Sunday, 30 November 2014

First Time NJS Quilt Entry Winner

Veronica's winning entry
Veronica Puskas, now of Niagara, ON was asked to write about her experience entering a quilt into the National Juried Show (NJS). Her beautiful piece, called “Pillars of Strength” was the winner for a First Time Entrant into the National Juried Show 2014. Here is her story:

I never thought of entering my quilt into the NJS until Roberta Masecar, as part of our quilting group saw my piece when it was nearly done and said that it should be entered in a juried show. I had never heard of it until then, so I checked on line. I started entertaining the idea, then thought "What the heck? I've got nothing to lose and I'll learn something here."
Close-up of hand

I had made this quilt in memory of my Mom and Gramma. It took me on a journey while making the pieces. I was actually going to piece what the actual picture shows and that is Mom's ugly woollen trousers and the ugly canvas leggings on their kamiit (boots). I learned what the traditional trousers and leggings should look like by asking family and friends.

(2014 was the first time for online registration into the NJS. Of course, no matter how hard CQA/ACC and the software writers tried to make it a smooth run for everyone, there were glitches.)

Apparently this was the first time that on-line registration took place and I thought that went very well except when I had to change the size of the image. Some of the pertinent information got lost. When I finally got an e-mail confirming my entry was accepted, I found some of the information was wrong. After a few emails, the information was corrected.

I had started this quilt based on a class by
Nancy Bergman "Zapplique Don't Sweat Quilting the Human Figure" in 2008 I had to start over because I used the wrong materials. This class took place six months after Mom passed away. I was so happy that my piece got accepted that I cried. I could not believe it! I contacted my family and friends and they cried with me as well.
In making “Pillars of Strength” I auditioned different colours of fabric and threads until I was satisfied. I learned how to thread-paint and how to use mixed media other than fabric such as distressed Typar for the rocky hills, tulle for shading and yarn for snow. 

After the piece was quilted I agonized over every little detail: the quilting; straight edges at 90 degrees; ensured there were no waves; stitching on the binding was straight; all pieces were secure; and the hanging sleeve was made according to the instructions. Susan Bowslaugh gave me a very good tip with respect to binding - to use same coloured fabrics as the quilt top. It added another level of difficulty. When I fretted over little things, I listened to my own heart when well-meaning family and friends were saying that my quilt was perfect the way it was. In the end I was right in doing so. When I did not know what to do with it anymore I knew my piece was done.

I hired a professional photographer to take pictures of the quilt. I believe this to be key as your photo must give the positive first impression. The camera and lighting are key to very good, clear photographs. This investment is worth every dime and penny. If you have gone through all that you did to get your piece entered and not invest in this, unless you are a professional photographer, you run the risk of not getting accepted. I didn't want to take that risk.

For me as a first time entrant, this process of entering the National Juried Show was a nail-biting, thrilling roller-coaster experience. It was all worth it in the end when /I saw my quilt hung up with those whose quilts were of high calibre. To me it is like giving birth. You forget all the agony and frustrations that goes with trying to make your piece perfect. And throughout making my piece, I kept hearing my Mother when I just wanted to give up and do a less-than-perfect job "You can do better than that!" What I learned from this process was that I CAN do it. I feel more confident now that I can go through this process again. There is a lot of competition out there with great quilts in the shows. And you learn what you are made of. I felt so honoured to have been part of that.

Veronica’s quilting experience:

I am a self-taught quilter who started in early 1995. I had remembered the embroidered or tied woollen blankets that my Gramma used to have. I learned to quilt by buying quilting magazines and trying out the patterns, not realizing there was a local guild. I made tons of mistakes but I learned a lot too. About two years I finally joined the Yellowknife Quilter's Guild and took as many classes as I could take juggling family and work life. I was lucky to have been part of the Guild as they brought in masters: Jan Krentz, Gail Garber, Libby Lehman, Gloria Loughman, Nancy Bergman to name a few. I felt stifled though in the end before we moved here (Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON) as I wanted to get more into the art quilts. Just two months after we moved here, I was invited to be part of a quilting group that was interested in learning to make different art quilts. I learned a lot from them and they, the Thread Hedz, have given me the confidence to try different media and methods. 

As an Inuk living in southern Canada, the North will always be a part of me and it shows in my art quilts. I remember stories of Nuliayuk and what a powerful sea-goddess she was. I like to incorporate well-known images such as the Inukshuk, or an igloo.   


Veronica Puskas

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Christmas is coming...

