Quilt Canada ended on Saturday night, and today - Tuesday - we fly home to the west coast, but the last couple of days have been wide open, and have given Joan and I the opportunity to explore a little of the Nova Scotia countryside. There was the mandatory visit to Peggy's Cove, but it was the old houses and boat houses rather than the lighhouse which charmed me there. Then on to Mahone Bay and Luunenburg - both utterly delightful. Full of much more splendid dwellings, many clapboard and painted in bright colours, and full of artists and galleries. The highlight, for sure, was visiting Laurie Swim's Gallery - to see her work hung on the wall in
such a fine setting - to see a fibre artist who has worked hard and for a very long time in her medium, and who is now recognized as one of the east coast's finest artists. She had a vision, and she followed it relentlessly, long before "art quilts" were even recognized. And now, with affirmations from the likes of Alex Colville and Mary Pratt, she has finally come into her own. An inspiring story, that all of us who call ourselves fibre artists should remember, and in which we should find encouragement.
I am a textile artist and quiltmaker, a teacher and a writer. I have been playing with fabric for over 30 years, the last 15 of which have been spent creating original work and teaching design-based classes. I have a deep connection with the women of Africa, and since 2007 have spent part of each year teaching sewing and quilting to women in Uganda.