The Van Gogh Cherrywood exhibit is coming to Seaforth Nov. 30- Dec. 2

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The Cotton Harvest Quilt Shop is honoured to host, for the FIRST TIME EVER IN CANADA, The Cherrywood Challenge Quilt Exhibit!

Karla Overland, owner of Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics in Brainerd, Minnesota has given consent for “The 2017 Cherrywood Challenge – VanGogh” to travel to Seaforth, Ontario.

Artists from all over the world were invited to take the challenge to create small quilts using the same fabric, same color, same size and same theme. The variety and inspiration that blossomed from this simple idea has been nothing short of amazing in the quilting world and beyond. Karla has worked in collaboration with Bohin, France to create this latest challenge – VanGogh.

The Cotton Harvest Quilt Shop of Seaforth, Ontario will be the first to display this International Exhibit after it’s initial reveal at Quilt Market in Houston, Texas.  All 120 miniature art quilts will travel to Seaforth in November before heading off to tour both the United States and France.  This could be your once in a lifetime chance to view an exhibit of this calibre.  Please plan to visit Seaforth, Ontario Legion at 123 Main Street South from November 30 – December 2, 2017.

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First Clue of the PEIMQG Mystery Quilt today

The first clue is out- its to make HST with the background and accent colours (which I have yet to choose)

I hope to find some time either later today or at least on the weekend to pick my fabric and make the blocks!

I am not good at keeping up with dead lines, but really hope to keep on track for this.

I’ll edit the post in a few days to show you the blocks I make.

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PEI MQG Mystery Quilt Along

I am not one for mystery projects, but since the PEI MQG has offered a modern option to their QAL I thought I would give it a shot!

Fabric selection starts now, and they have given a few options to help you pick out your fabrics.  I opted for the easy option and purchased a bundle already curated and expect it to be in my mailbox by the end of the week!  Mad About Patchwork has a few selections that would work well with the mystery quilt and are 10% off.  Thank you Mad About Patchwork!

Here is what I picked:

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I now have to go through my Kona bolts and find 2 grey shades and I know I have a full bolt of Snow, so I am good to go!

The next clue is in September, thankfully, as I doubt I will have any time to work on this project during the summer.  I will try to post photos each month as I go along, so check back.  The final quilt top should be complete April 2018- I hope!

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Quilt Canada Quilt Show

The Canadian Quilters Association had their big yearly quilt show, Quilt Canada, this week in Toronto.

I was there for the day on Thursday taking a class on quilt judging.  This was a class if you want to become a quilt show judge, but it was also for people, like me, that enter quilts into juried quilt shows.  I got a lot of information from the teachers on what judges look like in a quilt, so that advise was amazing!

I had a few minutes at lunch and then 1 hour after class to run through the quilt show to do a bit of shopping and see the quilts.  Here are a few of my favourites.

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Improv Untitled- Krista Hennebury, North Vancouver BC

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Burrard- Susan Purney Mark, Victoria BC

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Captured Moments- Marianne Haak, St. Albert AB

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March On- Cheryl Arkison, Calgary AB

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Eclipse- Terry Aske, Vancouver BC

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We The North Since 1867- Michele-Renee Charbonneau, Ottawa ON

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Round Peg, Square Hole- Krista Hennebury, North Vancouver BC

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Cumulative Effect- Stacey Lee O’Malley, Ottawa, ON

 

The Ottawa MQG had a special exhibit as well and here are some of their guild member’s quilts.

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It was a rushed trip and I wonder if I spent more time in traffic driving through Toronto than I did at the quilt show?

 

Speak Even LOUDER

Once again I am angered by the media headlines from today in Halifax.

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Add that to the Canadian Judge who questioned a sexual assault victim about keeping her knees together.

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For every 1,000 sexual assaults, only 33 are reported; of these, 12 result in charges and six go to trial, where only 45 % result in conviction.

Countless sexual assault survivors are put on trial, their characters questioned and made to re-live the assault over again in court.  Court cases are dismissed and the violent offenders are acquitted.

