Not Your Grandmother’s Quilt

Category: arts, community 109

Fredericton Quilters’ Guild Present Workshops with Ontario Textile Artist Hilary Rice.


Traditional is Growing on ME by Hilary Rice
Traditional is Growing on ME by Hilary Rice

“My textile and mixed media artwork is like a distant cousin to traditional quilting,” said Hilary Rice. “The official definition of a quilt requires the article to have three layers of material.  I use different fabrics, often with layering, assembled in a design that is stitched together.  So for that reason, my art could still be considered quilting.”

Rice is an Ontario-based textile artist whose work culminates years of acquired skills, self-taught and handed down. “I stitched my dolls clothes as a child, learned embroidery from my aunt, assisted in my father’s woodworking shop and made much of my wardrobe for years,” she said.  “I taught myself to crochet and do macramé. My mother knit, and so did I.  I learned to spin yarn from raw fleece, and taught myself to weave.  None of this seemed extraordinary to me.  It was just something I did in my spare time.”

These spare time endeavours helped build a successful career, and one that has earned her numerous awards and exhibitions from coast to coast. This month she will be a guest of the Fredericton Quilters’ Guild, offering a series of workshops open to the public.

“If there was any thought that the traditional needle arts are dying, this couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Rice. “There are many younger people who are taking up quilting and there is even a movement called Modern Quilting, which applies all the old quilting techniques to a fresh sense of design.”

Teaching workshops has become a regular occurrence , whether she is at her home studio or visiting quilting communities around the country, her workshops have been well received by traditionalists and newcomers alike, and she finds a strong sense of community among textile artists everywhere.

“Certainly the phrase birds-of-a-feather applies to the quilting community.  There are many opportunities for someone to join in a small spin-off group within a larger guild. There is a very strong sense of community support and devotion among quilters.  All across the continent quilters gather to make quilts for those in need.  It is quite an amazing thing to witness.  As I travel and attend quilt guild meetings, I see beautifully finished quilts parade across viewing platforms, all made to give to a worthy cause.  Such generosity, I believe is unparalleled.”

“I am always pleasantly surprised to discover little pockets of textile folks who enjoy trying something different. One of my joys is being able to introduce someone to a new technique and watching their eyes light up with the new possibilities.”

Workshops (Easy Peasy Curves: The Basics of Top-Stitch Curved Piercing, Imagine & Create: Embellishment Techniques for Art Quilters, Funky Tricks and Techniques: For Textile and Mixed Media Artists, and Quilting with Metal/Mettle: Everything You Wanted to Know About Metal Appliqué but Were Afraid to Try) begin October 21and run from 9am – 3:30pm and will take place at Willie O’Ree Place. For more information or to register, contact LaVerne McCallum Deakin 459-5324 or at or Lee McLean 451-1311 or at

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