|The Country Register|
Alberta's Free Guide to Creative Shopping and Events
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I have a confession to share… I am not a quilter. Yes, I have been to most of the quilting stores in Alberta and attended countless quilt shows. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked if I’m a quilter I could probably make a sizeable downpayment on my own fabric shop. Mostly I’ve evaded the question with answers like “I’m just way too busy”, “I have too many other hobbies already”, and “I’ll start when I inherit my mom’s old Singer treadle”. In truth I ‘dabbled’ in quilting as a teenager, helping mom cut out squares (we used scissors and a cardboard ‘pattern’ back then) for her many quilt projects. I even made a quilt for a high school friend - I selected the scrap pieces and cut them out and mom did the rest.
I have seen the latest and greatest in sewing and longarm machines and been amazed at the various gadgets and technology in the art of quilting. I’ve watched quilting change from a scrap-piecing church basement fellowship to an ever-growing art form with mindboggling fabric choices. But I have ‘evaded’ the bug. Until now…
It all began with a fabric panel. I was browsing through Along Came Quilting in Calgary and the whimsical sheepy panel by Suzy Bee Fabric caught my eye. I had no idea what I would do with it, but I had to have it. As various plans for a project to use the panel formed in my mind, I purchased a few more pieces of fabric at various other advertisers when I went on road trips to visit them. My ideas for the panel wavered between cushions, a lap throw, or a wall hanging (keep it really simple I thought) but I’ll admit I was slightly daunted by hearing from veteran quilters that panels can be challenging to work with as they aren’t usually as square as they look – so the fabric continued to sit in my craft room.
I had shared some of my ideas with my friend Barb, who IS a quilter and after almost a year, she gently encouraged me to hand the panel and my small stash over to her, and in no time at all she presented me with an amazing rag quilt that was way beyond anything I had envisioned for the panel. That quilt has become the centerpiece of my living room and is the most popular accessory in my home!
Barb’s enthusiasm and talent inspired me and before long I began ‘acquiring’ a few fat quarters. They are dangerous little bits of fabric – so small, tempting, affordable, and so easy to amass! In my ‘rookie’ state I can only compare them to the chocolate and candy treats that await us as we stand in line at the grocery store. I realized that the safest thing is to have a plan before you purchase, but since none seemed forthcoming, I just used them for small projects or passed them along to friends.
However, the appeal of the beautiful quilts I continued to see and the amazing selection of fabrics out there as well as the enthusiasm and passion of advertisers and readers alike continued to intrigue and entice me.
So without warning and to my surprise I have been bitten by the quilting bug - and it seems I must make at least one quilt. I can easily justify it all - I will understand the quilting obsession more fully, and be able to relate to all those readers out there who are quilters and it will give me a good reason (excuse) to support my advertisers.
In the coming year, I will share my personal quilting journey with all of you – a good plan for me because it will ensure that I actually begin (and hopefully finish) this project of mine. I encourage all of you out there to embrace something new and adventurous this coming year too - if I can do it, I’m sure you can too!
Merry Christmas and all the best to You and Yours in the New Year!
|Meet our Cover Artist: Madeleine Bellmond|
As an artist, Madeleine Bellmond is acknowledged for the diversity in the mediums she chooses, as well as her choice of subject matter. Her vibrant, energetic Canadiana series to her romantic medieval pieces, have won her wide recognition and awards, while her prairie and mountain series has been consistently reproduced on plaques and magnets fort sale in tourist shops, and as extremely popular ‘prairie elevator’ memorabilia.
Madeleine Bellmond was born in Alberta and has lived in and around the province for most of her life. Early on in her career she attended various workshops, but is mainly self-taught. Her work has been showcased on television and reproduced by Island Art Publishers from Vancouver Island, and Artique and Bon Art out of New York.
View more of Madeleine’s work at www.mtbellmond.com
For the full story on Madeleine, pick up the November/December issue at one of your favorite advertisers...