Karen Munn – Focus on Local Artists – Issue #32

December 2014

Karen Munn

Karen Munn

For this month, Winnipeg River Arts council features quilter and fibre artist, Karen Munn. With her husband, she moved from Winnipeg to work as Pinawa Golf Club’s chef and manager but, in 2006, she retired from this job.

Munn is now the owner of Karen’s Market and Quilt Stop in Pinawa. She says, “If someone had told me forty years ago that I’d quilting and doing fibre art, I wouldn’t have believed them.”

In 1959, she joined the Navy but left after three years, married and moved to Edmonton. After her son was born, she worked as a server but found she liked the kitchen better. It was where she discovered the joy of cooking different ethnic foods and inventing recipes. There were not many women chefs around in the sixties but she managed to take cooking lessons. Although she spent several years doing other jobs, she eventually opened a company in Winnipeg called Tasty Vittles. For almost ten years, she supplied frozen meals to seniors.

After retiring from the golf course kitchen, Munn wrote cookbooks and spoke about wellness to groups around Manitoba but soon realized there was still something missing. Then she discovered quilting and learned how to co-ordinate colours, putting them together to make something unique and beautiful. She says, “It was the hobby that got away. Like cooking, my imagination went to work and it seems that I could not learn enough.”

After Winnipeg fibre artist, Pat Findley, came to Pinawa to teach about fibre art, this class unleashed Munn’s other fabric talents. Now she adds buttons, beads and other items to her quilted backgrounds. She says, “If I had more time, I’d have so many pieces that there would no place to store them.”

The public can view one of her pieces at the recently opened WRAC office, at 4 Park Avenue, Lac du Bonnet, or visit Karen’s Market & Quilt Stop, S20 – 24 Aberdeen in Pinawa. If you go there, you might catch her making another picture in fibre art.

In the accompanying picture, you can see Karen Munn seated beside the beautiful “Love Quilt” she made and donated to the Winnipeg River Arts Council for a raffle to raise funds for the upcoming Manitoba Theatre Centre’s touring presentation of “Armstrong’s War” on February 14, 2015.