Warm your heart with quilts

Rita Macdonnell and Darlene Chapman Fabricator with Maya Brouwer's playful cats -  Marianne Parsons‘Embracing the Stitch’  show by the Fabricators

Blue cats play alongside red fire-breathing dragons amid pink cascading leaves and twirling purple umbrellas in the latest exhibit at the Peachland Art Gallery on the shores of Okanagan Lake.  The show title ‘Embracing the Stitch’ features quilts by the 16 member South Okanagan group, the Fabricators.

Photo: Rita Macdonnell and Darlene Chapman of the Fabricators checking out Maya Brouwer’s playful cats

These quilts will never warm your bed but they will warm your heart and tickle your imagination. They might even inspire you to try out the innovative tools and techniques used by today’s artists in fabric and fibres. You can find coffee bags, garden twine, oil paint stiks, paper and Tyvek, and effects created by heat guns, candles and paint rollers if you look carefully. Nothing is sacred.

The Fabricators have been working together for 13 years. Members come from Oliver, Penticton, Grand Forks, Kelowna, Peachland and several points beyond. What began as a design workshop ended up as a monthly gathering to share and explore ideas and techniques in fibre art. The group produces a major exhibit regularly, and displays their work at galleries and community events.

The Peachland Gallery exhibit features the group’s first joint endeavour, ‘Rapt in Threads’ and their latest, ‘Our Colourful Language’.

The first project came about as a challenge where each person chose a topic and everyone contributed a small piece based on that theme. That left each artist with 12 diverse items that needed to be incorporated into one cohesive artistic unit.  This was more challenging than it appears, and the results are quite surprising and creative.

‘Our Colourful Language’ looks at the phrases we use in our daily lives that include colour words  such as ‘out of the blue’ or ‘seeing red’.  Everyone’s vision of these is unique, as are the quilts on display.

A visiting marine biologist from Scotland found a fish-themed piece has inspired him to ask for Scottish artists to create artwork work for their new Salmon Festival next year. Have a leisurely visit and see what might inspire you.

The Peachland Art Gallery at 5684 Beach Ave. In Peachland is open Tues. – Sat., 9-5, and Sun. 10 -5 until the show ends Nov. 14.

Photo Credit: Marianne Parsons

Contributed by Marianne Parsons