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