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The Grand National

Fibre Art & Quilt Exhibition

Catalogues of Past Shows

2017 Oh! Canada

"The quilt artists of Oh! Canada have, in their inimitable fashion, contributed to our celebrations of Canada's 150 in ways that are "clearly Canadian", yet clearly their own; they and all who have participated in The Grand National over the years, have individually and collectively made huge contributions to the quilting genre, elevating it from the bed to the wall and positioning it firmly in the world of fine art."

2015 Connections

"So the theme has certainly been creatively addressed by the quilters of the Grand National 2015 but these exuberant works of art have many more lessons to offer up when examined at close range; they provide a veritable smorgasbord of delightful quilting and fibre art techniques that will fascinate the viewer and inspire many an intrepid needleworker."

2013 Local Colour

"But indeed all the artists of Local Colour 2013 individually and collectively delivered on the promise of this year's theme. Once again they have delighted the committee with their many varied interpretations, thier skilled integration of colour, pattern and form and their technical virtuosity."

2011 Balancing Act Catalogue

"Whether the artist has chosen the representation of a physical act to carry his/her message, an environmental dilemma or a personal life crisis, the overarching theme is the same - the desire to attain and maintain that state of perfect balance, critical to human existence."

2010 Off the Wall Catalogue

Though the show celebrates both tradition and innovation in the art of quilting through its theme “Off the Wall”, the organizing committee encouraged artists to create works that would be unconfined by conventional boundaries and thus be in some way, “off the wall”.

2009 Postcard Greetings! Images

The Grand National Quilt Show is on the move. 2009 was a year of transition and the Joseph Schneider Haus hosted a smaller Grand National Quilt Show featuring fabulous postcard quilt art.

2008 Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Catalogue

Quilt artists explore notions of time and the many ways we understand it in our lives. The quilts present memories of the past, reflections of today and visions of tomorrow. “Clearly energized by the challenge, the quilt artists have explored the theme thoughtfully and artfully, exploiting fully the power of their multi-layered medium to evoke the complex layers of human experience.”

2007 Fantasy Catalogue

“Quilters draw inspiration from myth, legend and folklore, interpreting in fabric the fantasies of others” ... as well as …”daydreams to exotic places”, “memorable moments in childhood” and creatures “born of the imagination”. “Fantasy finds expression not only in the surreal world of the imagination, but also in the fibre and fantasy finishes” employed by the artists. “If the Grand National were the Oscars of quilting, Fantasy 2007 would win hands-down for Special Effects.”

2006 Wild Life Catalogue

“...We experience in Wildlife an outpouring of admiration for our native species, large and small, as quilters celebrate their beauty, their adaptability, the mobility of their race… fascination with our flora and fauna …(animals from) exotic realms …and the untamed world of urban landscape”… “for we are told that beneath the pinstripes of professional women and even the demure sweater-sets of minivan moms there beats a heart that is instinctively wild, and a burning desire for ‘life on the wild side’.”

2005 Airborne Catalogue

“On their textile canvases, artists have summoned up every conceivable object known to man and the natural world that could be borne aloft, no matter how briefly. They depict elements as evanescent as droplets of water, clouds, snowflakes, effluent and sounds both melodic and discordant. In contrast, others capture weightier matter so that milkweed parachutes are juxtaposed against paratroopers in grimmer circumstances … field fairies lighter than air confront lumbering bombers. In one work, careers, pension funds and life savings are suddenly airborne as the stock market crashes.”

2004 Constructions of Canada Catalogue

Constructions “elicited from artists a fascinating response to Canada’s built environment … the imprint of man on the landscape is palpable, captured through depictions of landmarks – lighthouses, churches, factories, theatres, the very constructions that dominate and define our personal sense of place – our personal comfort zone – our home place. Be they weathered family farmsteads, familiar barns or out-port shanties, they speak to us of comfort, warmth, constancy, belonging.”

2003 Reflections of Canada Catalogue

“Clearly inspired and moved by their natural surroundings, the quilt artists have artfully employed a full spectrum of tools and techniques to capture not only the essence of Canada’s diverse topography but also the many moods, memories and moments of magic these landscapes evoke and preserve. Through these quilts we travel to private and intimate places, or find ourselves centred in familiar surroundings – in calendar-perfect, Canadian settings.”

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