24 February 2014

Boston Commons Quilt Class With Kitty Sorgen

This past weekend (and today (Monday 24 Feb) we have been having our first snow of the season. Yes, we have been much more lucky than anywhere else in the country this Winter! This same view today has a lot more snow to show!

Also, this weekend I took a two day class with a wonderful teacher named Kitty Sorgen. She is a wonderful, talented,  and very attentive, teacher who lives locally. She teaches locally (and in California) as well as is far flung places like Africa and the wilds of Alaska where her class sites are not reachable by any roads!

The 'Boston Commons' quilt pattern is an old one, and it is a very traditional one. I have never made one. I had considered taking this class and then, by fortune's chance, I won a spot in it at a Guild "Awful raffle". It was two day class, and we needed every minute of that time. One person, the speedy Po Powell, came close to having a finished top to take home with her, the rest of us were still placing strip sets. Kitty has developed a much more rapid method of making this quilt using strip sets.

I have never made a mystery quilt, and most likely never will, but making this quilt comes as close to making a mystery quilt as possible because with each strip set that you add the look of the quilt changes completely - so the pattern is kind of a mystery quilt! What you see is most assuredly not what you will end up with! It was great to spend time with friends too - it always makes me happy.

Each person's work was fabulous, and each quilt is so remarkable different. It was a lot of fun to watch them develop!
This one is mine. I wanted to use colors that were just a bit out of my usual 'comfort zone', but still retain my beloved 'ick' greens in at least one or two places. Many years ago I used to favor teal, turquoise and aqua colors, and I feel that I am 'cycling' back to my affection for them. You can see that I have not sewn too many of the sets together, and  I ran out of space to place all of the outside strip on the background (plus I could not reach the top!). 

Kitty suggests, and I get it, that you trim the edges AFTER the top is quilted- so my outside darkish 'strip' will actually be a half square when it all said and done.

Have any of you found that you color sense changes at all as you age? I can't say mine have changed completely, but I do feel that my preferences are swinging back just a bit.
This is a close up of the center of my quilt. The scissors and the thimbles are part of a fabric collection from Cloud 9 Fabrics, called "Mad Mend". I love the show Mad Men, so I had to have some of the fabric! 
This lush version is from Linda Cooper. The whole appearance changed dramatically when she added the green strips.
This wonderful rendition is the one that Po Powell had 
nearly completed by the end of class.
 I wish I could be that speedy!  Isn't it cool?!
Mary D'Ambrosia's 'red-alicios' variation
Barb Snider's cheerful, colorful sets made me think of Spring and Summer. She's headed to a place with warm weather this week so maybe the colors were inspired by her thoughts of warmth!
This deep, rich combination is from Beth Phillips.
It looks so warm and inviting!
This color scheme is made by Ebie Currey.
We all agreed that it looked very vintage -
which is just Ebie's style! Very nice!
This vibrant beauty is made by Kelly Hilsinger, the Guild's trusty Treasurer. It vibrates color and richness! Kelly had JUST purchased her dream sewing machine and this class was the first time that she had used it . It's a very sleek, beautiful, Berbnina 750. She was in heaven using it! Good on her!
I was really fascinated by the variation in quilts. Each one was beautiful, and each one was so different. I have a fondness for vintage patterns, and I thoroughly enjoy being able to 'modern' up a vintage pattern as I tried to do with mine. My preference has always been 'tradition with a twist', so this class really floated my personal boat.

I'd love to hear about your preferences in quilts. What types of patterns do you most enjoy making? Has the 'modern' bug bit you at all?

I am excited to have signed up for a modern quilt class in April from Katie Pedersen. It feels so good to be quilting again!

11 February 2014

Which Way Should I Go?

A friend just prodded me a wee bit - telling me that I had not posted anything here in 3 weeks! I could not believe that it could be true! Times flies when you're having fun I guess!