Sexual assault victims should be thought of as survivors, because they are strong and courageous. Believing survivors lets them know that they are supported and that others may have been in the same situation. They are not alone.  There is hope.

If anything, this is a reason for all of us to speak even louder. (Statement by the victim SURVIVOR in the Brock Turner case)

I made this quilt to bring awareness to survivors- here are some comments about it hanging at QuiltCon in Savannah.  I hope it got a lot of people talking!  I love the hashtags added to the comments!

 

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STOLEN QUILT- we know who has it, just can’t get it back.

Thought I would post about my “stolen” quilt that I had gifted to my Great Uncle Kenn last year for his 90th birthday.

A man named Phillip befriended my Uncle and pretty much cleaned out his apartment and bank account when my Uncle was dying in the hospital in 2016.  I contacted Phillip and asked for my quilt back but he gave me excuse after excuse as to why I can’t have the quilt.

So it should still be in his possession- unless he ever decides to sell it or give it away.  There is a label on the back, but it could have been removed so that no visible identification can be made.  The label indicates the quilt is for my Uncle Kenn for his 90th birthday and the date is August 5th 2015.

Phillip lives in Pickering Ontario as well as Toronto Ontario, so if anyone ever sees this quilt in those areas, somehow let me know.

The quilt is a double bed size, with the top fabrics being Kona Putty for the background and Moda Weave Linen Look fabrics used for the brown, beige and grey rectangles on the front.  The thread used to quilt it are the same colours, which you can kind of see the different stripes of quilting in the photo.

The back is a Carolyn Friedlander crosshatch widleback in grey (my most favourite fabric)

No idea if I will ever get this quilt back- but just posting the fact that it was taken, is a step.

 

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Local Quilt Store Day- January 28th

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I am finding it hard to get to all my local quilt shops in just one day- so I am renaming this “HOLIDAY” Support your local quilt shop WEEK!

If I can get my bike down from the top of the garage I plan to bike to The Marsh Store– yes that’s right I said bike and yes it is January in Canada. Walking will be my plan if I can’t reach my bike.

On Wednesday I will be at Knit Stitch for the end of the month stitching night.

And on Saturday it will be a road trip to The Cotton Harvest Quilt Shop and Kalidoscope.

 

Hope you get the chance to support your local quilt shop on Saturday- HAPPY SHOPPING!

 

Steal Like an Artist- Nothing Is Original Quilt

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After my CQA nonsense and then the MQG post on Derivative work- I really wanted to quilt out my “feelings” so I made my Steal Like An Artist- Nothing Is Original quilt.

The quote above sums up all the places we get our inspiration from.

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What makes something a copy or derivative or original?  This is a HST public domain block but when I saw White Curve V 1973 by Ellsworth Kelly it inspired me to make a huge scale HST in the black and white colours.  Here it is hanging in the Seattle Art Museum.

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On the painting, the centre line is a tad curved, but I wanted my quilt to be straight like a HST.  Did I alter my inspiration enough for my work to become original? NOPE!  Because it was inspired by something and can’t be ever considered my work.

I also saw Gina Pina’s quilt called Cut and Keep, where she put fabric under the top layer of fabric so that you could faintly see the cut pieces through the top fabric.

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I thought this was a really interesting technique and it inspired me.  So I tried it.  I was using the Michael Miller Luxe fabrics that were part of the MQG Fabric Challenge, and used the solid turquoise under my top white fabric.

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The name of this quilt is the title of a book by Austin Kleon, which I suggest everyone read.  Which is yet another source of my inspiration.

A quilt block, a painting, a technique and a book all inspired me to make this quilt, yet it doesn’t look anything like them.

And I still can’t call my quilt an original quilt.

If I hadn’t been banned for 2 years, from the NJS at Quilt Canada, I might have just entered this quilt into the quilt show in hopes to create a discussion once again on original works. Or maybe I want to enter it just to ruffle some feathers?

 

MQG Swap!

