October 2021 Meeting Highlights
Another month and another great information and picture-packed guild meeting!
Guest Speaker Cheryl Arkison
Cheryl Arkison joined us from her home in Calgary to inform and inspire us to incorporate play into our quilting.
In Cheryl's words:
"Far too often we focus on the results, the product, the finish line in lieu of the process. A huge part of the process is simply playing. In quilting it is about matching the pattern and perfecting our points but where is the release, the relaxation, the revelation in that? Play is an important part of a child’s development but I don’t think it should stop when we become adults.
This presentation is all about adding a spirit of play back in to our creative pursuits."
Cheryl's presentation was excellent.
She began by emphasizing the importance of play in our lives: how it makes us human, builds our skills and contributes to learning, and relieves stress by providing an escape and thus enables us to cope better with stress.
Through photos and stories of her own quilts and her experiences creating them, Cheryl very effectively showed us how to introduce play into our own quilt making. Cheryl embraces Improv as a key technique for play with her quilts. She often gives herself a little direction for a project, for example low volume fabrics, and then proceeds to make the components. Cheryl does a lot of experimenting when designing and making her quilts to "Let's see what happens". She typically makes all of the components before figuring out how she'll put them together.
We saw photos of several of the quilts with some interesting and intriguing names including Smooch, U, Making Waves, Lilla, March On, Kawasaki's Theorum, Samsquanch, Antonio's Quilt, There is Peace in Pattern, Sewing Machine Quilt, Shiver (a group of whales is called a shiver). Photos of many of these quilts and many more are featured on Cheryl's web site Gallery page. Tip: Click on a photo to enlarge it, and hover (mouse) over it to see the name and description.
Cheryl's tip for easing into improv is to make a quilt of half square triangles using fabrics from a coordinating fabric bundle plus one neutral fabric, and then improvise with their layout. Her Network quilt is an example of a half square triangle quit.
Those of us who made the slab blocks for the quilt tops for the Canadian Quilters' Association's 2017 Big Quilt Bee were using Cheryl's design for the blocks. These quilts were donated to Ronald McDonald Houses in Canada as a Canada 150 project, See photos here. The leftover blocks were used to construct 4 quilts for Quilts of Valour.
Cheryl's own bio sums up a lot of what she expanded on in her presentation.
"Back when I started quilting it was practically unheard of for a 23 year old to do so, but there I was. Now, over 20 years later I haven’t stopped. In addition to my own creative work, I love to teach, write books, spread the gospel of improv, and design quilts. Every now and then I make a garment, my Grade 8 Home Ec Teacher would be proud.
When it comes to making I am happy to make what inspires. I am well known for my use of bold colour and the quiet whispers of low volume fabrics but I will use anything in between as well. Use what you love, make what makes you happy. Just get your butt in the seat and sew.
In the past decade I’ve published three books: Sunday Morning Quilts (coauthored with Amanda Jean Nyberg, A Month of Sunday, and You Inspire Me to Quilt. I’ve also travelled the world to teach quilting. In between I am raising 3 active kids and running a business with my husband. Sometimes, I sleep."
Keep up with Cheryl via her web site: www.cherylarkison.com and on Instagram and Twitter: @Cheryl_Arkison
Thank you Cheryl for a very informative and motivating evening.
Summer Scrap Challenge
Brigid gave her presentation of the Summer Scrap Challenge projects including the 3 prize winning quilts. The challenge participants saw this presentation during the challenge wrap up Zoom call in early September.
We saw some beautiful Show and Tell projects and enjoyed their stories.
The evening wrapped up with the prize draws.
The Library prize was her "You Inspire Me to Quilt" book donated by Cheryl Arkision (co-author) and it was won by Emma.
The $10 door prize gift certificates for Auntie Em's Scrapbooking & Quilting in Cornwall are going to lucky winners Tina, Joyce M, and Brenda G.
-- Janet Brownlee, Communications
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