Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quilting Improv Workshop

Another speaker I booked for our guild, Mary Ann Littlejohn also gave us a workshop.  This one was called Quilting Improv using scraps which on the outset does not sound very interesting but she is an art quilter and so she really came at it in a whole different way.
She had you take a selection your of strips and sew them together without a measuring and cutting and all of that. The you would start assembling layers around a little focal block or focal fabric to make your little art piece. You could use the strip set to cut different sizes to go around it or you could take squares and sew them diagonally to make irregular half square triangles etc...
My class product was not to my satisfaction. I really wanted to use this print:
Which my grandmother had given to me from a Southeast Asian trip she had taken.
Unfortunately I brought fabrics to the workshop that were too matchy to that. Not enough sizzle or contrast for the look I wanted. I had selected a lot of pinks to match the focal fabric and I don't really like pink so what I was thinking is a mystery...  I guess I was used to picking fabric for a traditional quilt -- so that everything matches, I had to get out of my box. Here is what I ended up with in class, not my cup of tea.
When I got home I immediately started another quilt because I loved the technique, was really jazzed to try it again and had learned a lot from the workshop. Here is the product, which I love. 
It measures:11.5"x 12"

It was fun to use these as little machine quilting experiments- I quilted each little area differently. I added the bead fringe on one part and buttons of course!
I made another one later in that same week! This one reminds me of a crayon box because of that school bus yellow binding and rick rack (and the rainbow of colors within). 
 It measures 11"x12"

A week later my husband woke up to go to work at 5:30 as usual but I was not in bed. I had woken up at 3:30 and when he woke up I was nearly through making this:
 details of quilting:
I had a brainstorm in the night about using my hand dyed fabrics and batiks so I just followed my muse despite the hour. This one I constructed more as a row quilt-- deviating from the original technique which started with a square of focal point in the piece.

My friend Diane bravely took the class even though she was very uncomfortable with the lack of pattern and rules.  We were asked not to use ruler with our rotary cutters and she looked like a deer in the headlights. She made it through though with a beautiful little quilt you can see hers on her blog here.

1 comment:

My very best friend said: