Jess-Board member, Judy Kelly-Board member, Laine Canivet-Board member, Lynda Iannandrea-Workshop Chair, Marilyn Michelin-Chair.
Those not present:  Irma Bull-Publicity and Advertising, Linda Chambers-Local Fundraising, Fran Inglis-Entertainment and Program, Debbie McInnis-Hospitality, Alice Muller-Local Secretary, Jacki Morningstar-Local Treasurer, Karen Sirianni-Tours, Linda Oatley-Trend Tex Challenge/Silent Auction.

If you need more information, please contact Marilyn Michelin, Chair by email at

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Janet Barker

There is little doubt that Janet Barker is a very busy quilter. 

Tell us a little about yourself?
I live in Calgary with my husband Greg and our dog, Copper.  We are truly empty nesters, having just put our newly graduated daughter on a plane to take a job in Toronto.  Our son has been working in Silicon Valley for about a year now.  Whew!  Both of them off the university payroll and gainfully employed; we are proud parents, indeed.  My husband complains that I am filling our empty nest with quilting paraphernalia as fast as it gets emptied!  I have long since taken over our son's room and have designs on our daughter's room next.  

Other hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing and snow shoeing.  Living next door to the Rockies provides an awesome outdoor playground and gets me away from the sewing machine and computer.
Sunflower Power

What got you into quilting?
In the year 2000 my millennium project was to get rid of all of my excess fabric, mostly from sewing kids' clothing that my kids would no longer be caught dead in.  I decided to make gift bags.  That year I made over 50 gift bags - for friends, relatives, teachers, my Girl Guides.  I wanted to decorate some of the bags and decided on applique.  Well, the applique books are in the quilting section of the library, and I was soon hooked.  Now, of course, I own more fabric than ever!  Ironically, applique is my least favourite method of quilting.  I far prefer the geometry of piecing.

I soon joined a charitable quilting group at our church.  The fabric is donated but we supply the thread, machines, expertise and time.  I learned so much from the wonderful ladies in this group without spending a fortune on fabric.  My first half square triangle quilt was interesting - so much bulk in the seams!  In fact, pressing instructions have become one of my biggest complaints about a lot of patterns that I see.
Falling Leaves

I also learned a lot about colour and value in scrappy quilts since we never had enough of any one fabric to make a whole top.  Before I retired in 2006 I was a geophysicist for 30 years.  In this profession we use pattern recognition to try to decide where to drill for oil and gas.  Colour plays a huge part in this, especially with the 3D visualization used nowadays.  I guess I honed my colour skills on the job and transferred them to quilting. I have been told so many times that I have an eye for colour that I am actually starting to believe it!

I joined a 30 member guild in about 2004 and immediately attended their retreat without really knowing anyone.  What a great way to get started!  My guild has been, and continues to be a huge source of inspiration, education and friendship for me.  When I started publishing patterns a year ago, the ladies in the guild tested quite a few in a very short time.

You can see her patterns made up in different colourways at her etsy shop.
Dancing Maples

 What are some of your favourite things about quilting
Over the past decade I have discovered that I really like designing, and actually making the quilts is just a necessary component of the design process.  I am a much better starter than finisher and have a plethora of UFO's tucked away in closets and drawers.  I think that I am like a cat - I need staff.

 What is your next quilt related goal?
My next quilting goal is to get more teaching experience.  Oh, and I have to make a wedding quilt for my son before next July.  Hmm, and I want to get my latest six designs pattern tested and published.  What can I say, I am a multi-tasker.

What is your favourite food to eat while quilting?
 And last but not least - chocolate, anywhere, any time.

Garden Maze
You can also follow Janet on Facebook.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Challenge Time

This is the post where you are going to be inspired, motivated and encouraged to jump into the fun and pick a challenge to try.  Have you ever participated in one?   If you are a newcomer to challenges, our pin cushion challenge is the perfect one for you.   

Pin Cushion Challenge

Do you like the idea of a challenge with a chance to get published, win some fabric and not spend a year creating the project?   If so, this challenge is for you!   Every quilter uses pins, whether it be to hold their piecing together, attach sashing, or accidentally sew them into the binding!  This challenge is super easy, you get to use your imagination, scraps of fabric and you don’t even have to mail us your entry!  If you have never entered anything before, why not give it a try?  How thrilling it would be to see your work published in a national magazine!  This challenge is due December 10th, 2012, so get started!

Your Favourite Food  - 2013 Annual Youth Challenge

Are you a wonderful quilter who wants to ensure this craft continues on for generations? Of course you are!    CQA/ACC has the perfect challenge for you.  Teach a young person to quilt.  There are so many rewards in this challenge, you will encourage a youth to learn a new skill, they have the chance to win fabric donated by Northcott Fabrics, and you have a chance to win a year renewal of your membership.  This challenge closes February 28, 2013, find all the details here.

TREND-TEX CHALLENGE – 'Sunshine and Vines'
Join the fun and assist with CQA/ACC’s major fundraising effort. Create a small wall hanging to be auctioned at Quilt BC 2013.  Trend-Tex Fabrics Inc. has again generously donated the fabrics for the challenge kits.  Find out all the details.

Why not try one of our challenges?   You have nothing to lose and will have fun, create art and maybe win a prize!

Serenity Point
'Serenity Point' by Susanne MacDonald
Viewers' Choice, 2012 Trend Tex Challenge