The MQG is hosting their first ever swap which starts now and runs until the week of QuiltCon. There will be an event for swappers to exchange their minis at QuiltCon.

I am one of the Swap Fairies so I have a group of 10 swappers to organize.  Should be quiet fun meeting new people online and hopefully in person next February.

Check out the hashtag #mqgswap for progress photos and inspiration.

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Visiting the Vancouver MQG Quilt Show

I had a trip planned for Vancouver and made sure my dates corresponded with the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild Show!   Some of the Vancouver MQG members are on Instagram and I have been following them for a while, so contacted Holly, the founder of the Vancouver MQG, for more information about the quilt show. She was so friendly and helpful and even gave me all the transit routes to take over to North Van. Once again I got to take a ferry like last year when I went from Halifax to Dartmouth for the Maritime MQG meeting. Once off the ferry, I followed the signs to the quilt show!

I knew Holly was volunteering at the show near the entrance, and she was one of the first people I saw upon entering the quilt show. She welcomed me and told me a little about their guild. The Vancouver MQG has just over 100 members and they organized this quilt show in only a few months. They put in long hours setting up the beautiful venue and hanging quilts, and it was obvious that all their hard work paid off- the quilt show was amazing! Here are a few photos of the show and the venue called The Pipe Shop.

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Right near the entrance was a display of the guild’s mini quilts. The wall was painted with their guild logo and all the mini quilts hung on this wall.

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Beside the mini wall was an activity where quilt show patrons could cut fabric and glue it to paper to create their own improv block, and these blocks were displayed on the nearby beams

Holly introduced me to some of the guild members who were all so excited to tell me about their quilt show, you could tell how proud they were.

 

The guild was raffling their 2016 QuiltCon Charity quilt to raise money for a local charity called Mom-to-Mom Poverty Initiative. I bought some tickets, but did not win the quilt. One of their members named Nancy Chan won the quilt! Congratulations Nancy!

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These are just some of the quilts that were on display at the quilt show.

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As you can see, the Vancouver MQG is a busy guild with lots of member participation. I am so glad to have been able to see their quilt show, and meet some of their members. Wonder which quilts will be at QuiltCon East?

 

 

Let It Go!

I am always learning- every single day. Some days it may be the littlest thing that I have learned, but it’s still learning. I find inspiration everywhere. I also love to create. And through learning I am able to be creative. Through inspiration I gather ideas, they go through the blender that is inside my brain and eventually these ideas and inspirations somehow come out of me, in my creativity. But at what point are these concepts, techniques I have learned, and have been inspired from, actually considered my own designs?

Well after speaking with Kathleen, the CQA Jury Coordinator for the NJS coming up in Toronto,  on the phone the other day- her opinion was, a design can never be considered an original design if someone had that design first. It doesn’t matter the design was inspired by something; it is still considered a derivative of that original work. Which means no matter how much blending goes on in my brain- no ideas would be my own original designs.

Have I lost you here? Because I ended that phone call scratching my head, then crying, then getting very angry. How can anyone’s designs be original and their own? Unless we were born knowing everything and walk around with blinders on, and earplugs in- never to be influenced by anything, our inspiration had to come from somewhere.

I started thinking of every creative thing I could and examples of how past artists inspire future artists. My thoughts were endless. There is no shortage of creativity in this world and millions of opportunities for learning. Just think of fine art artists and musicians- look at how past paintings or songs influence artists of this generation.

I spend WAY too long looking at quilts, fascinated by what people are creating, seeking out the next opportunity to learn, being challenged with my own quilting, which is the reason why I am still taking classes and workshops whenever something interests me. I will never stop learning!

So back to my phone conversation. Grab a cup of tea (0r maybe something even stronger), sit down for a while, this is going to be a long blog post. But there will be photos, and inspiration, and tears, and creativity- everything, which makes me love being a quilter.

