24 December 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

As we say goodbye to 2015 I'd like to wish all SAQA Atlantic members a happy holiday and productive new year. This is a time for reflection about the events of the past year. 2015 was a hallmark year for our region. It began with a retreat, co-chaired by me and Kate Madeloso. Then we moved on to a very successful regional show (which will continue into 2016) thanks to the hard work of curator Regina Marzlin. The year ended with planning for the travels of the SAQA trunk show, masterminded by Helene Blanchet, and preliminary planning for a retreat in October 2016. I am pleased that we now seem to have a plan for regular retreats and shows. That structure brings more value to your SAQA membership and should help us attract new recruits.

During my time as regional representative it has always been my intention to turn much of the region's business over to the members. I believe that people gain much more and grow as artists and members of their community through active participation. I am pleased to acknowledge the work of the following people who actively contributed their time and energy to our region in 2015.

Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau - regional rep, blog, retreat, regional show
Kate Madeloso - retreat, regional show
ReBecca Paterson - retreat
Susan Tilsley Manley - retreat, regional trunk show, 2016 retreat
Regina Marzlin - regional show
Heather Jarmyn - regional show
Heather Loney - regional show
Helene Blanchet - regional show, SAQA trunk show
Susan Lilley - blog, 2016 retreat
Kathy Tidswell - blog
Holly McLean - blog
Linda Mackie Finley - 2016 retreat

In January the SAQA trunk show will start its journey through the region. Each of you who presents it to a guild or other group or drives it from place to place will be an active participant in spreading the word about art quilts. I thank you in advance for all that you will do.

2016 will bring exciting change to the region. I plan to step down as rep so that I can devote my energies to service on the SAQA Board. I am not going anywhere, though, and will always be available to listen and to help out. I am pleased to announce that, pending approval from SAQA, Regina Marzlin will be your next regional representative. She made a commitment to SAQA at a time when there was not much activity in our region and has been an important part of our growth and development. As a full-time artist she has a unique perspective on what SAQA can offer its members. Regina's term will begin in early summer. 

Here's to another amazing year of art quilts.

Chris Nielsen

18 December 2015

December Blogwatch

Here's a quick review of what some SAQA Atlantic members are blogging about this month.

Winter Solstice

Penny Berens’ blog features a brief meditation on Winter Solstice, an art quilt she created last winter.
Winter Solstice by Penny Berens

Christmas Decorating and Sewing

Holly McLean muses about being creative with Christmas decorating, while at the same time keeping it simple.
A bird nest in the Christmas tree is said to be good luck.

Finding Light in Dark December

Regional SAQA rep Chris Nielsen’s blog has several postings this month. In her latest entry, Busiest Year, Chris muses about how her life has changed over the past year. In previous December 2015 entries, Chris tells us how she finds light in this darkest of seasons. Don’t miss the video she posted of Chiharu Shiota's fabulous installation at the Venice Bienale 2015!

Chris was recently elected to the SAQA Board for three years and is now actively seeking someone to take over the responsibilities of regional representative. Please consider this opportunity and give Chris a call to find out what the position entails.

02 December 2015

Hope and Survival, The Halifax Explosion 1917 Commemoration Quilt Project


Just over a year ago, Nova Scotia artist Laurie Swim undertook a monumental community art project to mark the upcoming centenary of the 1917 Halifax explosion. The fibre art piece, Hope and Survival, will honour the lives lost or dramatically changed by the explosion and celebrate the heroic efforts to assist survivors.

One panel from Laurie Swim's Hope and Survival project, commemorating the 1917 Halifax explosion.

On Sunday, December 6th, Laurie will be presenting an update on the Hope and Survival Project as part of the annual commemoration of the Halifax explosion, at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax. The event will include a display of the first twelve columns of the Scroll of Remembrance, one component of the overall project.

One small section of the Scroll of Remembrance, work in progress by Laurie Swim and volunteers.