Christmas is coming - and it’ll be here before you know it.

Have you thought about shopping at CQA/ACC for that gift for a certain someone who loves quilting, but has everything or maybe just wants something different? 

Well, we have a few gift suggestions for you to give or maybe even to drop a hint for yourself to receive.

A subscription to our popular magazine, The Canadian Quilter that is filled with tons of reading, quilting ideas - it’s Canadian too - and you get a membership to CQA/ACC thrown in as well.

 Or might we suggest a trip to Lethbridge for Quilt Canada in June 4-6, 2015 – this could include admission tickets to the National Juried Show, a workshop or two from well-known teachers, the final dinner/banquet. Registration for members opens Nov. 26th, 2014.

One of 37 quilts in the show
Any quilter would love to receive our greeting cards from the 'It's Time For Colour" travelling quilt show. Buy a selection of 10 cards for $35 plus $5 postage; wrap a beautiful ribbon around 3 or 4 and presto - you have two or three delightful hostess gifts.
Lastly, consider one of the "It's Time For Colour" quilts before they are all sold.  
Cards or quilts - you’ll be supporting the Children’s Wish Foundation too.

Blank cards of the quilts

More blank cards of the quilts
These can all be found available online. For magazine subscription and (gift) membership click here.

For various Quilt Canada 2015 events, click here or for Registration for Quilt Canada 2015 items.

They’re all just a click away! And your shopping is done!

Friday, 21 November 2014

CQA/ACC offers an Insurance Policy to Member Guilds

Wow! What a response! Over a hundred member guilds have opted into the insurance policy offered under CQA/ACC’s “umbrella” insurance. We’re very pleased with the response so far. You can still take part in this offer. (This offer is still available.) Guilds are paying $130 (plus tax), saving $300-500 a year.  

There are two sections to the insurance:
-    general liability, covering guilds for bodily injury and/or property damage claims; personal injury; medical payments; tenant’s legal liability.
-    management liability that protects directors and their personal assets from law suits; to cover legal liability that could be imposed related to ‘wrongful acts’ (management of funds, employment practices, defense costs).

How does it work?                               
Contact CQA/ACC Secretary Lauren MacDonald by email ( to get enrolment details or look on the main page of our website (  Find the link on the left for Member Guild Insurance.
Fill in the details and email it to Administrative Assistant Jackie Philpott (
An invoice will then be sent to the member guild, requesting payment.
Confirmation of payment and enrollment will be sent to member registered guild.
Although the policy anniversary is Nov. 1st, guilds can sign up at any time during the year. All policies end Oct. 31st each year.

Not a member? - all you have to do is contact Jackie Philpott ( to sign up as a member guild and you will qualify for this great opportunity!.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Lethbridge - Meet the Teachers - 2

So there are three more teachers to meet for Quilt Canada 2015 in Lethbridge, AB June 4-6, 2014, and I will waste no time in getting right into it.  Good things come to those who wait, and you’ve waited long enough.

Karen Henry is first on our list for today.  She learned to quilt in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in the early nineties, and now makes her home in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where she has lived since 2000.  Wasting no time in her new home, she started a guild, became a regional representative for CQA/AAC and began teaching classes as well.  As many of us do as well, she considers herself a self-taught quilt artist.  Her heart lies with making pictorial quilts.  She was selected as the Teacher of the Year in 2008.  

Now on to Cindy Needham.  Cindy lives in California and wears many different quilting hats.  She has been a quilting instructor since 1997 and is also a national educator for Superior Threads.  She has taught at many major shows: Sisters Quilt Show, Houston International Festival, Machine Quilting Expo in Providence, Portland Australia Machine Quilting Festival; and Superior Threads School of Threadology.  She has also written a book, Wholecloth Linen Quilts, which was published by AQS in June 2007.  Her writing skills don’t end there!  She has had many articles and features in Quilters Newsletter Magazine, American Quilter, and Machine Quilting Unlimited.  We are very fortunate to have Cindy on the teachers’ list for Quilt Canada 2015.

And our final teacher for next year’s show is Kathy Tidswell.  Kathy lives in New Brunswick, and since she lives in such a beautiful place, it is no surprise that she makes it her goal to realistically recreate the beauty that she finds in nature in her work.  In order to hone her skills, she has taken drawing, water colour and oil painting lessons, as well as other courses from a large range of Canadian and American quilt teachers and embroidery specialists.  Using the best information and techniques she learned, she developed her own method of using both painting on fabric and free motion embroidery to create her own unique style of quilted wall hangings and wearable art.  As with many of our other teachers, Kathy was selected Teacher of the Year by CQA/ACC in 2005

And that brings to an end the list of our very experienced and sought after teachers for Quilt Canada 2015.  I’m sure we will be Blown Away by their work and that their classes will fill up quickly.  Only 8 more months until we can learn from them and the show!
Shena Boes, LOC

Saturday, 15 November 2014

It's Giveaway Day!

