Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tile Applique and Welsh quilts?

Finally, Ruby Street Quiltworks has everything for the new class, Bird On A Branch, a Tile Applique Wall Quilt such as the supply list and description to go along with the finished sample.  SO, the class is scheduled for Oct. 12 &14.  This will allow a little bit of time in between the two classes for students to do some foundational work to get started so they can get the piece done in time for Christmas.  Tile applique is really simple but it comes together with such interesting detail on the finished work.  For more information, you can check out TILE QUILT REVIVAL BY C&T. 

I'm really hooked with the tile applique technique and have had plans to work it in to some scrap piecing which will then be quilted using patterns which are drawn from Welsh quilts.  After presenting my lecture on traditional Welsh and English quilts at the Great Western Quilt Show, I browsed through the quilts in the main exhibit and came across a use of appliqued patchwork on a quilt that was really creative and better yet, the quiltmaker was standing next to her quilt and I got to talk to her and see more of her work on her phone.  The quiltmaker, Margaret Teruya was from Kaneohi, Hawaii and her quilt featured a very much larger than life pineapple.  To create the texture of the pineapple, she had pieced freeform log cabin blocks and then appliqued them in curved rows to suggest the texture of the pineapple.  It put all sorts of ideas in my head as to how freeform, pieced blocks could be combined with tile applique for really unique quilts.

So, once again, there's nothing new under the sun.  Traditional tile applique will get mixed with scrap piecing and quilted with patterns inspired by old Welsh quilts to make something all 'new', if there really is such a thing.  It'll be good when it's done.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Books That Change Lives

It's appropriate to have a wallpaper of books surrounding my blog posts because I do love books.  I have hundreds of them and at times it concerns me, I've heard organizers say that to keep from being buried by your 'stuff', you should get rid of an item when you bring a new one into the house.  I thought about trying that with my books and at one time I actually had quite a few quilt books sorted out to sell.  The pile has shrunk but not because any were sold. At some moment of curiosity, I peeked inside one of them and found some little nugget of inspiration and decided the book had to stay.   I now own a NOOK which is a pretty awesome way to store and access books but I still like the feel of a real book.

Books take you places, they inspire you and let you get into the minds and lives of other people.  Books can change your life's direction.  One such book that had such an effect on me was THE PASSIONATE QUILTER by Michele Walker.  This was the British quilt book that introduced me to Welsh quilts and literally changed my life's focus.  I still love Welsh quilts and they are a big part of who I am but there have been other books that have changed my life.  The most recent of these is about finding your 'cause' in life.  It's written by George Barna, an author I'm very familiar with and a newcomer, Mattew Barnett.  Anyway, the book tells the story of Matthew Barnett and the Los Angeles Dream Center and how it came into being to serve the people of the neighborhood.  It's inspiring and challenging but it's also a life changer.  This book is in my 'top ten'.

So, what role do books have in our lives?  It'll be different for each person but I think it's tragic when a person doesn't make books part of their life.  A book encourages you to think about what you're reading and process the information.  A book isn't passive like so much of out mofern media. 

I have a book by N.T. Wright that boggles my mind but many books just tell us a good story.  Agatha Christie is an example of a great storyteller and there are many others,   Tyrants like Hitler feared and burned books and ironically, he eventually met the same fate.  So whaterver your taste in books, they can make our lives richer.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Classes, Projects and My To-Do List

It's September 2 and the cool weather is definately signaling the change of seasons.  It's been an odd summer weather wise but now that's all behind us and it's time for me to focus on upcoming classes and other loose ends such as learning how to put pictures on my blog.  I have a tendency to ignore technology until I need it so I'm almost always behind the times but some day soon there will be pictures of all sorts of things on my blog.  The pictures of my Welsh and English quilts will have to be scanned and so that basically boils down to just finding the time and someone to do it.   

A new class sample is just getting finished up for delivery to Ruby Street Quiltworks in Tumwater.  It's a 'tile applique' technique that I really love, it's super simple and beginner friendly.  Look for the class description on the Ruby Street Quiltworks website some time next week or so, I need to make a pattern off the quilt and deliver it to the shop at which time the class details and so on will be available on the website. 

I'm also teaching again at The Quilter's Junction in Centralia and one of my favorite classes is the beginning needleturn applique class.  I supply a kit for the class and it's all about learning the tricks and techniques for needleturn applique.  A lot of people make a big deal over needleturn as though it was some sort of torture process invented to torment would-be stitchers but that's just silly.  It's very satisfying and I've had the honor of watching many women become very skilled with needleturn.  But, most of all, they really enjoy the process.  Recently, I've had former students bring applique quilts that they've finished to show me and it's truly a thrill to see what they've accomplished, they inspire me.

Anyway, there are more classes in the works which I'll list in full as soon as a few details are worked out. So, until later....

It's time to make out the to-do list and get busy.