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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Barb's Grand Bend Retreat

Better late then never! Here are some photos from Barb's retreat, on May 31st, at her cottage in Grand Bend. If you have never gone, I highly recommend it! It's a wonderful relaxing day, in a beautiful setting, with quilting friends, what more could you want?!

Thanks Barb!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Quilters on Vacation: Quilt Canada part 2

Here are some more photos from Cynthia's trip to Quilt Canada 2008! Here she is with instructor Christine Porter:

where she ran into Kay Hannah taking the same workshop!

She also found the booth of Guild sponsor Quilts and Calicos from Exeter:

The official booth of the CQA:

Acknowledgment of our guild's sponsorship of the Trend-Tex Challenge Awards:

Cynthia and her new friend!

A couple of show highlights:

Cynthia reports that she had a great time and came home with a lot of new treasures! a sewing machine and Jenny the bronze rabbit.

Here is a link to the gallery of quilts at Quilt Canada here.

On a sadder note, our guild will remember, that after Robyn Pandolph visited us here in London, she returned home to Texas only to have her quilts stolen from the trunk of her car and as far as I can tell they have never been returned. Unfortunately, a similar incident happened at Quilt Canada to Valerie Hearder had her quilts stolen from her car, you can read about it here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Guest Speaker: Paulette Eccleston

Paulette started her quest for Canadian quilt designers when she volunteered as a pattern reviewer for the CQA newsletter The Canadian Quilter. Her first review in the Winter 2003 issue, led her to Melody Fairburn from Sudbury. Through her dialogue with Melody, she learned of the difficulties that Canadian quilt designers have getting their work out to stores, to the Canadian public, especially for designers who have families and live in isolated places in this big country. This lead Paulette to suggest to Canadian Quilter to let change her focus from pattern review to a feature on the Canadian designer, to help give Canadian designers some exposure. This eventually led to not only introducing designers but to sharing their pattern designs in each issue.

Paulette's job just got bigger, not only did she have to find a new Canadian designer every issue (4 times a year), she had to try out each pattern, and she had to help edit it to fit the constraints of the newsletter. She had to offer a variety of patterns designed by Canadians that reflected the vast geography and diversity of Canada.

Paulette herself comes from a small city in BC, so her exposure to Canadian designers was limited to what her local stores carried, but whenever she travelled she looked for new Canadian pattern companies. Some new pattern designers seek her out, emailing her samples to try. She kept lists, business cards and samples. She wasn't able to just feature them in the order she finds them she had to balance them with the mandates of the newsletter. She's learned there is a lot of talent out there and that we need to seek them out and offer our support by buying their patterns and carrying them in our stores. She learned from many designers that there is not a national trade show to attend to make contacts.

Canadian designers come from all kinds of backgrounds and their companies vary in style and focus. Many get their start from working in quilt shops and conducting classes, and then designing projects for their classes, such as Chi Chi Quilt Designs by Chi Chi Radiuk from Saskatchewan. Others are strictly found on-line, such as Victoriana Quilt Designs, there, your pattern will be emailed to you and you print it yourself. Some companies, such as Button Bush Quilt Company and Designs to Share With You get the whole family involved. The mother creating the patterns, the fathers doing the bookkeeping, the kids doing websites, photography, creating kits etc. Other designers have had success with books published in the US, such as Myra Harder and Cori Derksen with 4 Seasons of Quilts. Paulette describes these 2 as up and comers as they move into fabric design industry. Kathy K. Wylie from Toronto has just released a new book Sew Flakes: Paper Cut Applique Quilts.

For manyCanadian designers the path to success is the trip to the US and to the Quilt Market in Houston, TX. Nellie Holmes of Originellies, one company within Upper Canada Quilt Works, said to Paulette that the most important decision she made was to get a booth at Quilt Market because it is there you get the most exposure and make all your contacts. If the first time isn't a success, she says, then figure out what it was that didn't work and do it again. Getting known in the states is about increasing your geography. It isn't about selling out; it is about selling.

After 5 years of introducing Canadian designers to Canadians, Paulette has passed the torch on to Joyce O'Connell. Now she spends her time teaching at her local quilt shop and designing her own patterns for her classes.

Her local quilt shop is Katja's Quilt Shoppe which will be featured in the autumn issue of Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Sampler Magazine as one of the top 10 quilt stores in North America.

Here is a list of the Canadian designers that Paulette spoke about and have not been mentioned yet, including the issue of The Canadian Quilter they were featured in. (please note our guild library has back issues of The Canadian Quilter):

1) MJM Designs, (Fall 2004), designers Margaret Crawford & Mary Young, Perth, Ontario, featuring Canadian redwork
2) Lotuslands, (Winter 2004), designer Aie Rossman, Calgary, Alberta,

3) Seams2be, (Spring 2005), designer Mary-Ann Lammers-Winter, Welland,Ontario
4) Absoulutely Obssessed, (Summer 2005), designer Lynn Knox, Vernon, BC

5) Sipiweske Quilt Designs, (Summer 2005), designer Marlene Biles, Wawanesa, Manitoba
6) Hula Girl Quilts, (Fall 2005), designer Lauma Cenne, Montreal, Quebec
7) Rocky Mountain Designs, (Winter 2003), designer Vicki Andrews, Golden, BC
8) Designs by Daintry, (Spring 2006), designer Daintry Chitaroni, Sudbury, Ontario
9) Designs by HL,(Fall 2006), designer Helen Louise Coppin, Whitby, Ontario
10) Country Quilts, (Winter 2006) designer Cheryl Wall, Abbotsford, BC
11) Among Brenda's Quilts,(Spring 2007) designer Brenda Miller, Strathroy, Ontario

(thanks to Brenda Miller, one of our local area designers, for coming to the banquet and modelling the quilts for us!)