The mixed media fairy did not leave me for long. I guess I just need to go with the flow and play where the spirit moves me to. I started making these little pins and when they were finished I made a few more just for fun. I like them!
DH had asked me to make a retirement gift for someone he has known for many years. I had hoped that he was going to go along with the idea of a generous 'sofa' quilt, but he said that he wanted a full sized bed quilt. I had given up on a project that I had been working on for some time. I'd been making 25 patch blocks that just became too boring to continue with (see previous post here). I had made quite a lot of them, but with a large quilt looming on the horizon I was very grateful to have a starting place so that all of that time and fabric would not go to waste. It's 106 X 90 now and almost ready to go to my favorite long arm quilter, Keri Stone of Orcas Island. I will get it finished by really squeaking the deadline - I hope that I will anyway. I know that Keri is going to turn this ho-hum top into a wonderful quilt!

The thing is - that when you make a quilt that is going to someone else - that they have not chosen for themselves it's kind of scary. There are TWO other people in this equation, and I have no feel for what they would want. Traditional is perfect though as no one generally does not a traditional quilt to sleep under, and the colors will go with their 'country' themed home. I love making art quilts, but I have to admit that I prefer to sleep under traditional quilts. How about you? Do you have any preference for what kind quilt you sleep under?
I got the bug to make some wool fleece filled pin cushions, and I had a great time making them! I think I will sell some. $10.00 a piece plus shipping - about 3". What do think about that pricing?
 They have different front and backs
I finished a small shawl that I had been working on using Cascade Souk yarn that is 55% silk and 45% wool. I love the long graduated colors, and although the pattern is almost too simple it will be a colorful antidote to the greyness of the skies.

Below: Still on the blocking boards on a rain soaked deck. 

See how the color helps make all of that rain soaked grey look better?! So that's what I have been up to. I started another shawl too, but decided that I did not like the color combinations - so I ripped it all out. 
I'll start a new project this evening as I watch the Olympics.  How has your week been? Or should I say how have your WEEKS been?! I always appreciate the friends who remind me I need to catch up on things!

" A Passion For Colour" by Ruth Isset

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press (November 1, 2013)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844487455

I generally post my book reviews to my book blog, but this book just "feels at home" here on Musing Crow, and I thought that you might enjoy knowing about it.

Ruth Isset is one of my favorite color artists. Her passion for color is obvious and dominates all of her work, both textiles as well and paper. I was enthralled by her 1999 book, "Colour On Cloth", which focused on some special effects of dye on cloth and stitch. Her 2007 release "Print, Pattern and Colour" is another favorite . These two books have remained solidly on my book shelf through all of my recent book purges . They are both keepers as is this new book, "A Passion or Colour".

A 'Passion For Colour', whose subtitle is 'Exploring Colour Through Paper, Paint, Fabric, Thread and Stitch', just about says it all. The same passion for color, the same amazing imagery and excellent instructions and the same color sparks for your own creativity abound in the pages of this book. Search Press always seems to hit the 'nail on the head' when they publish textile arts books, and this book is no exception to that rule.

Some sections of the book that I especially enjoyed are: 'developing design ideas (pg 114), 'creating colour charts' (pg 41- these are not just your ordinary color chips) and 'practical application (pg 98). Ms, Isset explores using color families and color combinations to create cloth that has an impact and stitches that create texture. Colorful paper collage is also a part of this book that provides further inspiration, and it is a boon for people like me who are enamored with both cloth as well as paper arts!

Also contained are brilliantly photographed sections about the basics; materials and equipment such as choosing fabrics, papers, threads, paints and markers of various types.

I liked this quote from the author, " ... I am fascinated by how colour responds to different surfaces such as papers, fabrics, threads and fibers, as well as printed and stitched surfaces. How I work tends to reflect the materials and media I use..." and I think that it really reflects what this book explores so well; the different ways that media is affected by both color and materials used.

This is a book that will provide any artist, no matter what their chosen medium, with inspiration and creative ideas. For textile and paper artists I think this book is a treasure trove of information that is sure to get your creative juices flowing. Ruth Isset has another brilliant book to her credit and we all can share in the fun!