Monday, July 13, 2015

Ghost Quilting Class in Hernando

I presented a program on my path from traditional quilter to fiber artist in Hernando, MS, for Quilting in the Grove guild's combined day and night groups last weekend. It was fun getting to spend time with my friend Cheryl Owens, who had moved to Hernando after many years in Hattiesburg.
I don't get many opportunities to display the counted cross-stitch quilt that was my transition from embroidery and cross-stitch into quilting, so I showed it first. My daughter Linda and I began the squares together in the 1980s but I soon saw that a "real quilter" would need to finish it. So I set out to learn to be that quilter.
Friendship Cross-Stitch by Martha and Linda Ginn
After taking lots of classes, studying lots of books, and making many types of quilts, I began a Baltimore Album style quilt, an experience that would require five years. It was enjoyable and fulfilling and I was able to document my life in the quilt I called This Is My Story, This Is My Song.
This Is My Story, This Is My Song
 Most of the pieces I make now are smaller than bed quilts, and I enjoy the designing process as much as the actual making. I like to encourage quilters to continue to learn new skills and to be proud of their work. We all start more projects than we finish, and I told them that it is okay NOT to finish all of those if they no longer enjoy them. Often we learn something from working on a project and it is time to move on to a more enjoyable challenge. 
After lunch I taught a Ghost Quilting Class to some of the group. They were enthusiastic and eager to try something new. Many had never used the Neocolor II wax pastels, so I suggested they experiment first on extra fabric. We had a short lesson on free-motion quilting, which was also new to some of the quilters. It was exciting to see women draw who said they couldn't and others find that rhythm of speed of the machine with the movement of the hands to get a smooth free-motion stitch. Two of them used unusual background fabrics;  another placed her focus square off-center to allow the ghost flowers to show up more dramatically.
Donna's first time to free-motion quilt
Dee used a large print for her background and will add more color

Judy used a stripe and drew in large flowers before stitching

Mary Jo extended her sunflower, offsetting the block
Pam used crayons and stitches--success!
Jo Ann's stitches show nicely on this muted background 

Hernando is a small town about 20-30 miles south of Memphis; I thought the DeSoto County Administration Building was beautiful and unusual, so I had Cheryl stop so I could photograph it. The courthouse is in the middle of the town square, and this building is on a corner facing it. All in all, a lovely town.


Dorothy G said...

It was a wonderful day! You are such in inspiration. I learned so much, I even ordered my own "Crayons" today. Thank you for coming and sharing your stories.

-Dorothy G

Martha Ginn said...

Thanks, Dorothy! I might have enjoyed the day even more than you did.

Donna Foshee said...

it was an amazing presentation and class with an amazing instructor. Thanks again for coming to teach it.

Martha Ginn said...

Thanks for the compliments, Donna. I was happy you were getting comfortable with free-motion stitching. It just takes some practice and willingness to relax and go for it! Even though I've been doing it for years, I still do a little loosening up practice stitching before starting on a real project. Just like I used to do every day before taking shorthand dictation.

Vivian Helena said...

Oh, that looks like a fun class.. toooooo bad you don't live closer! Students did some fantastic pieces,, but then look who the teacher is... the best... enjoy! v

Ellen said...

This looks fabulous, Martha! A fun and "do-able" project with great results. I'm impressed with all of you.

Martha Ginn said...

Thanks, Vivian. Yes, we were pleased at such good results; hope you're home and have had a great trip.

Ellen, glad you saw this and commented. Yes, it can bring instant gratification!

Kiesha B. said...

I would love to hear what each of the pieces mean to you, making up your life's story. Of course this would best be told in person. Very beautiful work.

Martha Ginn said...

Thanks, Granddaughter Kiesha! I would love to tell you about each and every block; even the ones that were patterns from books took on special meaning as I quilted them. For instance, my dad grew roses, and the block with satin roses became a special remembrance for him; we had some Chinese and Japanese friends who were guests in our home many times. The double happiness symbol was taken from an embroidered piece on the wall of one of their apartments. And on and on.

LA Paylor said...

I bet your classes are organized and fun! I love highrise that you showed in a previous post... how are the cats? Still fostering the latest? LeeAnna