Head on over to our fb page to enter to win these amazing scissors!

Mundial carries the finest quality fully plated carbon steel shears. The Classic Forged line is Mundial's most complete assortment of scissors ranging from dressmaker, sewing and craft scissors. All Classic Forged scissors and shears are hot drop forged and fully plated for a lifetime of sewing satisfaction.
       These Dressmaker shears are able to cut through fabric of many weights.  They are designed with bent or offset handles so that whatever is being cut does not have to be lifted off the cutting surface. This feature also ensures the shears do not harm the cutting surface. These Mundial scissors are an ideal choice for your quilting needs.

Now you do have to be a resident of Canada, but you don't have to be a CQA/ACC member. Although I cannot fathom why you wouldn't want to=) 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Quilt Judge Certification Programme

So You Want To Be A Quilt Judge

Registration for a new intake of those interested in quilt judging opens again this fall. Over the years questions are posed via email or in casual conversation at guild gatherings and shows asking what the programme entails and how one may gain full certification.

The programme is open to any and all who have a passion for quilting, especially those who have a strong commitment to educating peers and who are striving for excellence. The CQA/ACC Quilt Judge Certification Programme (QJCP) was first introduced in 2009 during Quilt Saskatchewan. It has since been refined and further developed to provide committed candidates enrolling in the programme full certification with a professional designation as a CQA/ACC Certified Quilt Judge.

The interested candidate is sure to embark on a journey of intense learning to develop and hone ones critiquing skills. There is no specific pre-requisite for quilters to register, however, it is expected that a future judge has a well-rounded background in traditional and innovative quilting with knowledge in colour and design. To establish a baseline for all registrants pre-course work is dispatched at the time of registration. It must be completed and submitted for review to the instructors prior to arriving in class for Part I.

Part I is presented every other year at a Quilt Canada Conference to a maximum of 16 students. Three intense days in class are augmented with daily homework exercises to be completed in the evening following the participants time in class. Each day is filled with practical exercises based on the pre-course work to further deepen knowledge in quilting and design. The instructors model professional conduct, deliver lectures, lead discussions and continually observe each students performance when participating in the practical exercises during the first two days. Day 3 is filled with mock judging experiences involving all students. Individual feedback is provided during the lunch hour. Based on each participants individual performance a candidate will be recommended, conditionally recommendedor not recommendedfor Part II.

Successful Part I candidates assume Apprentice Judge status. She/he has up to five (5) years to gain judging experience as outlined in the QJCP manual to fulfill the requirements in qualifying for the Part III practical examination.

The Part III examination will be conducted as a mock judging event with quilts in the NJS. Twelve (12) entries will be selected for judging. Each candidate has sixty (60) minutes to judge the individual items and a further thirty (30) minutes to collaborate with fellow judge(s) in selecting winners in two categories.This mock judging event will be observed and evaluated by the QJCP instructors who assess each candidates knowledge base, their proficiency and ability to formulate constructive critiques. Upon successful completion of Part III the Apprentice becomes a CQA/ACC Certified Quilt Judge.

Maintaining Certified Judge status will require the individuals continued professional development. This may include teaching and/or participating in workshops as well as active judging duties. With certification comes the responsibility of maintaining professional standards in judging by providing consistent constructive critiques that educate and expand the entrants knowledge.
Submitted by Anna Hergert

Monday, 10 November 2014

Giveaways for a Year!

Psst... guess what? We are having giveaways for a whole year!  Yep, once a month you will have the chance to win something quilt related that will make a wonderful addition to your studio!

Do you want the details?  On the15th of each month, go to our facebook page and we will have a post showing the monthly giveaway. Leave a comment answering the question and you are in!  It's that simple!

Now you do have to be a resident of Canada, but you don't have to be a CQA/ACC member. Although I cannot fathom why you wouldn't want to=) 

Do you want a sneak peek of what is up for November?
Look at these lovely scissors!!

