Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rosalie Dace Class

I was fortunate to be able to attend a four-day quilting class given at our guild by Rosalie Dace.  She lives in South Africa and travels almost half of each year teaching classes.  The class she taught was in abstract quilting, and she has been greatly inspired by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).  The first day we saw slides of his  abstract paintings.  I tried to get inspired, but I really don't really like modern art very much so it was hard for me to find inspiration.  Finally I found a painting of his that I decided I could use as a jumping off place.

Photo from WassilyKandinsky.net

The painting I was looking at was basically concentric circles one on top of the other one.  (Always liked this idea.)  The colors in the painting were very bright.  (Like the bright colors.)  

The photo below shows my beginning fabric choices for the circle pieces.  I added some more fabrics as I went along, tweaking things a little bit here and there.

I chose to use a black silk/cotton fabric for the background.  So I pinned all of my little selected stacks onto the black on my design wall.  I pinned them all as they appear in the above photo, rearranging here and there as needed.  Looking at it, I saw the three rows of four and decided that I wanted to cut my black fabric into three pieces and make a triptyque.

And then Rosalie suggested that I make my backgrounds a little more interesting by inserting some deep purple wavy lines.  Here are portions of two of my fabric strips, which have had the curved inserts added.  I can tell you that I was not a very happy quilter making the first curve.  Fortunately, that happened at the end of the second day, so I got to go home and re-group.  The next day dawned brighter (metaphorically!) and I finished the rest of the curvy strips quite easily.

This is my "finished sketch," for my wall hanging.  Shall I tell you about the circle that isn't a circle?  If you look at the top photograph where I had just decided on the fabrics to use you will see that this square cross block is just as it appeared at the beginning.  When I came to this set of fabrics to cut into circles, I looked at it and thought, "I like that one just the way it is."  So I am leaving that one as a rectangle.

The circles have tear-away stabilizer on the back.  I've been sewing the circles together.  After they are all secured I will sew them to the black pieces and do some more decorative stitching on them.  Then I will layer and quilt the three pieces, making more circular patterns on them.

I have to end by saying how great it was to learn from Rosalie.  She is a great teacher.  She didn't teach us a technique; she taught us about art and design.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Intermediate Quilting Class 2014 (Session Two)

The second week's class was about curved piecing.  A lot of quilters are scared of sewing curves.  And it does take a little thought, but is certainly do-able.  My co-teacher, Kalynn, and I are both garment sewers, as well as quilters, so we are used to handling curves.  

And our students caught on very well.

We talked about using templates in this class, when previously all of our blocks were rotary cut using straight rulers.  This particular block is a drunkard's path, and there are also several other names for this block.  I had some acrylic templates for students to use, and we also showed them how to make their own templates out of template plastic. Everyone used pins to secure the two pieces of fabric together, although sometimes fabric glue is used.  Some of us used a lot more pins that others, but it's all good!

 The results were quite good, as you can see by these photos.

Look at how even all these edges are!

The photo below shows how two blocks look when put together.  We talked about all the many different ways these blocks can be arranged.

This next photo shows what happens when you cut with two layers of fabric under your templates and then switch around the pieces.  The top one is a great combination, isn't it.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Guild Quilt Show 2014 "Quilt The Music"

Our guild's annual challenge show (PPQG) was on exhibit last month.  The challenge this year was to take a piece of music and make a quilt to somehow illustrate it.  I entered three quilts.

This first one is small, about 11" square.  I belong to a small group and we all decided to make small wonky houses and use the "Little Boxes" song as our theme.  We had ten quilts to enter, and the lower right hand piece in the photo above has the words to the song printed on it.

I was assigned the color pink, so thats my little house right in the center.  It was fun to make--totally free form, no pattern.  It's not very visible, but I embroidered a little flower at the lower left, and that's a button green watering can near it. 

We all agreed to price our little quilt-lets at the same price ($25.00).  Several of them sold, including mine.  We'll be rolling in the money now!

The next quilt I entered was a baby quilt.  I blogged about this quilt here.  It is one of my favorite designs:  half-square triangles made from Bear Patch Bits fabric squares.

For the challenge I chose the song "Hush Little Baby Don't You Cry," and titled the quilt 
"Go To Sleep."

And my third quilt was a Quilt of Valor that I recently completed.  Since I had it available, I decided to enter it into the challenge using the song "Stars and Stripes Forever."  I named the quilt "Brave and True."

I'm afraid I don't have a "whole quilt" photo to show you right now, but here are some process photos.  Trust me, it really is finished!  I blogged about it previously here, while I was working on the quilting.  The top was made by the mother of a friend of my SisterStitches.  The mother passed away before she had the chance to finish this quilt.  I ended up with the quilt top and feel honored to finish it for her.