Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gwen Marston Workshop fun

I just returned from three fabulous days in Bellingham, WA, attending my first quilting workshops.  The workshops were put on by Two Thimbles Quilt Shop in Bellingham, and I want to say how impressed I was by the organization and planning put into this event.  Kudos to Lee and her staff for doing such a fantastic job.  Of course, Gwen Marston was the perfect person for me to take my first quilt workshops with.  What a wonderful person she is! She shared so much knowledge and wisdom with us.  She was kind, inspiring, patient, and just plain fun to be around.
The first workshop was on Saturday and it was on Small Quilts.

The emphasis on Saturday was on more traditional style small quilts.  Gwen shared quite a few of her own quilts, and talked about her inspiration for each one.

After her initial talk, the quilts were put out on tables for people to study before they began their own.  I fully expected I would go the traditional route, but as usual, my fabric spoke otherwise.

I took a box of solids and three bags of scraps.  As I started putting scraps together, one of my tablemates pulled out a piece of fabric she didn't like and gave it to me because it looked like it would fit in.  It is the piece on the left just above the red.  You can see more of it along the bottom.  I also used it in the piece I started in the next workshop. 

This is the piece as it finished on Saturday.  The photo is a bit distorted.  The side borders are really the same size as the top and bottom.  Traditional?  Not so much.  Fun?  Very much.

This workshop was such an eye opener for me.  The room was filled with incredibly talented and creative women who enjoyed sharing ideas, and even precious pieces from their stashes.  I have been in classes with creative people before when I was painting, but this was so different.  In this space, there was no hiding work when someone looked over your shoulder. Instead, there was lively discussion about what was working and what might me tried in that corner.  There was no hoarding of materials as if the world would come to an end if someone touched your supplies.  There was quite a bit of, "I have just the right piece of fabric for that border strip.  Wait 'til I find it in my box for you."  Since I became a part of the greater quilting community, I have been very impressed by the generosity and kindness of others.  It was magnified in this classroom.  I was assured this was the way it always is in a quilting class or retreat.  I had to emerge from my hermit shell to attend this class, but because of the wonderful experience, I feel comfortable that I will emerge to do it again.

I will share photos and thoughts about the two day workshop on Liberated Medallion quilts in my next post.  Until then, joyful quilting, everyone.


Linda said...

I really love your non-traditional block! It turned out so nice!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

You 'flowed' in the creativity air! So glad you had a good time.

Barbara said...

Oh what fun! I have one of when her books, and I really like her work. It looks like a fun couple days.

Impera_Magna said...

So glad that you had big fun during the workshops.... LOVE that block you created!

Rebecka said...

Gwen is the perfect person to take a workshop from and what energy. I got to meet Gwen and I loved her. Your piece turned out great! I love it. Can't wait to see more.

sheila 77 said...

This course sounds as if it was fantastic. What amazing fun to have made a piece like you are showing here. I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Sharon said...

It was so fun to meet you at the Saturday class! I think your small quilt came out great. I love the slivers you did in the borders. Oh, and your curved seam too!

It is great fun to be with Gwen, and it is wonderful how all the quilters are so supportive of each other and generous with their fabric and opinions. Please do go to other classes/workshops - every one I've been to has been fun as well as informative.

I can't wait to hear how the 2-day class went. I wish I could have been there too. I'm looking forward to your photos!

Quilter Kathy said...

Sounds wonderful...this is on my bucket list!