I started long arm machine quilting 15+ years ago when in our area, at the time, there was little to no training. It’s Canada for goodness sakes, try and find a long arm dealer when you need your machine fixed up here- impossible! Our only sources were books, DVDs, friends, yearly quilting conventions. I don’t even think quilting had an online presence like it does today. I wasn’t on Facebook posting photos, there was no Instagram, we did what we could to teach ourselves, and gather inspiration in little snippets where we could.

Years later I am still gathering inspiration, sometimes in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep, I am on my iPhone, under the covers scrolling through Instagram being amazed at all the quilting around the world. I can guarantee I will be doing this exact thing in a few weeks when QuiltCon is happening, searching hash tags, photo feeds, sharing moments in time with all the other quilters who want to be excited with all the new ideas.

I was fortunate to attend the last QuiltCon, in Austin where I signed up for some lectures and workshops hoping to learn something new. I grow pretty stale very quickly in my quilting and just wanted to find that one little spark to ignite my passion again for another year. So I signed up for Krista Withers’ class called Compositional Drawing class. I had never taken a drawing class; never taken a class offered by Krista before and was so excited! What could I possibly be learning? I bought the required supplies, and I was ready! Though I was so disappointed when I was emailed my class handouts leading up to the workshop. They were quite vague, explained how to quilt a paisley shape and I immediately thought why did I sign up for a class that will be teaching me something I already knew how to do? I mean come on, I had been quilting paisleys for longer than Krista had been machine quilting! WRONG! And I apologize for thinking I wouldn’t learn anything before I even took the class. Funny thing is I never even used the paisley design in my quilt.

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Class handout from Compositional Drawing- Krista Withers

This class was a drawing class where we would learn a concept/ technique of dividing our quilt tops into areas and then quilting those areas with whatever designs we choose. We did not copy any patterns, trace any designs, or have Krista mark our samples. We were given free reign to come up with whatever design we wanted.

Here are the notes I took in class and my class sample.

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The technique was intriguing and as soon as I got home, I pieced a quilt top and started my own version of what I had learned. For me, I want to jump right into something with little to no planning. I learn by doing, not by drawing. Yes I made a few notes and sketches, but I wanted to quilt and I wanted to quilt NOW. I grabbed my blue marking pencil, some rulers and stencils and got to work. I learned a lot about this technique of quilting and when I can find the time, I have another quilt top just waiting for me to play around again. This is a design that is ever evolving. It can be reworked time and time again to include many different elements within that one idea.

Here is my sketch I made to be quilted on my quilt top.

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So here is where I start to get angry.

I took a workshop, learned something new, wanted to try this new idea I learned, worked on my design, made a quilt, entered my quilt in a juried show only to be told that my quilting designs were not my original designs and that the designs on my quilt were Krista’s designs. This got my back up a bit because while the concept and technique was Krista’s, I believe that the design is mine. I chose how to divide up my quilt top, how many horizontal lines to use, where to section off the smaller sections, how many circles to quilt etc. I learned so much in that workshop that I wanted to try it on my own and did just that. And isn’t that what everyone does after taking workshops? That is the whole point of a workshop- to learn something and then continue working on what you learned later after the workshop on your own.

I mean if we were to take a workshop and then never be able to work on it again, without being told our work at home was not original, then what the point of ever taking a workshop? What is the point of ever wanting to learn anything new? And if we were all making the exact same version of what we learned from an instructor, then the world would be full of the one exact same quilt. Because I am telling you- we all had to start somewhere. We were all taught how to quilt at some point in our lives. Even the self-taught quilters, found ideas and inspiration somewhere because none of them were born knowing how to sew a 9-patch block, as simple and easy as that block is.

I know that Kathleen, the lady that phoned me, has strong opinions on copyright in the quilting industry. She has written articles on copyright, but for her to tell me that my design was not original was her opinion- and her opinion alone. Which got me doing a little research. Because while I knew my design was my own, I felt that I needed to prove it, and to be honest; she made me feel like I was somehow in the wrong. Every time I have entered my quilt I have given credit to Krista Withers saying I learned this technique in her workshop. I even gave her credits in the comments on some of my photos on Instagram. I have never once claimed I invented this technique of quilting- NEVER. But for Kathleen, being inspired by something is not acceptable, to give credit to Krista’s workshop is not acceptable. She stuck by her opinion that my design was not my own original design. But I do believe that the design I quilted on my quilt is my own original design and that design was inspired by a technique I learned from Krista.