The scroll, once completed, will list the names and ages of all 1,946 victims of the explosion. The names are beaded in braille in recognition of those blinded by the blast. Hung together, the single sheets of the scroll represent the windows where so many stood watching the collision of the two ships on that fateful day.
Names and ages of victims, beaded in braille by project participants. Laurie Swim
“Thanks to all of you who beaded the sheets, this part of the project is nearly completed. Without your enthusiastic participation, I don't think it would be nearly as far along in its progress as it is”  says artist Laurie Swim.

This year's commemorative event will include Laurie’s presentation about the project and a memorial concert with David Stone and friends.

The annual commemoration of the Halifax explosion takes place on Sunday, December 6th, 2015, from 1-3pm. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, 1675 Lower Water Street, Halifax, NS. Admission free.

15 November 2015

Pricing your Art Quilts

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ 

If you're agonizing about the price to charge for the quilts you're entering in My Corner of the World, here are a few resources to help you sort it out.

SAQA Resources

A quick intro to two ways of pricing, by size or time+materials. Lists seven articles on pricing published over the years in SAQA journals, accessible online.

What Are You Really Earning? by Anne Copeland
An interesting table provides a clear picture of earnings per hour, based on selling price.

Pricing Your Artwork by Judith Trager
This article has a more flexible approach, stating that "Art has no fixed value." Thoughtful comments for beginners. Outlines her own, "spongy" approach to pricing.

Strategies for Pricing your Artwork by Elizabeth Van Schaick
Recommends calculating average labour time in selecting a value per square foot, thus integrating both approaches to pricing.

Other Resources

Question about Pricing and Selling your Quilts by Caryl Bryer Fallert
An interesting article on how to come up with your own price per square foot.

Pricing Art Work - The Fat and the Skinny by Sara Jo Renzulli
Thoughtful blog post about art pricing in general, by an established painter and needle felter.

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ 

08 November 2015

Two captivating quilts by Deb Plestid

Two of Deb Plestid’s quilts, Endicott Johnson and Dragonfly, captured attention at the recent Sunrise Quilt Guild Show in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia.

Endicott Johnson by Deb Plestid, Sunrise Quilt Guild 2015 CQA Viewers' Choice Award winner.

Endicott Johnson, which won the CQA Viewers' Choice Award, celebrates rootedness and longevity. The boots were made in the 1950s by the Endicott Johnson Company and were worn until the 1980s by a neighbouring farmer. This principled corporation not only made durable boots, they also treated their employees fairly, with health coverage, recreational facilities, a profit-sharing program and support for home financing. The CQA Award is the second for this piece, which received an Honourable Mention at the Grand National Quilt Show 2013 in Kitchener, Ontario.  

Dragonfly by Deb Plestid, runner-up for Members' Choice Award, Sunrise Quilt Guild 2015.

Another of Deb's entries, Dragonfly Pond, received a ribbon as runner-up for Members' Choice at the Sunrise show.

See Deb Plestid's website for more of her fine work.

26 October 2015

A Gift to Remember

Kathy Tidswell, who lives in Burtts Corner, NB, wanted a special gift for the 50th wedding anniversary of her sister and brother-in-law. With help from friends, she decided to make a quilt depicting her family home. To make it meaningful to her brother-in-law as well, she included the 1956 Ford Custom car he drove when he was courting her sister. 

50th Anniversary Quilt, made by Kathy Tidswell, 2015.

Kathy describes her process: “The internet made it relatively easy to get a picture, although there weren’t many with the rear view I wanted. I made the car with polyester fabric, to give it a sheen, painting it the light green that I remembered. I tried to create the house and yard of our youth using an older photograph, drawing the house and making appliqué patterns. I painted a background that included a willow tree long since gone, and a snowball bush, which my mother had loved and my father hated. I appliquéd the pieces using free motion embroidery and added a few flowers and the trees. For the final touch I placed the car in the driveway.”

The anniversary couple received the quilt at a family gathering held on the day after the big event. Kathy's sister first spotted the car. Her brother-in-law, clearly delighted, took the quilt around to show it off to everyone in the dining room. 

Kathy’s website features more of her work. 

21 October 2015

Structures show at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts

Main Gallery at Inverness County Centre for Arts
Structures show - juried work by members of SAQA Atlantic Canada
Fiber sculpture installation by Maria Doering
Image courtesy of Susan Tilsley Manley

The Structures show has now closed at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts. It will now travel to Saint John, New Brunswick where it will be exhibited at The Arts Centre from January 15 to March 4, 2016.

