Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jane's House

I have a few photos of my friend Jane's design wall, taken while she was working through her HouseTop quilts in a couple of my classes.
two blocks and some colour ideas
Jane is a meticulous and methodical sewist, with a refined and particular flair for colour. Her knowledge of quilt history is expansive, and she has collected and sold many antique quilts. She displayed a wonderful array from her collection at the Whistler Valley Quilt Show in 2011.

adding sashing

Jane started her striped HouseTop quilt in a class in June, and brought the work in progress to another class in November, where she started another quilt. Can't wait to see what she'll have next time I see her!
Here it is, sewn together and with one of the borders she has designed sewn on.

Jane's neat set-up, and her wee Singer featherweight machine.

Jane started out on a different fabric story with the second quilt in her series. This time she had a contemporary leaf print and worked it up with solids and black.
Working in a series is great, because
all the stuff you learn in the first quilt
gets used in the next quilts, and you build up
a language all your own.

three improvised blocks

playing with layout and filler parts.

In a mad dash to locate lost keys some spilled coffee narrowly misses besmirching the sewn top! A lucky end to two days of hard but fun work.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hello Dolly!

I haven't done this in a while...
I am off to Vancouver in a few weeks to show a wonderful group of patch-workers how to improvise a row of dolls. In my mind, I  have separated my piecing techniques into three categories: drawing, building and carving. When I "draw" in piecing, I use many strips of varying versions of a similar colour to fill in an area. It is similar to using a pencil on paper to make marks. At least it is to me! The border of this red log cabin quilt felt like drawing to me, (click on the photo to make it bigger) I felt as though I were sketching in the colour, filling it in with strokes form my red pencils. And even though the blocks are "built" from strips, or logs of fabric, because the reds are different stripes, I see them as sketched or drawn portions too.
Building, as I have eluded to, is where I use strips, or chunks, or logs of colours to create shapes by building them up together, and carving is where I take a bigger chunk of fabric (colour) and chop some of it off the make the shape I'm looking for. The dollies are made of building and carving. One makes building materials of fabric to delineate the figure's legs and arms, and carves a dress out of another piece of fabric. Create a head with a hat on it, stick 'em all together and there you have it. Its fun to make ridiculous coloured outfits and use prints that are far too gaudy for clothing to dress them in.
Above is a picture of the first row of dolls I ever did - they were simple and very fun and ended up in a quilt made by the people I worked with at the fabric store. Each of us did a row, then put it together and auctioned it as a fundraiser.

And over here is a detail of a couple of peeps in another quilt I did. I like it when their hands are joined.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Teaching In Town

Well, it's official!
 I'll be teaching the HouseTop class in North Vancouver.
 The Creative Edge Quilting & Sewing store in North Vancouver is offering my class on March 13 & 27. I'll do an afternoon session from 10:30am - 1:30pm and an evening session at 6pm - 9pm for those folks who can't make it during the day. I'm really looking forward to teaching in a store again. Its so good to be able to pop out of the classroom and pick up an extra bit of fabric or a new sharp blade for your rotary cutter.

mini HouseTop quilt

Speaking of stores, the Creative Edge is just lovely. Its stocked right up with great fabrics- clean graphic prints, plenty of solids, some nice kids prints and lots of batiks, and they also carry Bernina sewing machines. Maureen and Lauren who were both working in the store the day I popped in were full of creative energy for quilting and we had a fun visit, relaxing and chatting over a cup of delicious chocolate tea. I noticed one of Linda Sharp's pieces on the wall too! You never know where genius fabric artists will show their stuff...

The store's digits are:
Creative Edge Quilting & Sewing | 2065 Old Dollarton Road | 604-982-0088 | Tues.- Sat. 10 -5 Sunday 12-4 | North Vancouver, B.C. | V7H 1A6 | Canada

Monday, January 2, 2012

HouseTops in colour!

Here are the beautiful HouseTop quilts made by my brilliant students from Whistler, back in November. The fabrics brought to class were as varied as the women who came, and the quilts were unique as well! Some people like to work on the straight and narrow, and some are comfortable with a lot of variation, some love lots of colour and some keep it close. Have a look at the quilt tops, made in two days of hard work, with everybody playing by the same rule book. Brilliant, yes?!
Using beloved colours- matching luggage!  

Nice sashing
Christmasy colours
Traditional prints with polka dots!
playing with line
limited colour palette. beautiful!
This is the second quilt in a series, nice and loose!
one student's very first quilt!