Travelling quilts inspire local quilters

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February 17, 2015 9:07 AM

Canadian Quilters' Association Saskatchewan representative Jaynie Himsl has been touring 18 decorative quilts, like this one depicting a squawking chicken, across the province for the month of February. - Josef Jacobson Photo

Country Quilts and Stitches quilt shop was transformed into an art gallery on Feb. 11 as it played host for the Canadian Quilters’ Association (CQA) Travelling Quilt Show.

Eighteen brightly-coloured 12- by 16-inch decorative quilts depicting flora, fauna, scenes from nature and abstract patterns hung from the walls. The quilts are being sold for charity for $200 each and only three of the quilts on display are still looking for owners. The quilts were made by award-winning quilters from across the country and the proceeds are going to the Make-a-Wish-Foundation of Canada.

“It’s nice to showcase the work from people across Canada and we’re more than happy to host them any time they want,” store owner Jody Davidson said.

Davidson says throughout the day, visitors from around Lloydminster and even as far as the quilters’ guilds in Neilburg and Marsden, Sask., came by to take in the display.

So far, the quilts have been through the Yukon and Northwest Territories and at the end of the month the collection will move on to British Columbia. At the end of the tour the quilts will be put on display at the CQA annual conference in Lethbridge, Alta., before being delivered to their new owners.

“It’s so much fun to bring these to Saskatchewan quilting groups,” said CQA Saskatchewan representative Jaynie Himsl, who has been driving the quilts across the province. “(They) have really promoted it well in their communities and we get lots of people coming in who aren’t quilters. Everybody is amazed at the detail on these little quilts.”

The quilt shop took on the feeling of an art gallery, as guests walked around the room examining the quilts carefully, pointing out the details in the stitching and making comments to each other as they admired the handiwork.

“More so you think of the big quilts, blankets for beds and things like that and I think that surprised a lot of people,” Davidson said. “They all just were wowed and in awe of the artistry of the pieces. I think they’re beautiful. They’re all works of art.”

In her presentation to the assembled quilt enthusiasts, Himsl discussed the quilters, their backgrounds, styles, methods and inspiration. She wore white gloves as she handled the quilts, drawing attention to the various materials and fabrics used.

“We jumped at the chance to have them here,” said Angela Larson, president of the Lloydminster Log Cabin Quilters’ Guild, who was in attendance. “It’s pretty special to have these quilts come through Lloyd.”

Larson says she has worked on miniature quilts in the past, and seeing these works of art and quilting techniques in person is giving her ideas.

“I want to go home and sew now,” she said as she browsed the display. “It’s very inspiring.”

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