Regina Marzlin, the curator, sent the following information to the artists whose work is included in Structures.

The show at the Art Centre in Inverness was a huge success, the space looked fantastic and the amount of fibre art was almost overwhelming. Penny Berens' show and Maria Doering's sculpture were the perfect complements and great displays on their own. We got fantastic feedback and people were just excited to see the artwork.

Some remarks from our guestbook:

"I stand in awe of these pieces. I am officially turned on to quilting now."

"I need to remember to shut my mouth! Amazing work. Thank you!"

"An absolutely incredible exhibit. Such talent - all of you."

"Could not have been better at MOMA or the Whitney."

We had lots of visitors from the States and from around Canada. And we had substantial sales as a result of the show's stay in Inverness. We have now 5 sold pieces in the main show, and 2 pieces  from the add on show.

Wanted: Great blog ideas!

Having recently taken on the challenge of coordinating the SAQA Atlantic blog, I'm looking for direction from both our members and our readers.

What brings you to this blog? What do you like, or not like about it? What would you like to see more of? Can you suggest a blog (or a blog feature), from a similar organization, that could be a great model for us?

I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below or write to me directly here.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Susan Lilley, blog coordinator

Creativity Knows No Bounds

12 seniors, 1 choreographer, a crazy idea: Create a dance about our lives. The result: The Company of Angels and Dancing in the Third Act
800 years of life experience on stage. 

SAQA Atlantic member Grace Butland, from Annapolis Royal NS, is one of the twelve dancers in Dancing in the Third Act. This delightful production premiered in Annapolis Royal and wowed dance festival audiences in Montreal and Moncton. Grace and the Company of Angels will bring the performance to Halifax on Saturday, October 24th. 

We asked Grace to tell us about her experience. "Creativity in one area of my life begets creativity in other areas, and the dance project has been wonderful for that. It has also made me more confident and more willing to test my limits. It's been fascinating to work with a professional choreographer and see how dances are "made". It's a whole different creative process, but many of the same principles apply to creating art quilts or wearable art.”

Grace Butland is proud to be one of the twelve dancers. “If you'd told me three years ago that, at the age of 70, I would be dancing on stage in Halifax or Montreal, I would have laughed. But here I am, doing just that!”

Watch for our own Grace Butland, blue dress, centre stage in this Dancing in the Third Act promo video

One night only! Spatz Theatre, Halifax. October 24th, 8pm. 
Tickets available online.

16 October 2015

Last Call to a Fabulous Fall Show!

This is the last weekend to catch the fall colours and the inspiring textile art at The Inverness Centre for the Arts in Inverness, Cape Breton. If you haven’t seen the SAQA Atlantic exhibit, Structures, this would be a wonderful time to see it, along with three concurrent textile exhibits.

In the main gallery, surrounded by the Structures quilts, is Inside Me, a large dimensional fibre installation by Maria Doering, a German artist currently living in Dartmouth, NS.

Inside Me, installation by Maria Doering

Penny Berens, whose work graces the top of this blog page, is a textile artist living in Granville Ferry, NS. Her solo show, Scratching the Surface, is a wonderful collection of her expressive hand-stitched artwork. 

Penny Berens' textile journal, Scratchings

Also on display is Structures Expanded, a mixed show that provides viewers with a glimpse into the process of making textile art. It includes finished work, free standing pieces in progress, design drawings and sampling, all provided by the artists involved in the Structures exhibit.

Feather Fantasy by Regina Marzlin, 2015
The Inverness Centre for the Arts will be open from 12 until 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Hope you can make it!

13 October 2015

Another Award-Winner!

Heather Loney's challenge piece, Sunset, was awarded First Prize by viewers of last week's annual IWK - Mayflower Quilt Guild Fair. The challenge was to create a quilted item of a set size, using four pre-selected pieces of fabric, with additional fabric permitted. The four pieces of fabric in the 'challenge kit' were: the blue in the water, the orange and purple in the sunset and the multi-print in the border. Well done Heather!

