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Joanne Bent Introduction

2021 “The Secret Garden” 21″ x19″

Hello Everyone
I thought I would avoid the rain, try my hand at something new today and write a blog post for our new and exciting webpage. By now you probably all know me as your Newsletter Editor. This is year four-in-a-row for me and I’m pretty sure this is my most favorite year yet. Not to knock the first three years but a lot of the old newsletter was about conveying news…go figure. I feel like now it’s more about keeping us all connected and sharing stories since we can’t meet in person. All that being said, I’m more than happy to step aside if someone would like to put their own twist on the KQG newsletter. A new year is coming up fast!

So, the Anniversary newsletter got me thinking a lot about why I personally enjoy the guild. I loved reading all your answers about the charity quilting, show and share, comfort quilts, pot lucks and more social meetings but nobody mentioned what I enjoy….the Challenges! There is nothing like a good challenge to spark creativity and for me, quilting is definitely a creative process.
There have been quite a few challenges over the years since I joined in 2013/14 and I thought I would take you on a trip down memory lane for my introduction post. The first one I can remember involved a really ugly piece of fabric and having to use that to make a place-mat for Meals on Wheels. I wish I had taken a picture of this place-mat before it got donated because I was fairly new to quilting back then and had only made a couple of things. I vividly remember that ugly cow fabric and trying to turn it into a farm scene. Sometimes I think about whoever ended up with that place-mat and having to see an ugly cow stare up at them as they eat their morning eggs.
In 2015 there was a challenge to use selvedge edges in a project. I have a sneaking suspicion that Marlies may have been behind this one but I don’t remember for sure. I made a little art quilt with a selvedge vase of flowers. For the hanging tabs I used a lace that tied up a precut bundle. I thought that was pretty clever of me considering the challenge involved using the bits of fabric we normally cut off and throw away!

2015 “Selvedge Vase” 16.5″ x11″

Sometimes the challenges come as part of a program like in the summer of 2019 when we had to make house blocks from Moda’s free “Be my Neighbor”pattern ( and then played Quilt Bingo to win someone else’s blocks. I wound up with two batik houses made by the same person and two blue houses possibly made by the same person or not. We then had to make something using the blocks we won. I made another little art quilt and challenged myself to try facing for the first time. I used the Neighbor pattern as inspiration for the trees and flowers but did my own thing, including using all the corner cut offs of the trees and stem leaves to make tiny half square triangles! (Side note: I was really impressed by Program Dana and all the creative things she came up with that didn’t involve speakers. We had a great few years with her at the helm.)

2019 “Bingo Houses” 30″ x 20″

Also in 2019, Robbie had a President’s challenge that involved the Kona colour, Bright Periwinkle. This challenge coincided with the CQA Guild challenge that year “Going Viral”…kind of ominous now considering the following year! But at the time it was referring to things that get popular really fast via the internet. We had a quite a few participants in this one and it was fun to see how everyone interpreted the challenge differently. I picked a popular hashtag at the time (#savethebees) mostly because I really got into English Paper Piecing and wanted to keep on going with the hexagon thing. Part of the challenge was to limit yourself to the purple, and at most, two other fabrics which is a really difficult thing to do when you normally use lots of different fabrics, prints and colours. I had a lot of fun embroidering the little bees everywhere.

Lastly (but hopefully not the last) I did the Book Challenge this winter. I’m fairly certain that I am the only one who completed this challenge that Esther proposed to the Guild back in January. She told me she was working on one but I haven’t heard a peep in awhile. If I’m wrong, please let me know because I would love to see what anyone else created!
I chose to re-read “The Secret Garden” by Francis Hodgson Burnett and made a picture quilt that now hangs in my kitchen. The quilt shows the moment when the Robin helps Mistress Mary find the key to the garden in a mound of freshly turned soil. You can see the full piece hanging on my garden shed way back at the top of this post, but here is a close up of a wide-eyed Robin I am learning to love instead of being critical of his possibly-on-drugs appearance. (haha) I used all of the quilty things in this piece, including yo-yos, applique, couching, embroidery, beading and hand quilting. (and all of the fabric types; linen, chambray, batik, plain old quilting cotton!)

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little grouping of KQG past challenges. If you don’t take part in them normally, I want to encourage you to do so. It’s fun to stretch your own creative muscles and try something new , but it is equally as fun and inspiring to see how other quilters are flexing their own muscles in such different ways! If you have a challenge you think might be enjoyable please let the Executive know. Someone may be willing to take it on or (even better) you can run it yourself. Rest assured you will always at least have one participant in me!

Joanne Bent

7 replies on “Joanne Bent Introduction”

Congratulations Joanne on your first blog. I enjoyed looking at your photos and reading about your quilt journey thus far. Great job! Thank you.

Not sure where we would be without you Joanne. Your quilting style really speaks to me and I wish I felt confident to take on more of the artist projects like you have. I feel encouraged that I can do more – and should do more with my quilting skills. Your Secret Garden is breathtaking — should enter it in the next Quilt Canada show!!

Lovely work, Joanne! Your quilts are a joy to look at. I think the book challenge would be great to try when we resume meetings once again. Perhaps your work of art will inspire!

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