I’m writing this at the last minute – I simply forgot to write my post. This is never a good thing – I really need posts to “marinate” before posting to catch all my editing errors. There surely will be some grammar errors or misinformation, so bear with me.
I’ve got the fam coming for Easter! I’ve got lots of prep to do so I will not have a newsletter this week. I don’t know how I got all this done this week, as you’ll see below. I don’t sleep much, that helps. I completed my Ukraine donation quilt this week and it’s wonderful! I just don’t have time to cover both this week, so I will show my Ukraine quilt next week.
I took Irene Roderick‘s Dancing With the Wall class over the weekend: 2 days, 4 hrs each. It was fabulous! She is excellent over Zoom and I have to say, I think this was probably better over zoom than in person. I would have been distracted in person.
Irene monitors the class well and will “drop in” if she hasn’t seen your progress in a while. She asks you to set your camera up so that she can see your progress.
She is encouraging and offers excellent critique by asking you questions about your work as it progresses. So she won’t say something like “Your piece seems unbalanced”. She will instead ask you questions that will lead you to your own observation. I love that.
Here’s how I came to want to take an 8 hr, $160 class over Zoom, like I’ve got time for that! I will tell you, I am not a big fan of long classes over zoom, but I got pulled in:
This quilt hung in Houston and this is my photo. I was intrigued, mainly by this:
She added marks! I loved that. As a kid, I was NOT “artistic”, but I did like to doodle. Anytime I would send something in the mail (remember snail mail?), if I had time, I would decorate the envelope with doodles very similar to what you see on Irene’s quilt. She added interest here with marks, not quilting – how cool is that? Those marks really appeal to me.
Irene will unabashedly say, she is not the most impressive machine quilter. Her work is about the color, composition and the process of making. She does not hang her quilts on the wall, she uses them as quilts.
I did find myself “dancing with the wall”. She is all about making visual decisions visually. She walked us through the process of making various parts and encouraged us to respond intuitively.
So, make some parts, put them up on your wall. Stand back, observe, adjust, redo, make some more parts. You really are dancing with the wall. She wanted no pre-construction before class, this was all intuitive. This is NOT how I normally work and improv is waaaay out of my comfort zone. I almost cancelled. Can you hear me whining: I don’t have time for this. I am not a piecer. Why would I want to learn improv?
I LOVE her process and attitude towards improv. There is so much improv out there that to me is sloppy or unremarkable. Quilt National had tons of improv, some of it fabulous. Improv has over saturated the quilt/art world in my opinion. A lot of it looks very similar to each other and ain’t that good. There is even a sloppy woppy method of improv: “oh, that piece has a big ole wave in it, just take a dart in that and call it a day”. Neither appeal to me. Not being snarky here, just expressing my preferences.
Irene’s method to me is dead on perfect. From her excellent book:
What wisdom! There ya go: no sloppy, no over planning, spend time with the composition.
Okay, let’s look at what I did. I won’t bore you with interim shots of my progress. But let me set the stage. We were to choose 2 fabrics, high contrast preferred, stick with solids for now. The supply list was literally 2 yds each of fabric, basic sewing supplies. That was it!
I chose 2 Kona’s, not because I am necessarily a Kona fan; Kona is fairly coarsely woven and stiff. But dang, they have so many colors! My thought was “spring”, so I chose “hyacinth” and artic white (even though the photo does not show it as white white):
What I actually got with those colors was “Postal Service” or “Nautical”. $%^##$%^ That was NOT what I was going for, It really bugged me. Whadayagonnado?
So here’s where I landed initially after making a few random pieces and responding intuitively:
Definitely nautical. I overlaid the piece (30″ square-ish) with vinyl to audition quilting designs, hoping to improve it with quilting. The parts where my design wall shows through will become pieced-in white fabric. How nautical can you get?
Kind of as a last minute thing, Irene asked us to randomly cut either circles or triangles. Hmmm, think I’ll do circles:
AH! Finally, I like it and it goes less nautical. She warned us that we would, by necessity, become better and more creative piecers:
Well that one did not turn out. Those suckers are tricky – the smaller ones are 2 1/2″. I know how to do those inset circles, I just don’t have the time at the moment to do them justice. I do like this piece and intend to finish and quilt it. And maybe even make some marks on it.
In the meantime, I need to get to making the pasta salad, Wild Rice Soup, all the raclette sauces, homemade Mac n Cheese and a breakfast casserole. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.
I hope if you celebrate Easter, that you enjoy a blessed Easter. He is risen! I will be here with the whole fam, including Grandson! I am so excited to reveal my Ukraine quilt, but that will have to wait until next week. Okay, here’s a tease:
“See” you next week! I’ll share at: