Monday, August 31, 2009

Comox Valley Exhibition

Our local Exhibition was held this last weekend, and along with displays of prize-winning dahlias, and decorated wheelbarrows, was the Comox Valley quilt show. Exhibitions like this have something for everyone - antique farm equipment on show, 4-H judging of sheeps and goats, fruit and vegies, even a zucchini race. Bands played on the stage all weekend, and throngs of locals and visitors to the valley took it all in, including the quilt show that occupied one quarter of the Curling Rink. Ably coordinated by Therese Shwab, there was representation from the C.V. Schoolhouse Quilters, the North Island Quilters for Community Awareness, and I was

pleased to be invited to attend as the Featured Artist. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to people over the weekend, and hearing their responses to my work, as well as to the work of the Bitengye Designers. Thought you might especially enjoy this pic of Joan, visited by a pair of charming clowns roaming the displays!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

African Collage

The other thing I did at Gibsons, besides enjoying the colour and energy of all the fibre artists, was to teach the class, "African Collage. Participants started with a selection of lino prints and a group of African and North American and batik fabrics that worked with them. They constructed borders and fillers for each of the prints, then tackled the challenging job of how to put them altogether into

one piece, that was balanced but not overly symmetrical. It was pure pleasure for me to be in the midst of such a creative group of women.There was enormous variety in the settings, and each one created a unique wallhanging. The possible variations on this kind of piece is endless, and provides a wonderful way to showcase African handwork and fabric. Some chose to add a little beading to their finished pieces, others included embroidery, and one person incorporated mask designs found on ancient African artifacts.
When I have photos of the finished work, I will be sure to post those too, so you can enjoy them. By the way, if there is anyone out there who would like to take on a similar challenge, I am willing to make up more kits and send them out with class instructions. It would be a great thing for a few friends to get together to work on. The kits would be $50 each, and include 10 fat quarters, 3 lino prints, some beads, and two borders.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival

Imagine a fibre arts feast and you are close to imagining the richness and energy of the Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival. Now in its 10th year, this summer festival attracts weavers and knitters, woodworkers and hookers, quilters and other fibre artists from all over BC. The classes offered over four days have something for everyone, the merchant mall has goods from yarns to buttons to sculpture materials to fabrics, and the gallery exhibit displays some of the finest examples of work in each category. I love going to this particular venue - so full of colour and
creativity. This year I taught my African Collage

class to a very talented group of students hailing from as far away as Prince George (more pictures soon on the wall-hangings they created in class), as well as having a booth in the Merchants' Mall, ably managed by my friend, Joan Darling. Over the course of five days, we met many old friends, and took the opportunity to tell many new friends about our work in Uganda, as well as introducing them to some of the specialty fabrics and designs we market.
On Sunday we headed home again to Vancouver Island, having enjoyed every minute we spent on the Sunshine Coast. We didn't even mind missing our ferry in Powell River too much. Took the opportunity to drive up to Lund and sit in the late summer sun where we watched sailboats and motor boats and kayakers coming and going from the porch of the Historic Lund Hotel. A lovely end to a lovely summer, methinks.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hornby Island Quilt Show

Last week, on the Sunday of the holiday weekend, I was honoured to take part in the Hornby Island Quilt Show. This is a one-day annual affair, held outdoors (weather permitting), on Heinz and Eleanora Laffin's charming property. And this year the day was perfect - sunny but not too hot, a warm breeze blowing through the tall firs and through the orchard, and quilts hung against the barn, along the house siding, through the apple trees, and out on the washing line. Add to this the sweet sounds of Graham Herbert playing his harp, lemonade and goodies served in the garden, and the friendly interest of island dwellers and island visitors alike, and it made for a very pleasant day indeed. I went with the items made by the Bitengye Designers, as well as this year's Grandmothers' quilt, and the sales of over $1000 will go directly to the Kitambaa Sewing Project. So encouraging. It was lovely to be part of such a community event. There was no jurying, there were no prizes, but every person entered the quilts they had made in the previous year, and felt proud to be a part of it all. There was tremendous variety in style of quilt, in colour use, and both traditional and innovative designs could be enjoyed. I couldn't help but feel that this was quilting at its best.