For the first time in Canada, the Canadian Quilters’ Association (Association de la courtepointe) presented a travelling quilt show titled It’s Time for Colour.
The show displayed 18 master quilters’ work from across Canada at the Rossland Art Gallery this month. Rossland quilter Karen Thatcher, who organized the tour stop here, said the show was well received.
“There were tons of people going in there [Rossland Art Gallery]. Not only quilters but also artists — even some from Australia. The show attracted people from lots and lots of cross disciplines as well as people from other art guilds like Nelson and Grand Forks. The show is not just about quilts but also about nice artists and their work. We have done a lot of good things for the community.”
Thatcher’s story is quite unique in that she learned to quilt as a way to cope with a severe head injury she suffered after a car accident. Quilting trained her to think in a more linear fashion and to weave new ways.
“What I do helps me. Quilting gives me goal-setting techniques. It allows me to express myself,” said Thatcher.
When Thatcher was first establishing herself in quilting, she contacted the Jimmy Pattison Group to donate ties. In the first month 4,000 silk ties were sent to her from the Vancouver-based organization which employees 64,000 people.
Thatcher explains she organized the travelling quilt show to be displayed in Rossland by getting together with gallery curator Fletcher Quince and formulating a plan to bring the award winning quilters’ work to the mountain kingdom.
“I was invited to join the group of artists and I donated to the small quilt that was displayed. I asked to bring the show here,” said Thatcher.
The show offered a rare opportunity to purchase a quilt made by a master quilter who has won at least one award at the Canadian National Juried Show.
Quilts were for sale at $200 each with proceeds from sales going to benefit The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada (childrenswish.ca).
Quilting allows Thatcher to host her own workshops and convey the wealth of information she has learned over the years. Now a teacher of the art, she explains it is no longer your grandma’s type of handicraft.
“My goal is to create beautiful things by working out the technical problems of art quilting, connecting with others with like interests and teach those who would like to learn my personal techniques,” Thatcher said.