Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Free-Form Quiltmaking, a.k.a. Color Bars

Our state quilt association, Mississippi Quilt Association, holds a Workshop Gathering each June, and it is often  my pleasure to teach at this event. We always meet in a central location, while the spring and fall gatherings move about the state. This year I taught "Free-Form Quiltmaking," or what I call "Color Bars," relying on popular techniques employed by such teachers as Rayna Gillman and Dianne S. Hire. I feel a little ambiguous saying I "taught" the students, but suffice it to say I helped them discover their own creativity and gave them permission to play and experiment. Here are a couple of pieces I made last year using these improvisational techniques:
Color Bars #2--Black by Martha Ginn

High Rise by Martha Ginn
 Isabel Adams was so eager for the class that she sewed up lots of strips beforehand. We pinned these units to a display wall and discussed ways to arrange them.

Martha demonstrating the "wallpaper cut" to Isabel Adams, Missy Lee, Carla Formel

Working without a pattern or specific size pieces was a stretch for some, but they quickly discovered the joy of combining colors, sizes, and shapes to come up with interesting designs.

by Missy Lee
by Myra Cook

Georgianne Brooks, Angela Jones, Missy Lee
Nancy Losure designing on the floor
Another of Isabel Adams' exercises

At the end of the day, all the groups come together for Show and Tell from their classes; it was impressive to see the variety of creations.

The class showing their exercises
Next month I will travel to Hernando, MS, to present a program and Ghost Quilting workshop for their combined day and night groups, as the houseguest of my dear friend and former Hattiesburg resident Cheryl Owens, pictured below with Teresa Pino and Sharon Arnold.
Cheryl Owens, Teresa Pino (yes, the room was cold!), Sharon Arnold
 Good resources for these techniques can be found in Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts, A Stress-Free Journey to Original Design, by Rayna Gillman, C and T Publishing, 2011; and Quilters Playtime: Games with Fabrics, by Dianne S. Hire, AQS, 2004.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pathways Workshop Results

It was quite rewarding to see the results of the Pathways workshop when the students showed their pieces two weeks later at our quilt guild meeting. They had completed the small practice piece, some adding borders and finishing with quilting. Missy and Joe had also made their large project from the pattern I provided.
Barb, Suzannah, Susie, Dianne, Joyce, Betty, Missy, Elsie, Ellen
Barb, Suzannah, Susie, Dianne, Joyce, Betty, Missy, Elsie, Ellen, Joe

Joe, Betty (holding Joe's extended practice piece), Martha
I enjoyed teaching the workshop so much that afterward I decided to make one of the pieces myself. I call it Pathways in Stone. It features a Mickey Lawler Skydyes fabric.

Pathways in Stone

Friday, June 12, 2015

Kittens Up for Adoption

These last 10 weeks have been joy-filled and entertaining. As the foster kittens grew and I enjoyed them and laughed at them and fed them, my friends constantly asked, "How can you give them up?" They remarked, "I'll bet you keep them." Well, my three grown cats (who were fosters a year and a half ago) have felt very invaded and frustrated, actually downright frightened of these little fur balls, so it wouldn't seem fair to them.

When the kittens reached 2-1/2 lbs. I took them for their neuter surgery, and then Southern Pines Animal Shelter microchipped them and delivered them to PetSmart yesterday for adoption.
George Clooney, Josh Groban, Christopher


George Clooney

Josh Groban
Trying to share a chair with Tarbaby
They will make wonderful pets. I will miss them.