Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Open Letter to the Members of Montreal Modern Quilt Guild

I was flipping through my 'guild binder' yesterday and came across the first agenda that I ever wrote for the guild and realized that we are coming up on the third anniversary of our very first meeting (March 18th, 2012)!

This led me to reflect on all that has happened since Josée and I decided to start the guild.

First and foremost, I have found a good friend in Josée. She is not only a reliable vice-president, organized, dedicated, and talented, she also gives so much of her time to the guild and she is a great person. Thank you Josée for your continued support as a colleague and for your friendship.

Being a part of this guild has allowed me to meet many other wonderful people and I feel privileged to be part of a community of people who are so willing to share and learn from one another. You share in your expertise through demos, you impart knowledge on others and you give your time so willingly to ensure that our guild runs smoothly.

This year especially, we have had so much assistance from members and that has helped make our meetings more enjoyable. Our executive committee members work hard to organize our finances, our membership, swaps, challenges, sew-ins, workshops and meet-ups. Thank you to Josée, Isabelle, Denise, Louise, Agnes and Michèle.
A big thank you also goes to Jill for organizing the volunteers for set-ups and for providing us with refreshments. Our meetings and our breaks have been so much more pleasurable thanks to of all the volunteers who have signed up to help.

We also have an official photographer this year. Thanks Stephanie for the great pics and for posting them online.

Joanna, our librarian has put together an extensive list of sewing and quilting related books that are available for members to borrow. Thank you kindly to those who are willing to share their books.

I am also grateful to all members who come to meetings to share their creations during the show and tell. I know that we all feel vulnerable sometimes when showing what we made. Quilts have a very personal meaning to their makers and when we share them we are exposing a part of ourselves and that takes a lot of courage. So I say thank you to all of you for sharing a part of yourselves.

Even outside of our meetings, people continue to provide encouragement to one another and to help spread the word about our guild and its members. Thank you especially to Stacy for posting on FB and your blog about the personal accomplishments of our members and for promoting the guild. You have also been so helpful in sourcing quilting products that our guild members have requested.

This is not only my first experience as the president of a guild; it is also the first time that I am a member of any guild. In the past three years, I have experienced a big learning curve! Mainly I have learned that nothing great is ever accomplished alone. I also realize that when a large group of people are involved in an endeavor, it is not only difficult but impossible for everyone to agree on everything.

As the president of the guild, I hope that I have always been available to listen to members’ grievances and comments about the goings on of the guild. My intention has always been to create an environment of mutual respect. Everyone is welcome to express their personal opinion on any matter during our meetings and through our online forum.

If ever you wish to address something privately, my email address is public and I am also available to speak to anyone after a meeting or sew-in.
We also put out an annual survey at the end of each year so people can also voice their opinions anonymously.

Finally I would like to say thank you to everyone for just showing up. Your presence makes our work worthwhile and I look forward to seeing you all every month.


Monday, February 23, 2015

In the news...

The past few days have been exciting for me. First off, my quilt "Fill the Void" won a third place ribbon at Quiltcon in the handwork category!

The organizers contacted me two days before the awards ceremony to let me know that I was to receive an award but did not say for what. When I submitted my quilt back in November (?) I did not request that my quilt be put in a specific category, but left it up to them. So i had no idea what category I had won for! 
I am so pleased that it was put in the handwork category. It was such an enormous pleasure to quilt this quilt. I really took my time with it,  spending lots of peaceful evening hours working on it. 

This quilt is very personal to me and I am more attached to it than any other quilt i have made. I faced many struggles in the making of it, and they were all worthwhile. (You can read about my process here). I am really looking forward to getting it back! 

In other news, Josee Carrier and I were featured in an article in the local newspaper thi spast weekend. The La Presse  article talks about the fresh new approaches that today's quilters are using to create quilts that are not at all like what our grandmothers made! 
Tamara Serrao, Montreal MQG member and designer for Michael Miller Fabrics also spoke in the article about the ever evolving fabric industry. 
It is great to see that modern quilting is getting some exposure here in Quebec! It's been a little slow to catch on, but I think we are making great strides.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters

About a year ago, Sherri Lynn Wood of Daintytime, announced that she was working on a book based on her approaches to improvisational quilting. If you know me, you know I love improv, and you know that I am a great admirer Sherri Lynn's work. So you can imagine how excited I was when she asked me to be a test quilter for her book!

