CQA Virtual Quilt Canada 2021

Quilt Canada 2021 Pin

This year the Canadian Quilters’ Association’s Quilt Canada 2021 conference went virtual.  The cost was quite reasonable, and before the event, registrants had access to a tutorial to prepare them for using the portal.

  • Lorna L – There was a “clear introduction days before on how to use the left-hand bar to access the programs etc.”
  • Maureen O – “The left bar was clear and easy to navigate. Instructions were clear.  Three days prior Janet Kasper sent really helpful instructions and a tour video that was excellent.

An email link gave participants access to a portal – a website that allowed us to view the conference from the Opening Ceremonies on June 16 to the Closing Ceremonies on June 19, 2021.

Here at home, 17 Seymour Guild members joined a group email to keep in contact.  On the portal there was a Networking option, and we created a Seymour Quilters Guild group.  Up to five of us were on at a time and could “meet up at the conference”. 

The Portal


It featured a video welcome from Jane Kramer, President of CQA, and various tabs to different aspects of the conference – note photo above.  One tab allowed us to enter daily in a draw for door prizes of sewing machines, cabinets of thread, and more. 

Sessions: 12 Tours and 12 Webinars

Tours were guided by CQA/ACC Certified judges or by members of the Board of Directors. They shared stories about the quilts and included insights into the jurying process. Questions were posted on the Chat, tracked by a host, and answered by the guide at the end. There were tours to illustrate excellence, tours of a selection of quilts from each category in the National Juried Show, and tours of prize quilts.

  • Lorna L – “I liked to be able to see the program when I chose to attend.  I loved the tours with background information. Normally I would just walk around looking at the quilts and read the little write-ups, but we got way more information on the artist and their ideas.”
  • Moira S – “I got to see the quilts up close when the judge was talking about the detail which I might not have been able to see in a classroom.”

Twelve Webinars were hosted by CQA directors or committee members. Presenters talked about various topics from history to their quilting journeys to unusual projects to techniques to health and safety.

Our members registered for a few sessions or all.  Click here for the list of sessions from the Lobby Tab.  It was also on page 17 of the Canadian Quilter magazine Summer 2021 after the blurbs about the presenters on pages 15-16.

  • Marilyn C – “ I watched almost all the tours and webinars live, even the tour with Paul Leger at 5am. (I do not sleep well anyway).   A couple of note were Anna Maria Horner’s ‘My Patchwork Path’ featured big blocks and exciting colours, and, ‘Year of Deep Creation’ with Olesya Lebedenko gave her explanation of her challenge to create a 3.5” block every day for a year.
  • Maureen O – “My class (webinar) was Gloria Loughman’s ‘Color Your World’ and it was really helpful. Although many of us use a color wheel, this time I learned how to apply the principles to landscapes that work no matter which color scheme I pick: monochrome, triadic, split complementary. She included painting on commercial fabrics to enhance the scheme. It was fun and I took copious notes.”

Exhibit Hall

Also known as the merchant mall, it was websites from online and physical stores from all over Canada.

  • Moira S – “I made a list of tips that Lauri Remin of Sew Clever, shared with us.  I found her very informative, interesting, enthusiastic, and down to earth.  She was great!”
  • Kathryn G – “I have enjoyed the show but I really miss the in person merchants mall…but my pocketbook is relieved!”

Showcase was for the quilt shows. 

There were separate galleries of quilt photos for each of the categories in the National Juried Show, and for the TrendTex Challenge “Friendship,” CQA Individual Member Challenge “Ties That Bind,” and CQA Youth Challenges “BFF Best Friends Forever.”  In the NJS there were quilts made by local quilters Lorna Shapiro, Terry Aske, Berene Campbell, and Marilyn Cleven, and quilts made by some of our past speakers – Karen Johnson, Marianne Haak, Peter Byrne, Leslie Forbes, and Helen Fujiki. The CQA National Juried Show and the Challenge Galleries will soon be available on the CQA website.

Additional galleries offered concurrent shows from Fabric Art Network (FAN) – “Threads of Hope,” Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) – “Colour with a U,” Social Justice Sewing Academy, and the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild.

  • Judy S – “It was nice to be able to explore all the quilt galleries at my own speed.  I really liked seeing the quilts made by children and young people.”
  • Lorna L – “good close-up pictures of the quilts.”
  • Jo-Anne S – “It was wonderful to spend all the time you wanted looking at each quilt.”
  • Marilyn C – “I was thrilled to have my quilt accepted into CQA’s juried show at Quilt Canada 2021.”

More comments:

  • Jo-Anne S – “They really did a good job of the virtual show.  … I wished I had signed on for the programs.”
  • Moira S – “I loved being able to sit in bed or on the couch to listen and watch the virtual shows, especially when it was really early in the day.  It was great not to have the expense of the travel.  Also, a lot of time was saved by just having to turn the computer on and not rush to another location.   It is great to be able to look at the presentations again and pick up anything that I might have missed the first time.”
  • Marilyn C – “It was nice to put faces to the names one sees on the CQA website and in correspondence. The Networking option was a bonus.  It was neat to share an experience with friends here and to be a part of something happening nation-wide.”
  • Sonja S – “I was really impressed by the virtual convention. As someone with mobility issues I was able to see much more than I could have seen at a “normal” convention. I enjoyed the tours particularly the one for modern quilts as the moderator was knowledgeable and drew attention to detail I might not have seen. I am glad that I was able to attend.”
  • Maureen O – “I really liked the virtual format, my feet did not hurt. I could go back every day and review quilts I had selected for techniques. The Photography was excellent. I especially liked the enhanced section of a quilt to see the detail the quilter had done.
    Looking forward to volunteering again in Vancouver next year.”
  • Lorna L – “affordable, well priced for what we saw.”
  • Judy S – “What an accomplishment by the CQA to pull off this virtual show.”
  • Bene L – “I think that CQA provided a good venue to attend remotely, and focused their efforts on communications. That was the right strategy.
    I confess that daily life interfered with my attending two of the sessions I had signed up for.
    The presentation sessions I did attend were interesting, but by attending them later in the day (not live, and close to the end), I was not able to access the resources that were offered, including (in one case) a copy of the presentation slides. That was disappointing.”
  • Anne W – “I really enjoyed it, and wish that the Videos could have been accessible for another week or two as I felt I needed a bit of a break after all that information and inspiration.“

Thank you to everyone for sending your comments.

Looking forward to Quilt Canada Vancouver 2022,

Marilyn C

A short slide show of quilts on display at Virtual Quilt Canada 2021