Members of the Central Alberta Quilters’ Guild are busy preparing for the 27th Annual Quilt Show April 6th and 7th at Westerner Park.
“I made his first quilt and then I just kept going because I really loved it—it was really fun and there was always new challenges in it,” said Jasmine Travers-Charbonneau, one of the featured quilters in the show, who will have twenty of her modern quilts on display.
She made her first quilt six years ago when she wanted to make something beautiful for her son that reflected both them.
Travers-Charbonneau makes modern quilts, a style that takes traditional quilting and gives it a tweak, with more of an emphasis on asymmetry, minimalism and bold impact.
She loves trying new styles and learning new techniques.
One of the quilts called ‘Brassica’ that she will have on display was selected for the Modern Quilt Show in the US. She designed the pattern by taking a picture of a cabbage, free-styling the piecing of the fabric and then using hand applique techniques. It was quilted with Kathleen Riggins, done as a collaborative work.
Travers-Charbonneau speaks highly of being a part of the Guild, saying it is not just for expert quilters and that she has learned so much being a member.
“I’m a little bit younger than a lot of other quilters in the Guild, which is not to say there are not a lot of younger quilters because there are—more and more people are engaging in quilting,” she said.
She said she has learned most of what she knows about experience from the more established members of the group.
Fellow featured quilter Marie Barkley is one of these veterans, with twenty years of quilting experience.
“It’s quite an honour to be selected,” said Barkley. “I was really sort-of shocked when they phoned me and asked, because they have a lot of really excellent quilters.”
She mainly does machine applique using hand dyed fabrics imported from Indonesia.
Her favourite thing about making quilts is the finished product, and she takes pride in the technical skill involved in properly piecing a quilt with a high degree of precision, as well as selecting the right colours.
“One of the big advantages of the Guild is the fact that you see a lot of stuff that you maybe wouldn’t even have thought of doing,” Barkley said. She thinks it is really important for a quilter’s development to work alongside other quilters.
“If I’m not sure of what I should do next, they’ll straighten me out in a hurry and they’re always right—that communication is important,” she said.
The show helps fund Care Quilting, where members of the Guild make and donate quilts and quilted items like placemats to those in need, many of which go to the Ronald McDonald House.
Funding from the show also helps the Guild off-set the cost of presenters that they bring in from around the world.
There will be 180 quilts on display at the show this year.
The Central Alberta Quilters’ Guild, made up of about 110 members meets on a monthly basis to show off their latest work, ask questions and get inspiration from one another. The group was founded in 1985.