Monday, April 20, 2009

Symposium classes

Now I have recovered from a full-on week at Symposium (well, not fully recovered - I still have some things to unpack from my bag - at least all the washing is now up to date) I thought I would show you the results of the two classes I did. The first is the 2 day Layer By Layer Landscape class with Gloria Loughman. Instead of doing one of the patterns she provided I decided to draw up my own design based on what I could see out of the window of the cricket pavilion at Wellington Girls College. With windows all along the front it was an excellent place to sew. I took the class because I thought I would be doing a more abstract landscape, like Gloria's class samples. I am no artist so it was with some surprise I found myself sketching out an 'original' design!
I didn't get as far as other students and there is still quite a bit of work to do to get it finished. There are 5 sections to this small quilt and I pinned them together so I could hang it up for the other students to see. The big blank space in front of the 3 town houses need some greenery and there is still a tree to put in and the Mt Victoria tower to add in the sky line piece. Gloria is an excellent teacher and I enjoyed the fact that there were a variety of techniques we could use to put in a 'layer'. The houses look like they are on a bit of a lean - windy Wellington :-) Actually the weather was great for the whole week, only one slightly yukky day.

The second class I did was also 2 days, with Dena Crain, called 'Darned Quilts'. The technique involved curve-piecing a graduated background, adding embellishments and then cutting shapes (circles were the easiest to start with) out and swapping them around and re-stitching them back in. Very interesting and a great way to try out all those fancy stitches on the machine that I normally never use.
I think I'll call this one 'Sunrise, Sunset'. It just needs basting up, quilting and binding. It will measure about 53 cm wide by 74 cm high (21" by 29"). I wonder if I can finish this one before the end of the holidays?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In the Exhibition

My quilt, Poetry in Motion, did not win any ribbons (boo hoo), but it was very well hung at the exhibition, facing the entrance to the main part of the Academy of Fine Arts. I don't think I posted a photo of the finished quilt so here it is:
Some people liked it enough to take pictures of it :-)
And some very nice comments made by people visiting the exhibition were overheard by my 'spies'. So I shall have to be content with that, and the fact that it was accepted in the first place.

Apparently, so I am told, Quilt Wellington 2009 is the first quilt show any where in the world to require only original designs or designs that no one else has any copyright claim to. So is this where I stake my claim to the design of this quilt, the block, block sashing and border design, and the right to vary the centre design of the block in any way I see fit, since any variation in the centre of the block will not, in the opinion of the judges, create a new original design?

Best in Show was Petone Hospital Blanket by Katherine Morrison:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Back to the Stash

I wasn't sure about my selection of fabrics for Dena Crain's class at Symposium so I emailed her, asking if she could take a quick look at my blog post to see if the choices I made would work. She replied promptly with some very good advice and suggestions. In fact my email prompted her to add some images of fabric graduations (gradations as they say in the USA) so I'm glad I asked. Here is part of her reply:

Your printed gradation is fine, but not for this class. Save it for future Darned Quilt projects, ok? I really want you to assemble your own gradation. It's a good exercise in color and value, as I think you will realize once you've seen my blog page and the WebFabrics page.

As for your collection of gradated fabrics, compare it with what you see that I have posted. Look, Helen, for higher contrast in the gradation. Without that contrast, the Darned Quilt won't work very well.

The way to test contrast is to place the fabrics from each end of the gradation next to each other. If the difference between them is low, as it is in your posted set, then your Darned Quilt will be less successful than it should be. Make sure your gradation covers a lot of territory from one end to the other, and you will be a happier Darned Quilter!

The internet is so wonderful for things like this. How did we manage 'before sliced bread'?

You can see what the class is about and the examples of the fabric graduations here. You can also see more graduated collections of fabric on the WebFabrics page. I've pulled more fabrics from my stash and put others away. I'm going to think on it overnight. I keep wanting to pull 20 fabrics when I am supposed to have only 6-8. This is a bit of a challenge for me. I guess I can take 20 and then make a final choice on the day. The trouble with taking classes is that I want my whole stash with me!

I also see on her blog page about this class that I need a "Good selection of cords, ribbons, laces, trims, yarns, 6-10 yards of each, and decorative threads". This part of the needs list seems to have been missed from the Symposium printout. Yikes, now I'm very glad I asked! I'd better start looking for some.