Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fun with quilting

It is amazing that this got quilted today!  It all started out so well.  I got the backing, batting, and top on the frame without a hitch.  I had no problem winding the bobbins, which sometimes give me fits.  Then, things started to go downhill.  At the end of the first pass of the basting line at the top, the extension cord didn't stretch far enough and the carriage that holds Priscilla (the Juki) went off the tracks.  Frustration number one.  Tom was kind enough to help me put it all back on.  All systems go.  Then, the thread broke about six inches into the quilting.  After I figured out where I had threaded the machine wrong, I started out again.  Then, the needle broke.  I had to go in search of a new needle.  By now, I was thinking I needed to stop and walk away.  This quilt is going to a cancer patient, and I only wanted good vibes to go into it, after all.  I pulled myself together, threaded the new needle, and off I went, until that needle fell out.  I hadn't tightened it well enough.  Are you laughing yet? It had reached a point where I just had to laugh.  After I put in the needle again, and made sure it was tight, I started out again.  This all happened on the first pass across the quilt, by the way.  After I got that first pass under my belt, it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.  Now, all I have to do is make and attach the binding, and it is good to go.  I will post a photo of the finished quilt tomorrow as part of the H2H finish posting.
I hope the rest of you had a much smoother day today doing whatever you chose to do.  Enjoy your evening and the rest of your weekend.  Joyful quilting, everyone.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Liberated Medallions with Gwen Marston

On Sunday and Monday, I enjoyed the Liberated Medallion quilts workshop with Gwen Marston.  It was a smaller class, and only one other person from the Saturday class was there.  Gwen started the workshop by gathering all of us in a circle and sharing some of her medallion quilts.  As she spread them on the floor in the middle of the circle, she talked about her inspirations and choices for each piece.  After her very inspirational discussion, we all went to our machines and started our creations.

From time to time, Gwen would demonstrate techniques and tricks she uses to create her wonderful works of art.  She was available to help and guide us throughout the workshop. I found it a great environment for growth and learning.
I shared a table with two very talented women from Northwest Washington, Ruth and Karen.  Ruth chose to work with beautiful batiks.  This is her piece.

I love the colors she selected to go with her focus fabric in the center.  The placement of the liberated triangles really help the eye travel throughout the quilt.  I also like the inset lines on the left.  This is quite a stunning piece and I had a great time watching it grow.
My other table mate, Karen, worked with fantastic Kaffe Fassett fabrics,  some from older collections and all really beautiful.

Karen also used liberated triangles in her first border.  I love the way the colors of the triangles bring out the colors in the focus fabric.  The curved insets in the top and bottom of the first border are mimicked in the KF target print on the outside border, which I think is a great touch.  I love the little strip of target in the top border and the piece of purple in the bottom one.  This is another really beautiful work of art.  It was great fun watching the growth of this piece, as well.
I would like to thank Ruth and Karen for their generosity of spirit, sharing of fabric, and wonderful humor that all added to the great experience I had in the workshop.

This is the piece I started.  I have the next border cut out and partially pieced.  I can't wait to get back to working on it.
Meanwhile, back in my studio, I finished up a couple of small projects today, and finished piecing my H2H quilt project.  Tomorrow, I need to get that one quilted so I can put it in the mail next week.
Until tomorrow, joyful quilting, everyone.

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.