2016 Winter Quilters’ Retreat in Vanderh

2016 Winter Quilters’ Retreat in Vanderhoof welcomes all handicraftsmen

Over 30 quilters and handicraftsmen from the region, as well as across the pond, gathered for creative collaboration and dialogue at the Nechako Senior Friendship Centre from Feb. 5 to 7.

Hosted by the Nechako Quilters Guild, the biannual retreat this season included quilters from Fort St. James, Prince George, Jasper, as well as Cornwall, England.

It’s the second time that Pat Archer, hailing from across the Atlantic Ocean, attended a quilters’ retreat in Vanderhoof — an opportunity to attend a fun event, and visit her cousin and fellow quilter Rosalie Nichiporuk at the same time, she said.

“Big hall and lights, good food and wonderful company,” Archer said. “It’s worth travelling all the way over.”

Archer was introduced into the quilting world by her cousin four years ago and she has since taken a two-day course, she explained.

“As my husbands says, you cut up pieces of fabric, you sew them all together, and hopefully it’ll look pretty,” Archer said.

Fort St. James’ Mona French, from the Takla First Nation, also attended the weekend event. She showcased many projects from over 12 years of her quilting career, including a commissioned prayer quilt for Takla, memorial quilts for family, and a Vancouver Canucks-themed quilt requested by her daughter.

“All my quilts tell a story,” French said. “A lot of [my designs] come from dreams; if I’m stuck, I dream.”

She enjoys creating large quilts, advising quilters to “keep it simple, stupid.”

“Don’t over-analyze your work; do it the first time, and then leave it,” she said.