Sunday, November 22, 2015

OBW Love

I do love the magic of One Block Wonder (OBW) quilts!  I even found an app for my phone that will show a kaleidoscope effect and you can pass it over your fabric to preview how some of the kaleidoscopes might end up.  Of course I also have the hinged mirrors that are also very helpful.

November has been so busy!!  After the Cheryl Arkison trunk show and workshops, I had also booked a quilting retreat the next weekend.  It was a tight schedule - had to leave the retreat just a bit early to get back home, repack and hop on the train to Toronto for a credit union conference.

Created at the workshop - offset squares
More squares and a new design - mountains!

The top finished - laying on the hotel bed :)

At the retreat, I finished three tops ... my daughter's wedding quilt, the 'Values' top from the Cheryl Arkison workshop, and my MIL's found applique quilt (more on this here ...).  On the applique quilt, I've been working on this in the car on our 4 - 5 hour trips to the cottage.  Each 17" square has four leaves appliqued on.  This is the first I have done hand applique.  And usually I cannot read or do anything like this in the car or I get motion sickness.  But this worked!  I thought I had a dozen squares finished, but only 11 were done - so I machine appliqued the 12th!  

My 'prize' for finishing these tops was to start into a new OBW.  I have quite a few fabrics that I've collected for OBW's and this is one of my favourites - it's an Andover fabric, called "Nature's Spirit" by Nancy Davis-Murty.

Original Fabric
On the design wall - four more cubes
needed to fill in the blank spots
The 'hand' of this fabric is just fabulous - feels silky and luxurious.  There are a few areas that 'read' as solid on the background, but the hexies have worked out beautifully.  I made the strips 4.5" instead of the usual 3.75".  I like the bigger hexies!

And of course I came home from the conference with a horrid cold.  So I'm sniffling and sneezing. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Quilting with Cheryl Arkison - Day II - Improv with Intent

Day II workshop with Cheryl - "Improv with Intent"

Our instructions for this workshop was to bring an idea and some fabric that may go with that idea ...

When we are travelling where there are rocks and water, I relax.  I'm soothed.  I'm filled with joy.  Love the variations in the rocks.  Having spent lots of time in the Georgian Bay area, I wanted to explore windswept rocky shorelines.  And autumn colours are totally me.  So ... rocks, autumn colours, trees.

Yesterday after my full day of quilting, the latest edition of "Modern Quilting Unlimited" arrived.  And there, in one of the articles, is a 'slab' block with inserts to evoke a birch tree image.

We started the workshop with introductions - our experience with improv (closest I come to this is the workshops with John Willard in 2008!) and our intent - the ideas we brought to the workshop.  A couple of warm up exercises and then we were off to bring our intent to our life in fabric.  Just a wee bit terrifying :)  This is what fun is - stretching your skills, pushing your comfort zone, all while playing with fabric!

Cheryl showing us how she puzzled this quilt together from different size blocks.  This is her "Mountain Meadow Flowers" quilt
I elected to put together three area (rocks/grass, autumn leafy colours, sky) in the 'slab' or 'made fabric' method.  The first block ...

Next step was to add the trees - I wanted to add paper birch.  I wanted to slash and insert again, but also wanted some organic movement and this gave me grief.  Cheryl and I chatted about different ways to do this and I cogitated more.  Didn't slash.  Fidgeted.  Not to much after that, Cheryl came back and suggested that I applique the tree instead.  Well, that totally worked so much better!  

The tree fabric has text on it - so cool!  Paper birch.  With text.  Love it ;)

So many different pieces created today - Bill's tuxedo with pops of joy ...

Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's 'Waterfall' home - lots to fill in yet but some of the main features in fabric ...

Memories of Ireland - improv triangles in many shades of green ...

Improv interpretation of a geometric art poster - these squares are about 3" each - the couple of blocks with wee inserts - those are 1/8" inserts.  So awesome!

Goldfish pond - the pops of orange are dimensional ...

Bottom piece is rocks, water, sky and the tree is dimensional ...

This lady had a really difficult time getting comfortable with the disorder of improv.  She was so unhappy with her work.  Cheryl was wonderful here too - she found an improv style that this quilter was happier with and her stars shone! 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Quilting with Cheryl Arkison - LMQG Trunk Show & Values Workshop

This has been a fabulous week of quilting! Hyggeligt Fabrics arranged for Cheryl Arkison to come - she did a trunk show for the London Modern Quilt Guild and two days of workshops in St Mary's.  I was delighted to be at all three events.

Cheryl at the LMQG trunk show - with her Improv Sewing Machines quilt
And I got a last-minute call from the organizers at the LMQG - they needed a driver to bring Cheryl from the B&B she was staying at to the Artisan Centre for the trunk show.  This I could do!  Had a lovely introduction to Cheryl and her sense of humour.

Cheryl's Meadow Flowers

Cheryl's Equalizer quilt
The first workshop was on "Values".  

Here is where we learned to take colour out of the equation when pairing fabrics.  We cut squares, sorted into piles of light, medium or dark values.  I had pretty much just light and dark. 

Remove the colour, see if there are any that need to be moved to a different pile.  

Cheryl demonstrating various layouts - HST's are kind of magical - so many terrific designs from this versatile block.  What makes this all possible - having a good balance between the light and dark values - lots of contrast.

Here is my creation for the day - will add more squares to make a bigger quilt.  First, decolourized.

And in my colours ...

Things I learned today ...

  • Cheryl is a terrific teacher - her emphasis is on process and play
  • when sewing the HST's start the first seam on the right side of your line - this got me more consistent results than I've had!
  • the importance of squaring up - I'm already a huge believer in this one :)
  • how to press HST's without stretching all that bias
  • how to take your blocks from the design wall to the sewing machine and keep everything in the right order!  All at once – in the right orientation!
  • PLAY!

 #cherylarkison #values #quilting #bliss

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