Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Asilomar 2016 - Ann Shaw

I went to Asilomar Conference Grounds again this year to attend Empty Spools Quilting Seminars to attend Ann Shaw's class.  She teaches the Ruth McDowell style of quilt-making, as Ruth is no longer teaching.  I wasn't familiar at all with this style, although I had heard of Ruth McDowell.  I looked at the quilts on Ann's website.  Lots of animal quilts using lots of little pieces of different printed fabrics as a sort of collage.  Looked pretty interesting.

There I was, in my studio, packing up all my things for this class.  I had the class supply list that Ann had furnished, which had the {helpful} suggestion to bring LOTS of fabric--all different colors and prints.  But no solids.  At least I could rule out the solids!  I was checking things off the list, and getting down to the bottom when I realized that there was no fusible listed.  I double checked the list, but found no fusible required.  I thought maybe Ann had her own brand of fusible that she wanted us to use, and would furnish it for us.  

Boy, was I surprised when I got to class!  I saw Ann's quilts up close--beautiful, by the way--and heard her introductory remarks about making these quilts.  And then I realized that we were expected to actually sew together all these little blankey-blank tiny pieces!  I couldn't believe it!

Ann Shaw, instructor at Asilomar/Empty Spools.

Above is a photo of Ann.  Not the best picture, but we'll call it an action shot.

My original photo of California Poppies.
After a long process, I finally ended up with the pattern that you see below.  We traced our original photo onto tissue paper, divided it into sections and sub-divided it into pattern pieces for every little color change.  Each section, no matter how tiny, was numbered A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2, etc, etc.  Enlarged it by 300%, traced the pattern onto freezer paper, and ready to use templates.

Here is a close-up of part of my pattern.  You can see the letter-number labels.  We also drew many, many hash marks along each seam line so everything would line up ok when we got to the sewing.

Now I'll take a little time out from this boring pattern stuff to show you some photos of my classmates' work.

This cute little dog was made as a memorial quilt.

This woman from Colorado was building a gorgeous cactus.

A very wise owl. 

This woman had a lovely photo of a mama and baby elephant.

I had to add another close-up of the elephant quilt because it is just so stinkin' cute!

And this is the daughter of one of my tablemates.  It's amazing how life-like it looks with just a few pieces depicting the actual person.

Now, back to work.  After two full days of work on paper at our tables, we were finally able to touch some fabric!  We needed A Lot Of Fabric Pieces to make these quilts.  So we traded around the classroom.  You might hear, "Who has a lime green?"  There would be several answers and the person in need would try a few different fabrics, then choose one and be given a piece of the fabric.  Quilters are always eager to share fabric, it seems to me.

Here is a shot of just part of our table, where fabrics are spilling over each other.

This shows my design wall with my freezer paper pattern templates.  I've chosen some yellows, and oranges and green stems.  As the freezer paper gets cut out on the pattern lines, each piece is ironed onto the back of our chosen fabric.  Then we added a 1/4" all around and cut the fabric so we had our seam allowances.

This is where I'm starting to audition fabrics for the background and border.  I thought about greens for the background (after all, it is a flower growing in my yard), but that didn't jump out to me as the perfect solution.

Then I tried these bright blues and really liked that combination with the yellows.  And the bright yellow for the border will make this a sunshiny quilt.

Here I have it almost completely mocked up into how it will look finished.  Each of these pieces is pinned separately onto the design wall.

I'll keep you informed as I make progress on this.  By the way, my sewing machine stayed in my car the whole time.  Ann had told us to bring them, but that we might not use them.

1 comment:

  1. That's a lot of work without even sewing! Can't wait to see the end result!