“The Getaway” by Rossland quilter Karen Thatcher.

Rossland quilter takes top spot in national competition

Karen Thatcher’s “The Getaway” placed first in the Canadian juried show in Vancouver earlier this month

Piece by piece a Rossland fibre artist has been creating a name for herself in the local and national quilting world.

Karen Thatcher recently placed first in the Canadian Quilters National Juried Show for her piece titled “The Getaway.”

Hundreds of quilters from across the country submitted works for the 2018 competition, which was held in the Vancouver Convention Centre from May 31 to June 2

“‘The Getaway’ is one in a series of quilts that depict what we see everyday in Rossland but overlook,” Thatcher explained.

Her winning quilt – in the category of Landscapes and Still Life – reflects an image of Rossland heritage that may look familiar to many. The wall-sized piece replicates a photo of her friend’s motorcycle leaning on the south corner of the former Bank of Toronto.

“I am trying to develop a sense of humour while working one-dimensionally, and it is difficult,” she said. “In this case, is the motorbike the fastest Rossland mode of transportation or a way to bolt after robbing a bank?”

The juxtaposition struck Thatcher as humorous because the building hasn’t been used as a bank for decades.

“All of my projects are built so everyone can look and recognize or relate to,” Thatcher said. “The project took about a month to build, and is about the size of a small door.”

She says the silk was donated from the J. Patterson Group and all other fabrics are commercial cotton except the back, which is hand-dyed cotton.

Winning at the national level brings Thatcher accolades, mentions in a number of publications including the Canadian National Quilting Association catalogue, and a cash prize.

Read more: Karen Thatcher

Read more: Rossland Quilting Show

Her other competing quilt called “Finding Tranquility” did not place and will eventually be donated to a nonprofit or sold.

Thatcher regularly donates her quilts to local charity, which this year included Teck Mining for Miracles, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Redstone Resort Golf Course and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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