I come from a long line of sign writers and am happiest with a brush and some paint! Add
paint to fabric and I get really excited!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Divine Stitchers

I am a member of a small group of art quilters called the Divine Stitchers of the YoYo Sisterhood, although we generally answer to the Divine Stitchers. Since we have formed our group, we have been asked to present our work for a number of guilds in our province. We hope by showing our work and explaining how we function as a group, that it provides encouragement for others to form their own art quilt "support" groups. 

Our first project was a summer group project with 9 quilters participating. We have gone on to complete 4 such summer projects as well as quite a few smaller, individual projects. We have used themes such as Hallowe’en, Traditions, paper quilts, journal quilts and Envelope Envy. The criteria for Envelope Envy was to create a piece using everything that came in the envelope and also incorporating a quote which was also provided at the same time. 

The group formed for many reasons and I believe it has helped all of us grow as quilters, in both traditional and non-traditional methods. It has certainly been great fun watching as each of us has pushed our quilting boundaries and worked to create pieces and use techniques that were either new to us, or far outside our comfort zone. I have seen this confidence in ourselves grow and the willingness to try new techniques spin over into other aspects of our quilting as well. From a personal point of view, it has been wonderful to see the more traditional quilters in the group enjoy embellishing, painting and trying fused appliques methods! Because I have always been one to push the limits - using a glue gun instead of stitching, fusing, braiding, painting, air brushing - whatever it takes to achieve the effect I want to achieve, it is great to find my fellow quilters starting to understand and accept that rules can be broken, new paths can be laid, and the final product is no less worthy.

Our group has been showcased in two editions of the CQA Newsletter and our first summer project “Slice” was presented at the Quilt Canada 2008 “Show and Share” in St Johns, Nfld. The two “Sistas” (as we refer to ourselves) that presented at the CQA Show and Share later said that they felt like superstars with all the attention and cameras flashing! We had left the individual pieces free hanging from the top rod and unbeknownst to us, this apparently made it more interesting and attractive....who knew??

To create this piece we received permission from an artist to use her original painting which I photocopied in color and then sliced vertically into 9 even pieces. Each quilter took a random slice and was to create a likeness in fabric by the end of the summer. In September we met, saw each others work for the first time and showed it to our local guild - the real reason the pieces were left hanging loose. Not any particular artist thought behind this decision, we just felt we were done and were excited and ready to move onto the next fun project!! We also later learned that the artist, Virginia Houston just may have been more willing to let us use her artwork because she thought we were a different sort of Sister of the Cloth....divine intervention? We think so!!

Our group has not been very active of late and there are many reasons why. Some of the reasons are very individually based, but perhaps suffice to say the value of our group may be seeing an end. Perhaps we have achieved what was needed for the time. I have puzzled over this for a very long time and then decided I needed to accept what was and continue on. We do have one group project still on the board and I am one of the group who has yet to complete her portion. Hmm....sometimes these projects do need to purcolate. Sometimes we need to find the time. Perhaps it is time for me to focus and finish so I can move onto the next great fabric adventure....


  1. Hi, thanks for the comment on my Kanaka Creek Sunset. The Kauai Gold quilt, a part of the Canadian Content show will be in Houston as a concurrent show. Have you visited the Fibre Art Network? both of the above quilts were made for their shows.
    This will take you to the galleries:http://fibreartnetwork.com/exhibitions/
    The FAN group has gone through many changes. It started with about 6 people - 12 years ago. It grew to about 30 and was a comfortable group. As it became larger, some of the original members left ... it didn't meet their needs ... they seemed to be happier in a small group with no particular goals. Recently, there has been an influx of younger members with a wide variety of skills and the focus is now on professionalism and creating exhibits that will travel.

    I remember seeing your 'slice' quilt and being very impressed. With some FAN members, I'm going to begin one. We are in the process of choosing a scene.

  2. JenscantvienneauJune 22, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Hi Vivian!

    I have visited your group’s site and galleries - seeing the show in Halifax made me very curious and it was super to see more of the great work I saw there! Every group goes through changes and cycles and ours is no different. I think we just may have a revitalization, but most likely with the members who really have a need to create in this way, rather than with those who just want to be included but really do not want to participate. We have tried to keep it local, but maybe we should consider branching out more regionally. Hmmm...thoughts to ponder....

    Have fun with your slice! There are so many possibilities with photos and how you divide them.