Monday, March 24, 2014


I am just back from ten days at the Creativity Centre at "La Franch", the Fibre Arts and Quilting Studio at the home of Karey Bresenhan near La Grange, Texas. I was privileged to go with Bethany Garner, the award winning quilt-maker and fibre artist from Kingston. I have never met or spent time with anyone who is as knowledgeable about the quilt world, or qualified to teach in it! She developed and instructs in the Textile Design Program which has been sharing Surface Design and Arts programs with Part Time Studies students at the Brockville and Kingston Campuses since 1996. (By the way, this program is one of only three diploma programs in Canada for Textile Design students!)

Beth is also the linchpin of the Kingston Fibrearts Group, a Past President of CQA, and is an exhibiting member of many other quilting and fibre arts groups such as Connections Fibre Artists. So, she is closely in touch with all the important things happening in the quilt world in the U.S. as well. She became the Central Canada rep for the Studio Art Quilts Association in Central Canada two years ago, and it was through SAQA that I heard that she had won the chance to spend some time at the ranch and country home of Karey Bresenhan, President of the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Somehow, I had the nerve to ask myself along, and boy, am I glad I did! If you would like to know more about SAQA, go to and/or

So, now you know what exalted company I was in, I can tell you more about the place. First of all,
we stayed in the guest house, which is a very nicely appointed two bedroom cottage next to the office.

The Creativity Centre where we worked had everything we could possibly want, even a drive-in verandah where you could unload your things out of the rain! (Which it hardly ever did.)

Inside we had masses of room to work and move about. Here's a view of the sewing area, (and there were two up-to-date Bernina sewing machines for our use):

The best thing for me is that we had two large tables each to paint and plan on. That was a real luxury! And look at the floor by the way - does it remind you of Vermeer's studio, that appeared in many of his paintings?

If you would like to know more about this amazing space, and if it's possible to rent it, contact Lucy Carr, Assistant to Karey Bresenhan, of Quilts Inc. Her cell phone number if (979) 249 7282, and her e-mail address is .

I promised Beth I wouldn't post a lot of photographs of her on this blog, because she has her own blog: But I just have to show you one photo of her which I think captures the serene beauty of this place. The buildings are surrounded by about 70 acres of countryside, with beautiful trees, a creek, a herd of deer and many birds (include a real Roadrunner, just like in the cartoons!)

Here's Beth, just the other side of the creek and the Bridge of Stars, which Karey's husband Maurice built for her:

Most of my work was for my next show, with the Octarine Women Artists' Collective (May 2,3,4 2014 at Studio 404 in Guelph; I'm working on a series of painted quilts focusing on animals in camouflage, and I got a lot done while I was at "La Franch". That's Karey's nickname for her fibre arts range near La Grange.

I also made a journal to leave behind as a memento, and to end with, here's a photo of the cover.

More soon!

No comments: