Friday, July 27, 2012

Pieces and Parts

What an exciting time we had in the Marilyn Doheny workshop! Here are some of the pieces and parts I have made. They might be fans. They might be flowers. They might be butterflies. They might be spirals. . . .You get the picture.
Strata used for the two sections of spirals on right below

First you make a strata. This strata was used to cut the spiral sections below; eight wedges were cut "up" (larger end of the wedge ruler up), and eight wedges were cut down (larger end of wedge ruler down). You can see the darker print (near the cat) at the top of the right wedges and at the bottom of the left wedges. The wedges are unsewn in this picture.
40 of these wedges would make a full circle
Split Tip--may become flowers?
Chevron (before pressing)

Right now these are just pieces and parts. More will be made before composing my quilt onto the background.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Marilyn Doheny Hattiesburg Class-Day 2

We had another exciting and busy day with Marilyn Doheny. We learned about drop shift spiral, spiral waltz, infinity spiral, scallop spiral, the inward chevron, outward chevron, up wedges, down wedges. And then there were options on how to arrange the wedges--repeat, reverse repeat. A set of wedges that was laid out like a flower could morph into a butterfly and vice versa.
Marilyn had already done the math and  shared this very basic bit of information: it takes 40 9-degree wedges to make a complete circle (9 x 40 = 360, the number of degrees in a circle), 20 wedges makes a half-circle, and 10 wedges makes a quarter circle. No matter how tall our wedges are, if they are joined continuously in the same direction, they will make a circle. Grasping this concept will help to visualize and plan the objects we want to make. The wedges can undulate by changing the direction of a group of wedges.

Discovering possible layouts using Blaze and Chevrons
The Class behind two of Marilyn's quilts in progress
The educational seminar will continue this week in Jackson Wednesday and Thursday and in Starkville Friday and Saturday. Mississippi Quilt Association's annual educational seminar provides an opportunity to study with a nationally recognized teacher and is one of the benefits of our MQA membership. We left the class with our heads swimming with ideas of how we wanted to continue with our projects.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Marilyn Doheny Hattiesburg Class-Day 1

Marilyn Doheny hit the ground running today and filled our heads with many ideas of what we could create using the 9-degree wedge rulers, all the way from elegant fans to fantasy flowers, butterflies, bugs, and other critters. Class participants came with several strata sewn which we could use in many ways, with none looking like any other. 
She brought quilts as examples of many techniques, such as the colorful one below. Yes, it is spread out on the floor!

We made a Split Tip, and a Flip-Flop, and saw examples of the Blaze and Chevron.  She showed us how to determine which of our sewn strata would work best for a Flip-Flop and which should be held back for the Blaze and the Chevron. (More about those words tomorrow!)
Strata auditioned as a Flip-Flop
She gave individual help at each table, and we were spread out all over Kelley Fellowship Hall at University Baptist Church, where Pine Belt Quilters regularly meet.

 Marilyn lives in Tryon, NC, and is the owner and inkeeper of  Melrose Inn, where she offers quilting retreats in the 120-year-old B&B she is remodeling and refurnishing.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Marilyn Doheny Workshop

Each summer Mississippi Quilt Association brings in a national teacher for two-day educational seminars in three different locations. This year Marilyn Doheny will teach in Hattiesburg, Jackson, and Starkville, beginning tomorrow--July 23. The workshop participants have been cutting and sewing strata and background with borders to get ready for Marilyn's creations. Marilyn is my houseguest, and we enjoyed a fantastic meal at Crescent City Grill--one of Hattiesburg's very best restaurants in the New South Restaurant Group, owned by Robert St. John.
Watch for workshop pictures!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Red Hibiscus and a Thank You

Red Hibiscus, 29" x 24"
Amaryllis, 25" x 27"
    I'm fascinated with making large flowers lately--have made four by slightly different methods, trying to decide which method I like best. Each has some advantages, so my future pieces will probably be a combination. I love to create using my own photograph for inspiration and I wanted more practice in making my patterns. After I made the Amaryllis piece last month, my guild invited Gail Bachorik to teach her Viva Orchid! pattern, so I made that one (in blues and purples on a yellow background). Then I ordered a pattern and instructional CD from Lenore Crawford and made her Pink Hibiscus (although I did it in reds since I had just worked with pinks on the Amaryllis).

    My daughter wanted me to help her make a small piece with a rose applique to use as a gift, so I showed her how to find a picture similar to what she wanted and we then drew the design and marked the pieces to create the pattern. She did all the cutting and fusing and placing on the background, and I added the machine quilting to finish the piece. 
Knockout Rose, 14" x 14" with picture inspiration and pattern

    Ann Fahl often finishes her art quilts with a small strip separating the border from the center, and I have used this design element on both the Hibiscus and Orchid and Rose pieces. She also sets her designs on a pieced background, and this is used on the Amaryllis piece.
    Through the years other quilters have inspired us and we find we have absorbed ideas, styles, and techniques and have added them to our own repertoire of skills. I am grateful for having met and studied with some of the best quilters in America--far too many to try to name. Thanks to all who have shared!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Between the Covers at the Library

"Between the Covers" Poster
I enjoyed giving a presentation last night at the Oak Grove Library in Hattiesburg, MS, during their "Between the Covers" July adult programs. There will be a speaker each Thursday night. 
Of course, rather than book "covers," my presentation dealt with quilts as "covers." I described the fascination and importance placed on friendship blocks among quilters from the colonial days until the present. Collecting blocks with verses or sentiments and a signature offered comfort when families were separated by westward migration, death, or war.

The quilt pictured here is a version of a friendship quilt even though it does not contain verses or signatures of the makers. I received a set of blocks of varying sizes and chose to assemble the blocks as a giant tree, with the background sky and ground made of Log Cabin blocks.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Gail Bachorik taught a workshop for Pine Belt Quilters last month called Viva Orchid! Fusing is a lot of fun but a messy process, as you can see by this picture. Well, maybe everyone is not as messy as I am.
I added a narrow and then a wide border to my orchid and echo quilted around the flower. I will finish the edges with a facing.
Gail's Orchid, 25" wide x 23" high
Bigboy is very trusting when he is assisting

Friday, July 6, 2012

Celebrating the Good Memories

Gathering wisteria and Lady Banksia Rose
We just passed the one-year anniversary of my husband Roy's death on July 4. He loved the yard and enjoyed gathering flowers to bring inside to me. My son and daughter and I celebrated by remembering good times, laughing at some of the frustrating ones, and being thankful for the love he showered on us.