Read more on Heather Loney's own blog, Creative Crossroads.

Sunset by Heather Loney, 2015

06 October 2015

Well done, Holly McLean

Spring Fling, Holly McLean, 2015
Holly, who lives in Bathurst, NB, won first prize in the non-traditional quilt category at this year's Kennebecasis Valley Quilt Show. She was also thrilled to learn that her winning quilt, Spring Fling, sold at the show. 

Holly made the piece to celebrate the end of the very long, snowy winter of 2015. It differs dramatically from the small, heavily threaded works for which Holly has become known. You can see more of Holly McLean's artwork and textile explorations on her own blog, Through My Window

Spring Fling (detail), Holly McLean, 2015
Spring Fling (detail), Holly McLean, 2015


30 September 2015

New blog coordinator

Please welcome Susan Lilley, from Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, who will be taking over blog coordinator responsibilities from Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau.
Born to a family of artists in Shawinigan Quebec, Susan originally chose a career path in the health sciences and only took up creative textile work when approaching retirement. Upon retirement, she earned a City and Guilds Level Three Certificate in Design and Craft (Patchwork and Quilting), in a three year program with Design Matters. She has been a member of SAQA for five years, joining our region when she moved from Ontario in 2013.
Her work expresses a fascination with colour and light. She creates her own fabrics, with dyes, paints and bleach, often using re-purposed cloth. Inspired by the materials and working intuitively, she creates unique non-representational compositions. Her inspiration comes from the world around her, the scraps on her cutting table and the play of light on the wall.
She is currently exploring luminosity and transparency, using dyes, bleach and paints with Shibori-inspired techniques. Susan has two pieces in the 'Structures' show. She also contributed a wonderful example of her work on luminosity to the 'Structures Extended' show in Inverness.
Susan will soon be in contact with all members to learn more about how the blog can help you enhance communication within and outside of the region. Please do what you can to cooperate with her requests for material. You never know what will intrigue readers. For example, the post about Susan's new workspace is the most viewed ever, by an order of magnitude.

28 September 2015

Congratulations, Lois Wilby Hooper (Moores Mills, NB)

Each year SAQA runs an auction of donated art quilts. The artwork is available for purchase on line and also in person at the Houston International Quilt Festival. Revenue from the auction is directed to the exhibition program and supports the preparation and shipping of group shows by SAQA members around the world.

Usually quilts are made available for sale in groups and buyers must wait until a group which contains their favourite is opened for purchase. In a twist, this year SAQA opened all of the quilts for sale for three days at a fixed price of $1000. Fourteen pieces were sold in this way and one of them ... ta daa ... was made by our own Lois Wilby Hooper.

You can see an image of her quilt here. The purchaser was Marvin Fletcher who with his late wife Hilary has established a premier collection of art quilts.

02 September 2015

Structures opening

The Structures show hung at the Gallery@The Guild in Charlottetown, PEI for two weeks in late August. Holly McLean attended the opening reception and wrote the following report. 

Holly McLean

I was excited to be able to combine the opening of the SAQA Structures fiber art exhibit with my visit to the Island to see my family. I had met a few of the exhibiting artists at the spring retreat and had seen some of their work. Many pieces I had not seen, however, and it was great to see them all hanging together in such a nice setting. Pictures just do not do them justice. My first reaction as I walked into the space was to gasp. I don’t get to many fiber art exhibits –this may be my first - and the impact of the groupings of hangings against the white was powerful. Seeing the colors, patterns, stitches and textures in real life was awe inspiring. I also enjoyed reading about each artist and about their piece as well as describing them to my daughter and mom and her husband.

Regina and Heather Jarmyn did a wonderful job - and in that heat wave - of hanging all the pieces. I thought they were perfectly grouped. At the outset they felt challenged as it is a small, but intimate space and the lighting wasn’t great. The lighting was addressed before opening night, and even though it is a below street level location, there is a great row of windows along one side that add good light as well as character to the space..

Christine Nielsen, Heather, and Regina and I met for dinner across the street before going to the opening. It was nice to see Christine again and also nice to meet Regina and Heather. I always feel somewhat isolated up here in Bathurst, so any meetings with like minded people are so stimulating!

