Coup for Rock Creek quilters at Canadian Quilting Conference

Local quilters Judy Harpur and Miriam March recently won major ribbons at the Canadian Quilting Conference, “Quilt BC."

Miriam March (left) and Judy Harpur beside their quilts which each won ribbons at the National Juried Show in Penticton earlier this month.

Miriam March (left) and Judy Harpur beside their quilts which each won ribbons at the National Juried Show in Penticton earlier this month.

Local quilters Judy Harpur and Miriam March recently won major ribbons at the Canadian Quilting Conference, “Quilt BC”, held in Penticton on May 16-18.

The Canada Quilter’s Association (CQA) sponsored the show.

“You have to jury your quilts in, which means they have to go before a panel, and not everybody that submits a quilt gets in,“ explained March. “Between Judy and I we had three quilts accepted. Just being accepted is amazing.”

Two of their quilts won major prizes.

March took first place in the Bed or Wall Quilt Longarm/Midarm Quilted Quilt with her entry called Lattice Garden. Last October this quilt took top honours in the rookie category at a show in Portland.

Harpur brought home a judge’s choice ribbon in the Original Design Abstract Pictorial Category with Picasso’s ‘39 Ford, which is comprised of rust dyed, tea dyed, discharged, hand dyed, batik and commercial prints.

“So we both have ribbons and we’re both in the same guild – it’s just kind of cool that out of the 100 they accepted, three came from Rock Creek and two won ribbons,” said March, who started a long-arm quilting home-based business 18 months ago known as Whispering Pines Quilt Studio.

“We have got a very strong quilting community so it is just sort of encouragement for everybody.”

This was Harpur’s second showing at the CQA annual show. “Last year I sent a quilt to Halifax. It didn’t win an award but just to be accepted is a big thing,” she said.

Another Boundary quilter, Emilie Belak of Grand Forks, also had a quilt accepted for the National Juried Show.

To see the winning quilts from this year’s show visit canadianquilter.com and choose the National Juried Show under galleries.

Both women belong to the Rock Creek based Rumplestiltskein Fibre Arts Guild. March explained this means they do more than quilting. “It is wool, silk, gourds, pine needle baskets, anything that is organically fibre.”

Harpur said the guild does community projects each year too. “This is our fourth year doing preemie quilts for the Kelowna Hospital. We have done placemats for Parkview Manor, dolls for the women’s shelter in Grand Forks, military quilts for those who have lost a family member during war and now we are doing Quilts of Valor for the personnel who have come back injured.”

Rumplestiltskein has some 17 members from Beaverdell, Westbridge, and Midway.

The guild meets at least three times a month. March clarified that to two official meetings each month and then an optional drop-in where people get together – though they usually don’t meet during the summer months.

“I would like our members to have more confidence in their abilities,” said March. “At least put it out there and apply because they do some really good work.”

“People who are doing hand crafts – or hand work – to me are the most giving people,” Harpur says reflectively. “They love sharing. They love talking about what they are doing or how they are doing it. It’s just a great kind of people to be involved with.”

“Any kind of hobby is important- anything that you can derive some personal satisfaction from. It doesn’t matter if it is making pottery, quilting, knitting or whatever. It is really important to have a hobby.”

“A number of people say, ‘But I am not creative. I can’t do that’,” March reflects. “Well of course you can’t. I couldn’t do that on my first day I started – I have been doing it for 20 years.”

“Don’t say can’t because that’s a negative attitude right off the bat,” Harpur says. “You just have to find something that you really want to learn.”

The guild usually holds a local show every three years. The next will probably be in 2014. A Grand Forks guild is planning a show from Aug. 30 – Sept. 1 this year.

If you would like more information about the Rumplestiltskein Fibre Arts Guild you can contact Lynda Dennill at 250-446-2431 or Judy at 250-446-2406 or Miriam March at 250-446-2520.