Colette Dumont, Set Fire to the Sky

It’s all in the details



July 7, 2022


You may already know that our favourite thing to do at the National Juried Show is to get up as close as we can, to see the incredible detail in these outstanding quilts. And we’d like to share a few of these with you, with extra-large images, so you can get a closer view, and marvel at the skill that goes into these spectacular creations.

If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend Quilt Canada 2022 in person, here is your chance to be a fly on the … quilt.

Our Social Fabric, prepping fabric for sale

Faiza Elmayergi used several different techniques to create Majestic, the First Place winner in the Traditional, Wall and Bed Quilts category at NJS 2022. They include machine and fused appliqué, hand embroidery, and hand weaving, among others. Faiza used Swarovski crystals and glass beads to embellish the design. The quilting done by Barbara Bettles is exquisite; just look at the minute patterns within each of the colour blocks. See the whole quilt and read the artist statement here.

Cathy Vickers

Rainbow Stars, by Cathy Vickers, won the Award of Excellence for Piecing at NJS 2022. It was made using the paper piecing method with colourful batiks. Pattern by Chris Stiasny, and outstanding machine quilting (framed) by Faith McLeod, who also won an NJS award for Best Friends. See the whole quilt and read the artist statement here.

Colette Dumont

Here’s an even tighter look at the exquisite bead work by Colette Dumont in her Best In Show quilt, Set Fire to the Sky. We were so delighted to realize that you can see through the centre of the quilt and its border. Colette had actually perforated the quilt to create these intricate designs. See the whole quilt and read the artist statement here.

Natalie Skinner

This quilt is an exceptional example of free motion quilting, but it also won the Award of Excellence for Workmanship in Appliqué! Natalie Skinner used ink blot shapes to create Miserable Ghost or Disappointed Toast, and quilted it on a frameless machine without a stitch regulator. The handwritten words separated by horizontal lines fill the entire quilt. See the whole quilt and read the artist statement here.

Lise Bélanger

If you recognize the work of Lise Bélanger, you know that The Tree of Life is one of her favourite subjects. Her entry this year, The Tree of Life and the Four Elements, won the Award of Excellence for Machine Quilting Frameless. Constructed using raw edge appliqué, thread painting, and trapunto. We are excited to be featuring Lise in the autumn issue of Canadian Quilter, where you can learn more about her inspiration and quilting practice. See the whole quilt and read the artist statement here.

Sue Sherman

Sue Sherman’s work is always inspirational. Her portraits of animals, lovingly made with paints, thickened dyes, and threadwork, reveal her passion for protecting the Earth’s wildlife, and the environments they inhabit. You can almost feel the texture of the giraffe’s neck in this detail from Dear Humans …, the winner of the Viewers Choice Award. The sky is quilted with the words blah blah blah, over and over again. “Humans fill the sky with empty talk about addressing habitat loss and climate change, but don’t really do anything to help.” See the whole quilt and read the artist statement here.

Brigitte Villeneuve

When you see how much work goes into one of Brigitte Villeneuve’s pieces, your jaw will drop. Using pixelism, Brigitte fused 70,000 tiny appliqué pieces into this quilt. She used her own hand-dyed fabric to create the illusion of transparency where the figures overlap in Candide—Spirit, winner of the Dorothy McMurdie Founders Award. We are still in awe every time we see this quilt, and any of Brigitte’s incredibly detailed works. See the whole quilt and read the artist statement here.

Laura Gates Group

Little Spirits was created by Laura Gates, Joanne Davenport, and Cindy Jensen Fisk, after 215 unmarked graves were found at the Tk’emlups Indian Residential School. “A combination of quilting and elements of Indigenous button blankets were used to create a multicultural expression of the horrific legacy of these institutions. The goal was to bring light to darkness.” Little Spirits was machine pieced, and then quilted by Joanne on a computerized, framed machine. Cindy explains: “The [shell] buttons on the crosses represent the unknown number of our ancestors not yet found at the other 138 institutions. The ones going through the smoke holes represent the journey of the children who died at these schools to Lax Haa (the sky) when they passed on.”

Judy Barnett

And finally, we just had to include Judy Barnett’s Felix in this collection, because we love the choice of fabrics she used to illustrate the lynx’s beautiful face. Based on an original photograph by Sophie Standing, Judy started this quilt during a virtual thread-painting class with Sophie, during the pandemic. The full quilt is not yet viewable by non-members on the website, so we include some of Judy’s artist notes here. “Fabric was glued then many layers of thread were used to add detail. The lynx was appliquéd on a piece of fabric and free motioned quilted.” Techniques and materials include machine appliqué, raw edge appliqué, thread painting using Aurifil threads on hand-dyed canvas. Judy quilted Felix on a frameless machine.

See all the NJS 2022 award winners here.

CQA/ACC members may also view all of the NJS 2022 quilts here.

Quilt Canada July 19-22, 2023

Quilt Canada July 19-22, 2023

Quilt Canada July 19-22, 2023 in Edmonton, Alberta