The show was lightly attended, but it was a very warm evening in the Gold Cup celebration week. Since the gallery is located in the same building (and easily visibly) as a small theater, there should be more people attending over the two weeks.

Thanks to all who contributed and who helped and are helping with the show. It has been a nice experience for me.

The following photos were taken by Chris Nielsen just prior to the opening, running clockwise around the space from the entry. They are intended to give you a sense of the show and are not completely accurate representations of the artwork, especially with regard to colour. Please note that everything was level - the camera sometimes makes it appear otherwise.

28 July 2015

Thank you, Jen

I have sad news. Jennifer Scantlebury-Vienneau has decided to step away from her responsibilities as blog coordinator and regional representative. I will miss her hard work and the somewhat acerbic emails we sometimes exchanged. It was good to have someone with a great sense of humour with whom to share information and decisions.

Jen had been a member of SAQA for one day(!) when she volunteered to spearhead an effort to make our blog more useful to the members. I have no doubt that you all know how hard she has worked to gather material and to encourage you to consider the blog a tool for communication. She will be a hard act to follow but I hope someone will consider stepping forward to pick up where she left off. You do not need to be familiar with blogging or the software we use. I can get you up to speed in no time and I will always be available to adjust things were necessary.

At this time we won't be recruiting a new regional representative but there are several other slots where volunteer help is needed. My main concern is that we still don't have anyone to look after the main SAQA trunk show when it comes to the region in December.  Please contact me if that's something you would consider doing.

In closing, let's all raise a virtual glass to Jen and salute her with our thanks for amazing service over the last two years. She set an incredible example in her commitment to SAQA and to her responsibilities and has earned whatever new and creative activities she can now fit into her life.

More on the SAQA mentorship program

For those of you who are not on the main SAQA Yahoo group, Sue Bleiweiss recently posted an update on the mentorship program. I think you'll agree that the list of participating mentors is impressive. I am sure that many more equally qualified artists will step forward as the program gains momentum. If you have not already done so, please consider submitting an application to the program. You can find details at the link in Sue's note.

I am beginning work with my own mentor next week. I plan to write a series of posts/updates about the process and will post them here and on my personal blog.

Chris Nielsen

From Sue Bleiweiss:

Now that the mentorship program has been underway for several weeks I thought I would post an update on how it’s going and provide some statistics and other information about it.   
So far 12 matches have been made and all the mentees have met with their mentors at least once via Skype, FaceTime or telephone to talk about their objectives and goals and to set up a regular communication schedule with each other.   Everyone is very excited about their new partnerships and I couldn’t be happier about that. 
You might be wondering who these mentors are so I am going to tell you!  I’m sharing their names with their permission of course and they are: 
Pamela Allen
Sue Bleiweiss
Lisa Call
Jenny Bowker
Sherri Culver
Kathleen Loomis
Alison Schwabe
Pamela Druhen
Carol Ann Waugh
Susan Polansky
Phylis Cullen 
Each of them have signed on to work with at least one mentee and a couple are working with more than one.   I am grateful for their willingness to sign on to be a part of this program because the success of the program really hinges on having enough mentors.  And that brings me to my next statistic… 
I have 9 mentees on the waiting list waiting to be matched up with a mentor.  I need more mentors! 
So I am once again putting out the call for mentors.  Now I know that being a mentor isn’t for everyone and I absolutely understand and respect that but I’m guessing that there are some of you out there that are thinking you might be interested but your not sure about it because you are not sure how to be a mentor or what areas or categories you can mentor someone in.  To answer those questions, just pop over to the SAQA website here.  All the information about the program is there and if you take a look at both the mentor and the mentee applications (regardless of which you want to apply for) those will also help answer your questions.  If you still have questions or your unsure, then write to me at sue@suebleiweiss.com.  I will be happy to talk with you about the program and how you can be a part of it.   
The mentorship program is just one of the programs brought to you by the SAQA membership committee.  The committee is chaired by Diane Wright and is made up of volunteers Clara Nartey (Secretary), Sue Bleiweiss, Paula Huffman Brown, Sharon Buck, Christine Hager-Braun, Candice Phelan, Allison Reker, Desi Vaughn, and Martha Wolfe.  We meet once a month to discuss, brainstorm and develop programs and initiatives related to areas of membership. Watch for updates about the committees other programs and initiatives in future emails.   
By the way - if you're curious about what other commitees that SAQA has you'll find that information on the SAQA website here.  

