Living with a dash of purple

Just back from Canada’s very own Quilt-stravaganza, CQA Calgary.

Spring snow didn't dampen enthusiasm or wilt my credit card!

I traveled with Janome to preview our newest machine, the Horizon (officially known as the MC7700QCP).

If a sewing machine could be sexy,... meet Marilyn!

Of course, I didn’t excavate my camera from the bottom of my bag, but these are some ‘pictures’ of my favourite moments:

Show and Tell:

Sitting in the cheap seats offered up post-banquet to those who didn’t share in the meal, but wanted to partake of dessert; an informal show and tell session was put on by the conference teachers and attendees where they each walked the room, holding up a favourite piece to give us an up close view of their work. What a treat… but pity the arms of the women carrying the full size quilts around to a room of 400+ attendees! A personal favourite was Ionne McCauley:

Ionne specializes in unique edge finishing, and her stitching is divine!

Best stolen moment:


Dashing to the loo, only to find Pamela Allen returning to the banquet. We stole away to get some fresh air (since the snow had ceased) and catch up with each other. Pamela’s art is more vibrant than ever… I love her recent work. And she is sporting a healthy new physique to match.
And from the land of wierd coincidences, Pamela roomed with Ionne (who she just met at the conference). They could be sisters separated at birth.

Best Dressed new buddy:

I finally got to meet Johanna Alford, president CQA/ACC! What a dynamo… and she always seemed to have the perfect jacket (a woman after my own heart). Johanna always had a hundred details on the go, but she made time to stop and talk. We have emailed to and fro, but meeting Johanna was a pleasure. Maybe we should make a visit to Chico’s together.

... and it is on sale

Show Favourite:

Of course, beyond the frenzy of the merchant mall is where the real treasure can be found. I enjoyed all to be had in the larger juried show exhibition, but particularly enjoyed the hidden away gem of The Fabricators, an exhibition by a group of 14 BC fibre artisans. I had a personal tour with one of the members which made the art all the more intriguing. Their theme was “Passages, Portals & Beyond.” Each piece could take you away to another location, real or imaginary. The show was an education and overview of the possibilities in fibre art as the variety of approaches to the theme showcased not only different types of techniques, but layers of possibility for all who came. Obviously, most of the audience will be quilters; many of whom feel that they are not interested in or are intimidated by ‘the art quilt.’ This small show welcomed so many diverse perspectives: from traditional to the painted quilt, pieced to singed… I think that the curiosity that could be tweaked in the novice viewer would be the most rewarding interpretation of the portals theme- such a show not only opened doorways into the individual artisan’s worlds, but also for many of the viewers- to see the possibilities for their own creative expression.

A 2006 show from the Fabricators

Most Memorable Moment: Meeting Enid Baker & Friends:

While working in the Janome booth, I had the pleasure to meet Ms. Enid Baker… a woman who seemed to be perpetually smiling, chatting and imagining what her next creation would be. Enid has beautiful soft white hair, streaked with a sassy dash of purple. This was not just a cutesy, red hatter purple… Enid wore it more as a badge of creative spirit than a commercial trend. Enid traveled the show floor with a few friends and was kind enough to introduce me to The Fabricators (of which she is a member). As she walked me through the show, she briefly told me the story of each entry and the artist behind it. I was enchanted…
I was also touched by the friends that flanked Ms. Enid. While she was looking to purchase a sewing machine, her friends were asking about the details (like warranty, lessons…). They wanted to be sure that their friend was treated right.  These friends were also part of the Fabricators… friends in arms and art. Some showed their colors in a streak of purple, others in their art and devotion to a friend. The whole encounter was magical.

It was a busy week. Most of it was spent working, but occasionally, there were moments not to be forgotten. Moments floating in a sea of white, touched with a dash of purple.


One thought on “Living with a dash of purple

  1. Great to meet you at QC 2010, Debbie! Sounds like you had a few moments to spare to take in some of the great exhibits. I wish I’d had an extra day just to myself!

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