Mundial carries the finest quality fully plated carbon steel shears. The Classic Forged line is Mundial's most complete assortment of scissors ranging from dressmaker, sewing and craft scissors. All Classic Forged scissors and shears are hot drop forged and fully plated for a lifetime of sewing satisfaction.
       These Dressmaker shears are able to cut through fabric of many weights.  They are designed with bent or offset handles so that whatever is being cut does not have to be lifted off the cutting surface. This feature also ensures the shears do not harm the cutting surface. These Mundial scissors are an ideal choice for your quilting needs.

Be sure to check out our facebook page on the 15th! You don't want to miss out a chance to win these!


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Lauren MacDonald

When current board members think of Secretary Lauren MacDonald, we all remember how she saved our lives.

She really did. The incident took place at Quilt Canada 2014 in St. Catharines, ON this past June. The board all stayed in residence in dorm rooms. What we didn't know was that there was no coffee maker in any of the rooms, and the dining hall didn't open till about 90 minutes after we were up. Let me just say this without going into too much detail, you do not want to talk to a board member before they have had their cup of coffee.

So what happened that fateful first morning when we got up at 6 am and realized there was no caffeine? We looked into the hall and saw Lauren's door open. We stumbled in and there was a sight to behold. On her desk was a Keurig machine and about 100 coffee pods surrounding it. She had brought it all from her home, driven it 8 hours, because she knew we would not survive Quilt Canada without our caffeine. And that is how she saved 6 quilters lives.

Now when she is not performing heroic acts, she does a great job of looking after the CQA/ACC website and keeping us on track by logging minutes, resolutions, action items and pretty much anything we throw at her.

Lauren is the board member responsible for getting our member guilds insurance coverage through CQA/ACC. She put in hours and hours researching, talking extensively to companies and with help from some knowledgeable members, she was able to arrange for the board to meet with a company that could make all of this happen.

She is also a great quilter. Living on Manitoulin Island, ON she has found her niche in the guild and has added so much to that group. She has been doing their newsletter for years, often does Block of the Month, organizes retreats, program and whatever else is asked of her. Perhaps she is most known for her ability to try anything. If a course is being offered she signs up. If someone shows a new technique, she watches. Lauren has the wonderful attitude of seeing learning as fun and encourages others to do so with her positive attitude.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Lollygagging along the way to Lethbridge - 2

We had a slow start for our trip to Lethbridge, AB for next June. I think members and guilds were still in summer mode. And with our side trips to a few guilds, we didn't get as far as anticipated.

So on we go - next stop is Sudbury, ON which is home to the Big Nickel

and many other mining tourist spots. But we’d rather go to a quilt guild meeting and so we stopped in to see the Sudbury & District Quilting and Stitchery Guild.  They meet every Tuesday at 7pm in Sudbury's YMCA. Boy, are they a busy group, especially when they meet every week! There’s always lots to do for the members of this group. Last year they donated over 350 quilts. It was good to catch up with a few of the members of this guild who visited Quilt Canada 2014 in Niagara this past June.

On we go, next stop is Sault Ste. Marie. Another side trip to Stitches from the Heart Quilters Guild who meet the first Monday of the month at 7 pm. For the meeting in November, Martha Schellingerhoud is their guest speaker. Her workshop “Stripping the Beauty” is one that is being offered along with her trunk show.


Before we leave the Soo as it’s often called, we had to stop in at Life’s a Stitch quilt shop to say hello. We had checked out their website first to see what they were up to. Not only do they sell machines, they offer repairs and maintenance. Workshop classes meet the interests of the community.

Now the long haul, up and around Lake Superior. Am I glad to get this part of the trip out of the way before winter sets in. It’s scary enough driving on a nice day, but we sure wouldn’t want to do it in the middle of winter. We stopped just to take a
picture of the big goose in Wawa and then onto Thunder Bay. The view of the Sleeping Giant on Lake Superior is amazing, but we need to stop off to visit the Thunder Bay Quilters’ Guild. Unfortunately we’re not able to catch a meeting - they meet the 3rd Monday of the month at 7pm. They have been keeping busy with their Community programs, such as Meals on Wheels, Comfort Quilts and Christmas Cheer Teddy Bears.

We need to keep moving to get out of Ontario (of course, we need the inches to get there too - I think we have just enough to get to Dryden). So we stopped off to visit with Sunset Country Quilters Guild. It seems we just missed being able to hear Cathy Miller and her hubbie John Bunge perform at the Dryden Centre.

What an amazing trip so far!!! Lots and lots of quilting going on!

We’re hoping to get into Manitoba for our next blog. So make sure you keep sending in those inches from your Show & Tell/Share at your guild meetings to