Maple Leaf Rag

If it’s June it’s time for my Quilt Canada pilgrimage, which a friend and I just completed. After years of meeting at various universities, this juried show seems to have settled in the International Center near Pearson Airport outside of Toronto.  The good thing – it’s all under one roof. The bad thing – some charm is lost, in my opinion. The Center is your usual airplane hangar type corrugated metal building.

As is customary, the show is actually a few shows. Front and center is the all Canada juried show, whose judges ensure the entries are at worst very competent. Most often I find gems in all styles to admire. Then, the Fibre Art Network (FAN) shows its members’ work, which is often an exhibit of a set theme or size. This year the TrendTex fabric challenge quilt entries were displayed, and the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild had a mini show.

Over the next few posts I’ll share some of my favs with you, but if you’re impatient and want to see all the award winners, go here. I’ll warn you the best of show quilt is MUCH better looking than the photo on that site. In fact, I’ll show you the photo I took of it. Please excuse the waving hand of an enthusiastic quilter.

Helen FujikiQuiltCanadaBestofShowHere’s a detail shot.

BestofShow detailIt’s called Election Night Euphoria, but I don’t know if it commemorates Justin Trudeau’s win or what. And yes, you picky folks will note that the circles should have been lined or pressed differently so the turned under bits don’t show.

We were happy that Quilt Canada lifted the no photos rule as we like to take shots of details that don’t show up in the catalogs offered for sale.

This year I noticed a lot more landscape and abstract quilts and fewer traditional appliqued, etc., quilts. I guess that’s a function of the judges, who change for each show. I know Anna Hergert was one of the three judges this year. She wrote about her experience here. Since she runs Art Quilt Campus, I feel safe in saying that’s her area.

I was intrigued at a category for quilts made from patterns, books, and workshops as a way to group non original quilts. I was surprised that any quilting done by a person other than the quilt top maker only got a subdued mention. Some of the quilting was spectacular, and I felt the creators of it should have received more prominence.

Of course there were hot and cold running vendors. I was restrained with my purchases as my haul consisted of a roll of 14 yards of 1.5 inch bias cut fabric, a spool of silk thread, and a Japanese fabric fat quarter. When all my loonies were spent, I was done.



Filed under Art quilts, Modern Quilting, Quilt Shows

14 responses to “Maple Leaf Rag

  1. I love that quilt! I’m not generally a big fan of traditional applique, but this use of applique really appeals to me.

  2. I can’t imagine being a judge of quilts in this day and age–so many complicating factors and styles and subsets to consider!

    • I gather the judges must go by the criteria the show organizers set. For example, if a show decides that quilt design is to count for 70% of a quilt’s score, then the judges must count design more heavily.

  3. Ann Scott

    I always appreciate learning about and seeing quilts from these far away (from me) shows – thank you!

  4. Joanna, thanks for the link to my blog post. I don’t agree that my organizing and hosting Art Quilt Campus makes me the qualified quilt judge. 😉 I was however the co-teacher of the CQA/ACC Quilt Judge Certification Programme for six years until I retired from it in 2015. We always advocate for the quilter to receive equal billing with the patch worker – but ultimately it depends on the organization and the entrant how this is handled.

    • I hope that my readers will follow the link to your description of your judging duties. I meant that your work with the Art Quilt Campus implies that you “get” art quilts. I’ve assisted at show judgings where the judges didn’t quite know how to judge non-traditional quilts without borders and bindings to assess. As to the billing for piecing and quilting, here in the states many shows have a category for partner or duet quilts.

      • I not only get art quilts – I make them! But to be an art quilter one must understand traditional quilts. I have judged 8 Mancuso shows, two of them World Quilt Competitions and Iconsider myself knowledgeable – but there is always room for growth… I hold Diplomas in Art, Design, Embroidery as well as Patchwork and Quilting from London City and Guilds – that is what I attribute my broad understanding of art quilts to. Looking forward to reading more about your Quilt Canada 2016 experience.

      • My Quilt Canada experience was very positive. This is the third one I’ve attended. I stumbled on the one held in Halifax while I was on vacation, and abandoned my husband for a few days. I always enjoy the variety of quilting on display and the other exhibits to see.

  5. Yes, I believe when a quilt is a collaboration between the top maker and the quilter, they should have equal billing. The exception to this would be if the top maker also fully designed the quilting, and the quilter was the technician following orders. I expect that is rare. It’s good to have patterns, books, and workshops quilts separate as a way to give credit to the designer, the 3rd partner in many quilts. (most quilts? I don’t know how many people design their own…) Last year the winner of our guild challenge had a quilt she pieced from someone else’s pattern, and another person quilted it. It made me wonder why “the winner” was the winner, and the other two weren’t included in those honors. Frankly, the design and the quilting were the important things about it.

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