We have painters at our house to finish the windows and doors. Two days ago I got the message that it was time to do my studio. So at the moment, everything that can move is out of my sewing room and the rest is buried under a sheet. The process of clearing it out has caused severe disequalibrium in my head. First, where do I sit in the evening? Second, as Bundle and I moved it all out of the space I was overwhelmed with the amount of stuff. Do I really need all this? (of course I do!) I am lost and wandering around the house without a perch knowing that there is so much potential piled in the living room. This upcoming weekend is free of activities...how will I use the time? Hmmm.
Thinking of stashes...and it is hard not to do so when it is piled in boxes all over the house...turned my head to Stash Management last week. This class is based on the idea that we start with what we have collected and go forth to make a quilt using it. It may mean we learn a new template, try a repeat pattern or design something as we go but no matter where we start it is always fascinating as we discover what we know and sometimes what we don't. It's a bit like life really.
Jenny started this quilt last year. The brief was to break down the barrier to stripes and make a pattern using stripes. Jenny used the Pop Star ruler, a collection of browns and added a nice base of blue.
To see it finished now I can't even remember the so called orange background I tried to get her to use but I love the blue anyway. The stripes add an exciting element of movement to the top. Using prints just adds interest. Notice too the light blue peeper that she has added in to break up the brown and add a little light to the composition.
At this time of year moving around the room is rather exciting as we see the results of many months of application. None of it happens over night. We had a workshop with Victoria Findlay Wolfe back in March! Her book 15 Minutes of Play is a must for all quilter's libraries.
Throughout the rest of the year remnant blocks from the workshop have been appearing in lots of great quilts.
This is one by Denny. She has now finished the borders and purposefully allowed a bit of chance to direct the traffic. The result? Well you can see that this is a quilt that is hard to look away from as there are so many eye catchers.
Again, the considered use of light fabrics lifts this quilt from one plane into many areas of interest. Of particular interst is our girlfriend from Alexander Henry who gazes out from the star into our eyes!
There is no fear here!
The other really fun thing, for me anyway, is to see so many of the patterns from Making Quilts coming to life in fabrics chosen by the maker. It is an important element of my book that I encourage and try to enable you, the reader, the maker, to make your own choices and take ownership for your quilts. Still use my patterns of course but make them your own with colour choices and layout choices. Add a border, change the size...have a go. Marie is deciding now how to approach the border for this quilt based on Chance. She started with the background fabric but made great choices for the triangles that varied in value and colour. Some choices were planned and some applied a sense of randomness.
Marie also brought in another quilt she has finished from the book that started as Fairlawn but morphed when she ran out of fabric. Running out of a key element of fabric is a wonderful opportunity to think through a variety of options and go forward. There are those that will search to the ends of the earth to find the missing element. Then there are others that will simply change direction and that is what Marie has done. She turned to Material Obsession 2 and took the bird from Looking Back. Great move in hindsight...get it? ha ha ha.
Jan is on a cot quilt spree, as so many of us are as we get a little bit older! This one was made entirely of scraps from her stash! In Jan's words, "It cost nothing!" We had a little chuckle at the mind games we play but there is something really satisfying about making an entire quilt from our stash.
Sarah is also working from her stash but she has come to us to add a bit of colour to her life and really, how natural does it look! These are new colours for her but the effect is as if she has lived here for years! Such a fun quilt. She spent most of the day piecing a fun backing too!
This next quilt is a great talking point. It started as Red Center from Making Quilts and a collection of stash fabrics. The thing is that the contrast is very mild between the light and dark so the end result is a bit different to the high contrast lines of Red Center. It may not follow the brief but there is something beautiful in this quilt that I love. It takes me to the "red center" of Australia but on a different path. Stones, sand, red dust...its all there and I just love it.
Penny has just returned to classes after many months of living life outside of the shop...how does that work? Her chosen project is Pheasantville. Not sure where Quiltmania got the template but if you choose to do this quilt don't use the QuiltMania templates as they are completely wrong. This quilt is best made using a wedge ruler. It doesn't matter what degree the ruler is as you can cut the scrappy wedges and lay them out until they fit the size of the medallion you are using. I should have taken a before and after photo of these wedges as they changed dramatically.
What is important in all scrap quilts is to use a variety of values in the fabric options. This started as a very pretty collection of fabrics that all blended together. Adding a few unexpected colours and darker prints it activated the center panel and made a much more interesting, but still pretty, surround.
Here I'll loosely quote Milan Kundara in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. It is chance and coincidence that make life interesting. The unexpected experiences and encounters are what make life engaging as the routine, the regular activites and the basic motions of life blend into unremarkable moments.
So what is the moral...highs and lows...important in the mix. Believe it or not there is more but it is such a beautiful morning. The winds of yesterday blew away the pollution (old fashion word for global warming which according to some doesn't exist..don't get me started.) So today I am off to walk the fat doggy under the clear blue sky. My my my she has put on some condition this winter! k