Sue Bleiweiss
MA/RI regional co-rep
Membership committee volunteer
Mentorship program coordinator

30 June 2015

SAQA Mentorsip Program

If you haven't already done so, check out the link on the SAQA website concerning the new mentorship program. This was initiated by Sue Bleiweiss, a regional rep in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She did a pilot project in her region and it was so successful that the Board decided to extend it to the entire membership.

I think we could all benefit from the advice of another party - not a friend, not an acquaintance but an established artist who will hold you to account as you move toward your goals. Even the application process may be helpful as you define what you need and why.

If the SAQA program doesn't appeal to you, I hope it motivates you to seek out a mentor on your own terms. I have done just that and am looking forward to several years of learning and improving.

Chris Nielsen

25 June 2015

Favorite Tool - Holly McLean, Bathurst, New Brunswick

Finger cots 

Put one on the index or needle pulling finger and it glides like butter. May be purchased by the boxful in the first aid area of the drug store.

22 June 2015

Welcome to My Studio - Susan Lilley, Hebbville, Nova Scotia

A few months ago, I decided to (finally!) take the time to research and think through how best to improve my sewing space. The room is 12'x13', a nice room with a high ceiling and a large walk-in closet to keep my fabrics and materials out of harm's way. It has a northern exposure with a forest view.

Shortly after we moved in, a year or so earlier, I added a second window and good overhead lighting. I unpacked my gear and started creating. I loved the space, but the set-up wasn't working as well as I knew it could. So, early this spring, I began to plan my makeover. I used Lois Hallock's book Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space to help me with the layout and to calculate dimensions for the various work stations. 

Cabinetmaker Bob Mertens, of Pinehurst, NS built me a beautiful made-to-measure sewing table.

The table has a drop leaf on the back. Butted up against my old adjustable-height Ikea table, it provides good support for large quilts.
I had a big, heavy, office credenza I used for a cutting table. It has a nice large surface and great storage space, but was too low for comfort. Bob built a frame to set it on, bringing it to just the right height. My rulers hang from sheet metal screws on one end, reducing the clutter on the surface. So retro and oh so functional! 
I made an ironing station from an old kitchen cabinet topped with a canvas-covered board, following instructions in Sharon Schamber's Perfect Pressing Board. Unlike an ironing board, the canvas top grips the fabric nicely and the shelving provides storage for various notions and supplies. Nice! But what I most love is the handy on/off switch, inspired by Laurie Swim. The iron plugs into a power bar I've mounted at waist height beneath the window. The flick of a switch powers the iron on and off, and the red light on the power bar lets me know from a distance whether the iron has been left on. Laurie has a lamp plugged into the power bar as an additional indicator. When the lamp is on, she knows she's left the iron on.
So that's the story of my makeover. I love the results! The space works well and for now, at least, I have more than enough storage space. Next project: organize the space in the walk-in closet. Stay tuned!

Susan Lilley

14 June 2015

Member Profile - Holly McLean, Bathurst, New Brunswick

My work 

My fiber art conveys a love of nature. It is based on flora and fauna that I am inspired by on my walks or bike rides along the NB Trail and sometimes by the little things that I notice in my own backyard. These lichen that I found on a piece of wood in my yard fascinate me. They are so tiny as to be hardly noticed. They seem to be searching for sunlight.

I often carry my camera with me. Once home, I like to do watercolour or colored pencil sketches from my photos, or most of the time from the little bits that I pick up. This is why the subjects of my work usually follow the seasons.

For example, right now I’m working on two pieces, my son surfing and a bright happy piece with tulips. 

The tulips are from my garden and the dragonfly which appears quite a bit in my work was a road casualty found on the grill of our car after a trip. Of course I had to save it and sketch it.

Sometimes I use my hand dyed fabric but most often I will paint or print a background using fabric paints. I came up with something that I call Shibori trees for making tree stands and I have done several pieces and taught a workshop using this method. This is the sample for demoing at the workshop.

