Sunday, June 03, 2012

At a Loss...and in a Project

I spent the past two days at quilt shows.  I have no photos of the one in Stettler, because I left my camera at home -- and I have no photos of the one in Wetaskiwin, because it would appear I left my camera at the show. Somewhere.  I have sent e-mails to the show's e-mail address, to the office of the church in which it was held, and to the women at the last two stops I made (Extraordinary Extras of Vermilion, AB, and Lucie Heins at the Royal Alberta Museum).  Lucie is on the road giving talks (more about that in a minute), so per her automated reply, won't be looking at office e-mail till Wednesday.  I can only hope about the other two.  Sigh.  And try not to beat myself up too much in the process of waiting.

Both shows were very nice, but the Wetaskiwin one was larger (as is the town altogether) and a bit more imaginative.  There was a wonderful, humourous quilted clock challenge that I wish I could show you (!) and an absolutely stunning quilt made entirely of silk dupioni, in simple rectangles, that I wanted to bring home with me.  You'll just have to take my word for it!

But for me the most exciting part of the day was the presence of the above-mentioned Ms. Lucie Heins, quilter and Assistant Curator of the Western Canadian History Programme at the RAM.  She's spear-heading part of a larger project, showcasing Alberta craft and its history.  The aim of the Alberta Quilt Project is to expand the documentation of Alberta heritage quilts, while concurrently updating the museum's data on what Alberta quilters are doing now -- that is, on what will become Alberta's quilting heritage fifty+ years from now.  The wee video below is a taste of what Lucie's up to.  If you want more information, try to get to one of the talks she's giving around the Province.  This week I believe she's up in Grand Prairie and Peace River area.  On Wednesday, June 20, I'm going up to Camrose to hear her speak at the Bethel Lutheran Church, 4102 - 73 Street, at 7 p.m.  Admission is FREE.  Come out to learn how you can be part of the Project!

If you can't get out to a talk, but are going to be at the Central Alberta Quilt Show in Red Deer June 8 and 9, Lucie kindly gave me a packet of her research questionnaires.  There are 3 different versions: one for traditional quilters, one for art quilters and one for long-arm quilters.  The questions explore who you are as a quilter, what materials you use, the history of your quilting education and experience, etc.; all material is kept confidential by the Museum in the research process.

I will make sure the questionnaires are available for pick up on June 8, either at the SAQA Exhibit table or at another central location chosen by the show organizers (likely the check-in or info table).  If you want a questionnaire but they're gone when you get there, or you aren't going to the show, e-mail Lucie at or write her at Royal Alberta Museum, 12845 - 102 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5N 0M6.  Alberta quilters, this is our opportunity to share "Why Quilts Matter" to us in Canada, and in Western Canada in particular.  If you're an Alberta quilter, passionate about quilting in any and all of its wonderful forms, stand up and be counted!

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