Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Monday, 18 June 2012

Off To France

Sadly...not me, but a piece of me has been shipped off in that direction.
Earlier I mentioned that Log Canada has been selected to be part of the European Carrefour de Patchwork show being held this September in Ste. Marie Aux Mines in Alsace, France. Quilts were chosen from each of our 10 provinces and three territories to represent quilting in Canada. Log Canada, which appears in the book Canadian Heritage Quilting, has already toured the U.S. as part of the "Oh Canada" exhibit with International Quilt Festival, made an appearance at Quilt Canada in Calgary, and even had an impromptu stop with a showing in Ottawa. It is well travelled as a quilt ambassador. Curator Sandra Reford is working hard to make this a memorable exhibit in France and she asked each artist to send pictures of their home which she would assemble into an album to display at the show. Beyond the thrill and honour to be part of all this comes a certain responsibility - not to be taken lightly -in showcasing your home to the world. I pondered for some time what I would send, and which telescopic aspect of "home" I would zoom in on: Canada, Nova Scotia, Cumberland County, Amherst...or my backyard. Would it be something I see from my window, or a shot of our beautiful downtown street scape? How about blueberries from Cumberland County? As much as I wanted to show all of these things, it was also a tug at the heartstrings not to include a shot of where I grew up in Five Islands (without parallel the most beautiful spot on this earth). What would you send?

In the end, I decided to send several pictures along with a short write-up and hope they would all be used. I wrote things like Nova Scotia being a 580 km. long peninsula on the southeast corner of Canada, and that it was discovered by John Cabot in 1497. Because the show is in France, I also made mention of the Habitation at Port Royal which French colonists settled in 1605, making it the first permanent European settlement in North America north of Florida. I spoke a little about our capital city Halifax and how nowhere in Nova Scotia is ever more than 56 kilometers from the sea. (I remember how secure that made me feel when I learned it in school, knowing that water would never be far away.)
I showed Five Islands, a small community situated on the Minas Basin at the head of the Bay of Fundy. I spoke about how it boasts the highest tides in the world; twice daily the bay fills and empties of a billion tonnes of water, going from nothing to over an incredible 16 meters.I sent pictures of Amherst, the shire town of Cumberland County which is famous for maple syrup and wild blueberries, and made mention of its proximity to the New Brunswick border, the fact it was founded in 1764, and about the many beautiful Victorian homes found in our community. For good measure, I tossed in that Four of Canada’s founding fathers (Fathers of Confederation) came from Amherst, Nova Scotia.
In addition to the usual straight on and detail shots required of the quilt, I sent some "glam" poses as well, as these quilts will be featured in several magazines as well as possibly a show catalogue. Sandra liked this one taken on the snow in my backyard; she thought it looked "very Canadian". Articles on the exhibit are lined up for Studio Magazine, The Canadian Quilter, A Needle Pulling Thread, and fibreQUARTERLY.

As Sandra is giving a lecture on the history of quilting in Canada, I sent along a copy of Canadian Heritage Quilting. The pictures and write up were well-received on her end and I am pleased I made the effort to include all I did.
Regrettably, the only thing which would not fit in that box was me...


  1. well, I just learned all kinds of things about Amherst. Thanks. It must be quite tempting to use some air miles to get yourself to Alsace in Sept - it would be a well-deserved treat.

  2. Karen,
    you wuld make a grand ambassador for our beautiful province. I too wish you were travelling with your quilt. that would be such a great experience

  3. As a native of the middle Canada, I smiled at the part about feeling secure always being close to the water. I never saw the ocean until I was an adult, and could not imagine a body of water that large. Lake Erie was as big as they got for me.
    What a vast country we live in!

  4. Beautiful expose! Congratulations and well deserved!
    When your quilt returns it may have a french air to it!

  5. Your quilt will be a very well travelled quilt! What a great honour, for you and for Canadian quilting.