The book is does not provide a set of quilt patterns to follow, but rather proposes a set of parameters within which to create, which Sherri Lynn refers to as 'scores':

 "A score or lead sheet, common to improvised musical traditions such as jazz, is a set of notations or parameters within which the improvisation is free to take shape".

Each test quilter was given a score to work with and was set free to create a quilt based on a set of instructions. 

The score I was received was "Bias Petal Quilt".

Armed with a set of bias strips,
 and  a large petal shape...
 I set about to create my quilt...
Overall, I have to say that I have absolutely enjoyed this process! I consider myself an intermediate quilter and this technique presented itself with just the right amount of challenge for me.  

I hand quilted it with perle cotton

  I love the freedom we were given to create something within the limits of a score.  I can't wait to see the book even though my quilt did not make the cut. 
"In My Solitude"

The quilt now hangs in my newly redecorated dining room. 

The book will be released in March but you can pre-order it on Amazon. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015


A year ago I was inspired by Victoria Findlay Wolf to choose a word that would be my guiding light for the year. You can read about it in last year's post. My banner hung in my studio all year and it really did help me stay on track with my goals,  so I am continuing the tradition with a new word for this year:

It was inspired by the last book I read in 2014: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Don't you love the cover? 
A great read if you have ever felt like you are spread too thin or just busier than you would like to be. Author Greg McKewon  shows us how to give more energy to fewer activities so that we can "have the satisfying experience of making significant progress in the things that matter most". It's about prioritizing, un-committing,eliminating, focusing and choosing. 
True to his philosophy, the book is simply written and easy to follow. I have taken the 3 steps delineated at the end of the book to set my priorities for the year. The steps are: 

1-State your Intent 
2-Identify obstacles that stand in the way of accomplishing #1
3-Remove the obstacle(s)

This way of being is also manifesting itself in my approach to quilting. Stay tuned...And Happy New Year! 
BTW, Sherri Lynn Wood also wrote a great post about her focus word for 2015. She shares how she plans to apply it everyday life and to her creative practice. Her blog is always a good read!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quilting With Intention

That's my new motto. In a way, it always has been. Let me explain...

A couple of weeks ago, while browsing thru FB, I came across a page called "The Slow Stitching Movement"; something that was started by Mark Lipinski, who is a well-known personality in the quilting world.

It caught my attention at first because I thought it had something to do with handquilting. Lately, I've been finding myself craving more handstitching projects, so naturally I went on to explore.

Upon further exploration, I learned that stitching slowly is not what the movement is about at all. Rather, it is about making something that is meaningful. To find out more about what that means, you can hop on over to The Slow Stiching website.

I also discovered that Mark Lipinkski was offering a webinar about the Slow Stitching Movement, which I promptly registered for and listened to live last week. 
And I am so glad I did! So much of what Mark talks about in his webinar really resonated with me. Mostly because I already share his philosophy about purposeful making. Here are some key points that I came away with:

1-creating is about process, not product. Something I have always believed in. That is why I like to create improvisationally.

2-in a fast paced world, when we do or make something that is 'quick and easy', we lose excellence in our work and it. does. not. allow. us. to. grow. Don't be afraid to try something difficult; to learn a new skill!

3-The Slow Stitching Movement is about:

-being conscious of what you are doing
-practicing excellence
-and making soulful projects.

Earlier this year, Quilter's Connection Magazine published an interview with me in their Spring 2014 issue. One of the questions that I was asked was: 
What's in store for your future? 
Here is my answer:

"I want to explore the improvisational process with more depth. I want to push the envelope to see how I can translate complex ideas into a quilt design. I want my quilts to convey a message."

Quilting with Intention! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fill the Void

Here is the last quilt that I finished.  You can read about my process in this previous post. 

It was on exhibit last month at the CQQ Quilt Show in Montreal and just this past weekend at the Vermont Quilt Festival where it received a second place ribbon! 

Fill the Void

Quantum physics shows us that we are all connected in this great universe and that space is not space, but actually energy. 
All the thoughts, actions and energy we project into the universe are interconnected.

Whatever we do and whomever we meet becomes a part of us. 

Biggest quilt I've ever made
84.5 X 88.5
Machine pieced
Handquilted with Perle Cotton Thread #8
Invisible Binding
Modern improv interpretation of the traditional 'Double Wedding Ring' pattern
Fraught with meaning for me
A challenge to piece
A joy to quilt!