So through research I found this article titled Deciphering the Myth Surrounding Original, Derivative & Copied work by Anna Hergert, which was published in The Canadian Quilter CQA magazine Spring 2013 edition. (CQA is the same organization that Kathleen belongs to- so you can see the differing opinions among it’s own judges)

“However, here is the good news—once the workshop participant returns to her own sewing space or studio and further develops the concept learned in the classroom, this subsequent work is considered original. In addition, it is important to point out that embroidery and quilting stitches are not copyrighted. Simple and compound stitches of any combination have been executed by our ancestors through the ages and as such they are in the public domain!”

This article states that if you took a workshop and learned something in that workshop- once you leave the workshop, go home and then further develop the concept learned, the subsequent work is considered original. UUUUMMMMM- that’s what I did.  And the fact that this whole original design issue has to do with my machine quilting stitches, which are clearly stated as in the public domain.

Do I even have to go any further with this blog post because there is my point right there.  Why has Kathleen, who is the single and only person to see all the quilt entries before they go on to the quilt show jury committee even bothered to call me and create an issue when clearly there is no need. (and this fact that ONE person is the only person who sees all the entries, before the quilts then go on to the jury committee is a whole other topic that gets me going!)

And why have I let it bother me for the whole week?  I need to start twirling around dancing singing the song from Frozen- Let It GO!

But I guess for me, it’s the principal of the whole entering a quilt into a juried show thing.  Shows like these have so many rules and regulations so that they give off the illusion of being professional.  How professional is it really when one person is the ONLY person to see all the online quilt entries, then makes decisions based on her opinion alone, as to which quilts actually go through and be seen by the 3 person jury committee?  Based on the entry forms and photos, the “Jury Coordinator” forms her opinion on if all the photos are the correct size, if all the credit is given, if your design is original, if your quilt is in the proper category etc. Any entries that she has concern with, then she follows up. And those entries that are deemed satisfactory by this one person are then passed along to the next step where they then have the opportunity to be juried in.  So, there are entries that have never even made it on to the jury process to be given a fair chance.  Who knew jurying was a two step process? Not me until this week! Who knew one person’s opinion on what was an original design or not would be a great topic for a blog post? Not me until this week!

Thankfully after many phone calls, I was informed my quilt would be able to stay in the Modern Quilts category and be considered an original design.  Which is all I really wanted in the first place, why I entered my quilt in the CQA- NJS and in the Modern category.  Now it’s fate is in the hands of the jury, to determine if they would like to have it in the quilt show. (EDIT: the Jury did in fact like my quilt enough for them to jury it into the show- unfortunately it was sold at QuiltCon so I had to withdraw my entry, which got me banned by CQA to enter a quilt again for 2 years.  Like after this nonsense they think I will ever enter again?)

Here are some screen shots from my IG as well as from Krista’s IG.  You can see while our quilts are quilted with the same elements- lines, pebbles, circles etc. they are also different by where the elements are placed, how the quilt top has been divided and sectioned off etc.

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This is a photo from Krista’s IG

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I have some photos now and can actually post on my blog again so here is a photo of my quilt.

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And here is a photo of it hanging at QuiltCon in February- yes that’s a SOLD sticker!  (while I was so upset it sold without me knowing I had it listed for sale, months later I am ok with it.  And knowing it was purchased by an art gallery owner in L.A. makes me realize that I love my quilt, and others love my quilt- who the hell cares what the CQA judge thinks)

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(above photos from Renee of @quiltsnfeathers)

And @emilymeilner posted these lovely words about my quilt on Instagram

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Let me know what you think-   melonpatch.quilts @ yahoo . ca

(you will have to email me directly, I had to shut down the comments on my blog as the spam was out of control)