As I child, my mother would drag me, kicking and screaming, into fabric stores to help her choose material for clothes she made me. I hated every minute of it. She wouldn’t believe where I hang my hat these days!
I made my first quilt in 1991, as part of research for a quilting play for which I was hired to write songs. My obsession grew from there. I have always done some sort of handwork: crochet, macramé, knitting, crewel embroidery. Sewing was not high on my list of fun things to do – it reminded me too much of Mrs. Middleton’s grade 8 Home Ec class. Boring! But quilting? That was different.
My mom did teach me a lot about colour, even though she wasn’t successful in the sewing department. When I was in high school, she took a correspondence course in home decorating. She would share her lessons with me and it was there I began to learn about colour and design. She was the one who gave me my best advice about creativity (including song-writing): in an all-white room, make sure you throw in a cerise pillow somewhere for accent. It holds true for many things!
I think my best training as a quilter was in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia in 1999-2000. John was working as an engineer/town planner, I had a tourist visa and lots of time on my hands. There, I was introduced to proper techniques (thanks to Jenny Armour, my teacher), the camaraderie of quilters, and the history of quilting internationally. I came back to Canada after our time in Australia bursting with ideas to try (and, by the by, with enough songs about quilting to record “One Stitch at a Time”). The journey got really interesting from there, and continues today. Like music, quilting is something I can continue to learn for the rest of my life. It is for this reason that it keeps my interest.
Cathy’s quilts are held in private collections in England, Australia, Florida, Michigan, Ontario and British Columbia.
2019 “Connections: Canvas and Cloth” Exhibit with Eileen McGann (painter) at Cedar Hill Arts Centre in Victoria BC from October 1 to 21, 2019.
2018 “In the Curl” won third place in the Small Quilts category of “City of Gardens Quilt Show”, Victoria Quilters’ Guild.
2014 “Refractions: Mud, Brush and Needle” Exhibit with Eileen McGann (painter) and Louise Parsons (potter) at Cedar Hill Arts Centre in Victoria BC from February 19 to March 5th, 2014.
2011 “Insanity” – World of Beauty, Houston International Quilt Festival, miniature category.
2010 “Shattered Green” included in “Accent on Angles” book by Susan Purney Mark, That Patchwork Place.
“Kassius” (commission) private collection, England.
2008 “Constant Hill” (commission) CD cover, Rob Young, Toronto, Ontario.
2007 “Buddy and Strider Around Australia” – Victoria Quilters Guild 25th Year Commemorative Journal.
“Geese in the Garbage” – included in “Through a Musician’s Eyes” calendar for Artscan Circle, Teakettle Press.
2004 “Geese in the Garbage” – 2nd prize, Victoria Quilters Guild show “Land, Sea and Sky”, Victoria BC.
2003 “Buddy and Strider Around Australia” – Quilt Canada National Juried show, Fredericton, NB.
2002 “Buddy and Strider Around Australia” – Simply Quilts TV show with Alex Anderson, episode 833.
2000 “Bali Stars” Best in Section, Fred’s Pass Rural Show, Darwin Australia.