Do I have a style?

I often wondered if I had a style but I have lately been told by many that they recognize my work. I’m not exactly sure what defines it. My style would have to include an obvious love of nature, a lot of thread painting, stamped or painted fabric, trees, especially birches and birds are often featured. My artwork is usually representational with lots of texture.
My favourite color palette

I do like very many color combinations, especially analogous ones: pink and orange, blue and green, purple and red. Often I will notice color combinations and fall in love with them for a while. Sometimes they come from nature or from fabric and styles at the time.
One of my favourites for a while now is the black/gray/tan/white from the chickadee or the gray/white/black/gold of a birch tree stand on a gray fall day.

My materials

I often begin with 100%white cotton on which I stamp, paint print or screen print. I most often use Setacolor fabric paints. Occasionally, I will dye fabric using Procion dyes.
I’ve had screens made from my own designs. I like to carve stamps and make my own stencils. I also do sun printing. Appliqué is usually fusible using Light Steam a Seam 2.
I use a lot of commercial batiks as well, either as part of the central piece or in the borders.

Once my background is established I will thread paint with various types of threads. I love embellishing with all kinds of fibers. In the tulip piece I used Angelina fiber fused to netting for the dragonfly wings. Next I will stitch the webbing using a gray silk.


I haven’t entered many shows. I have won a few ribbons from the KVQG shows in the modern quilt category. I have also written several articles for Quilting Arts Magazine and Quilting Arts Gifts and recently my Birches and Rosehips piece shown above was published in a new on line magazine called Through Our Hands.

04 June 2015

"Structures" - Official Opening, Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Friday, June 5th is the official opening of the textile show "Structures" by Studio Art Quilt Associates Atlantic Canada. 

The exhibition, consisting of 25 pieces of amazing fabric art by 19 Atlantic artists, opens at the St. Francis Xavier University Art Gallery, Antigonish, NS. 

Opening reception is at 5:30 pm.

03 June 2015

An Artist Update - Kathy Tidswell, Burtts Corner, New Brunswick

I haven’t been very productive this winter and spring because I have spent a lot of time travelling. My husband and I went to Antigua in Late January and February for 2 weeks, we went to Victoria for 10 days in March where he was working and I went to the UK for 2 weeks in May where I travelled with our daughter, Lisa, to London, Jersey and Brugge Belgium.
Antigua in February

Victoria, BC in March

Kathy's daughter, Lisa in Jersey

Just before leaving for Antigua I started a thread painting for my son, Tristan and his partner, Erin. It was inspired by a photo he had taken in Algonquin Park. I finished it shortly after I returned and got it shipped off to their home in Waterloo. 

I did receive word in  February that a wall hanging  showing my husband on the Antiguan beach at sunset had been accepted into the Canadian Quilters Association National Juried Show which is being held in Lethbridge Alberta. I am heading to Lethbridge on June 2nd where I am teaching for 3 days.

After several years, my teaching studio and gallery is finished.  I have to get myself organized as to classes and schedules but hope to begin teaching there this summer. I will send a photo of the space in my next post. Presently I do not have the gallery organized.

26 May 2015

Webinar from the Education Commitee

I have heard nothing but wonderful things about a session at the recent SAQA conference in Portland, Orefon. The speaker has now agreed to share her presentation with all SAQA members through a webinar. You can attend live and/or watch it on-line when it is posted a few days later. Here is the announcement as it appeared on the Yahoo group today.

Upcoming Webinar with Maria Shell
The Art of the Word: Getting Grants and Other Art Opportunities by Crafting a Well-Written Proposal

After rave reviews at the recent SAQA conference, we asked Maria to share her presentation with the larger SAQA membership on a Mentorship Webinar. She graciously agreed. Maria’s webinar will touch on several topics including doing the work, networking, applying and following through. Take a look at Maria’s art work and read her blog to get an idea of her vision and experience. http://mariashell.com

Please click the following link to register. 

If you can not attend the live webinar, SAQA members will have access to the full audio and video recording on the SAQA website a few days after the event.

Chris Nielsen