12) Sew Karen-ly Created, (Summer 2007) designer Karen Neary, Amherst, Nova Scotia
13) Border Creek Station,(Fall 2007), designer Sherri Hisey, Newmarket, Ontario
14) Prairie Rose Designs, (Summer 2006) designer Beverly Howell, Calgary, Alberta
15) Mother Earth Studios, (Winter 2006) designer Hilary Rice, Cornerbrook,Newfoundland
16) Fairfield Road Designs, (Spring 2004) designer Christine Baker, Brockville, Ontario
17) Botanical Art Quilts, designer Janet Rice-Bredin, Naughton, Ontario

LFQG would like to thank Paulette Eccleston for her wonderful talk about Canadian quilt designers. Many of us are surprised and delighted to find so many talented people in our own backyard! And also many thanks to the Canadian designers who donated patterns as door prizes for our banquet! No one left empty handed and it was so hard to choose from such a wide selection of patterns!Thanks again! Please ladies, take the time to peruse the above links and shop Canadian! (Email me if you need the complete list of Canadian designers and the list of patterns)

We wish everyone a safe summer and hope to see you all again this fall and can't wait to see all your talent showcased in our October's "A Harvest of Quilts" Show. Keep reading the blog during the summer to find "Quilters on Vacation".

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quilters on Vacation: Michigan Roadtrip part 2

From the travellers themselves:

On May 17th Mary-Lou V and Cynthia N took a road trip to Michigan for a personalized shop hop of our own design. After crossing the border bright and early we arrived in Richmond before the store opened! That's ok 'cause Sew Together Quilt Shop, was worth the wait with lots of fat quarters, felted wool, and yarn. From there we travelled to The Village Quilt Shop, in Lake Orion, MI.

Mary-Lou's GPS took us to the back of the Olde World Canterbury Village, and we weren't quite sure we'd made it - but don't doubt technology , it turned out to be our favourite of the whole trip. Cynthia purchased the Where the Pretty Bugs Live pattern which she hopes to make into a baby quilt this summer.

From there we pushed on to Aunt Nan's Fabrics, in Oxford,

where Mary-Lou continued to add to her Art to Heart collection with more fat quarters. Can you tell from the pics that we were having fun? After Oxford we drove on to Mabelena Quilting Supplies and Comforts, in Ortonville, where we found sock monkey fabric and picked some up for Cynthia M-R! Mabelena's was big on aprons, tea towels and other thirties type sewing/embroidery accessories.

After lunch we finished our shop hop at Linda's Country Quilts, in Davison, MI. where I convinced Mary-Lou to get in front of the camera!

Linda's Country Quilts had a lot of thimbleberries type fabrics and colours, although there was one really nice garden/bunny quilt on the wall that Mary-Lou fell in love with. Hmmm, I wonder if she bought that too? Ending our shop hop in Port Huron of course we stopped in at Hobby Lobby and Mary Maxim's and made it back to London in the early evening.

It was a wonderful day, thanks to Mary-Lou for doing all the driving and being such great company. I must admit I was a wee bit shocked at the lack of customers in the quilt shops in Michigan. Other than the price of gas it's still a bargain for us since our dollar is more or less on par with theirs and American fabric prices are definitely lower!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Next Meeting: June Banquet, Thursday, June 12, 6:30 PM

This year's June Banquet is at the Best Western Stoneridge Inn in Lambeth. Doors open at 6:30 PM with dinner served at 7PM. You must have a ticket to attend. Our guest speaker is Paulette Eccleston and she will be talking about Canadian Designers. Paulette is from BC and is described as a "Quilter, Teacher, Writer, and Collector" and you may recognize her as a regular columnist in The Canadian Quilter. She won the Dorothy McMurdie Award in 2006.

A couple of reminders:
1. Please remember to bring with you any outstanding library books, if you are not attending the dinner please arrange with Lynn D to have the book(s) picked up.

2. The temperature in these banquet halls can be fickle at this time of year, please bring a sweater just in case of extreme A/C.

3. There is no fabric postcard exchange for this month, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linda G, outgoing Outreach executive, for coordinating the postcard exchange and posting them on the blog. It was her wonderful idea and those who participated had a lot of fun! We would especially like to thank her for all her efforts as Outreach executive. Her efforts have made a lot of children happy! Linda is moving into a new home outside of the city and will no longer be able to attend our meetings. We wish her well in her new home, but you can still see what she has been up to by visiting her blog Living, Quilting and Stuff. Thanks Linda!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Quilters on Vacation: Quilt Canada 2008

These just in, from guild president, Cynthia M-R: early photos of touring in Newfoundland! These are from a local craft studio:

More photos of the show to follow!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quilters on Vacation: Michigan and New Hamburg

While checking out our members' blogs I came across these weary travellers:

Linda G meets up with friends at the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale and Quilt Auction, you can read about it here.

Meanwhile Cynthia N travelled to the US and made a tour of the quilting shops in Michigan. She says the GPS is a wonderful gadget, and the prices of fabric in the US as well as a great CDN dollar make shopping there worth the trip. More details to come later.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Quilters on Vacation: Kitchener-Waterloo Region

Jill B visited the K-W region last weekend, and here are her quilter's hot spots:

1) McDougall Cottage in Cambridge: every year they host the Wee Quilt Challenge, and this year features 2 entries by guild members!

2) Joseph Schneider Haus in Kitchener: they were hosting a quilting bee, quilting a quilt made from blocks entered in the Greener Planet Block Challenge, see photo below.

3) Grand National in Kitchener: Jill has this to say,"I must say it is a spectacular show. The on-line catalogue does not even come close to doing justice to the works that are exhibited there. I hope that many of our guild members will have a chance to see it first hand."

Thanks Jill, for sharing your quilting hot spots!