For me, confusion reigns. My mind is cluttered with thoughts rushing past and changing directions all the time. I frustrate my friends and family by deciding on one thing then suddenly changing it. Examples include furniture, times schedules, whats for dinner and in my quilts it means there is always a lot going on and the end rarely reflects the beginning. This past weekend with Carolyn Friedlander in town I noted with interest and admiration the clean lines of focus. As John said after her talk on Friday night, "its harder than it looks to do simple so well."
By simple I don't mean easy or thoughtless. What I mean is clean, beautiful line that begs attention for its directness and intent. Carolyn's quilts capture the eye and rest it on a well told story. Some done in a variety of colors showed how the lines stand the test of change and still read as lines of merit.
In class Carolyn commands more attention than her stature might imply. I found her to be a power house of tips and concepts that were graspable. The evidence was in the work at the end of the day. Due to the fact that it is time consuming and slow the participants might have only walked away with a small block but the look on their faces at having accomplished something was pure delight. Eyes were shining with pride at the results and by the end of Friday there were rows of gorgeous blocks!
We chose the Shirts pattern for Friday because, well being MO we needed the option of color and pattern for our dye hard enthusiasts and the results were full of the personality we expect and proving there is room on the piece of string that is quilting for all!
Watching Carolyn work made me want to join in with the group. Unlike my usual bull at a gate approach I was attracted to the calmness and the gentle consideration of how two things sat together. I was not alone. She seemed to spend dedicated time with each and every participant sharing skills on method and tools all the while.
On Saturday and Sunday Carolyn did applique and the results were the same. Great straight forward technique produced engaging results all around.
Carolyn's formal training was art and architecture. The evidence of this training is clear. I have a life long friend, Kathyt hat is also an architect/quilter. Although her quilts take on a different direction it is just as focused. It is interesting to note how the interests and studies of our lives translate into the stories our quilts create for us. Is it us or the dreaming that brings these images to life? Again, it boggles the mind to see how many ways there are to express ourselves with textiles.
I often refer to the curly hair/straight hair syndrome. We always want what we don't have and I want to learn how to achieve this beautiful and considered approach! It was such a pleasure having Carolyn with us for the weekend and I am sure those at Amite doing her class will really enjoy it. Thanks to Jen Kingwell for organizing Carolyn to visit Australia. It was a big weekend with the Modern Quilt Show and the 120 people doing workshops and I am, like all others who attended, full of inspiration.
We have a few of Carolyn's book, Savour each Stitch, and she generously signed them! If you missed out and want a piece of the action start with her book. In addition, we will offer a follow up class on the foundation piecing if you want to finish in workshop style! Just contact the shop by email or phone.
So, that's a wrap on the recap. I am as always so happy to be a quilter and to share the opportunities available to us with so many other quilters. Thank you to Carolyn for her professional, talented, kind and generous soul and for sharing it with so many!