More Student Work (and a bit of my own)

The photos of projects from my April workshop in Las Vegas keep trickling in. I must say – not only am I pleased with the  beauty and creativity of their work but also with their follow through; I always ask students to send me pictures of their finished projects but rarely get as much response as I have from the Desert Quilters in Nevada. The two images here are from one student who did two of the class projects and is working on a third that she promises to send me when it is done.

Now onto my latest workshop: I taught my Animal Totem class to the Westside Quilters Guild  last weekend, I had a fabulous turnout for the class. I did manage to snap a few pictures before the end of the class and hope to get more as students complete their quilts. Several (more than usual) chose to hand applique their projects so those may take awhile, it seems these days most students prefer a faster method but as a dedicated member of the ‘Secret Society of Handworkers’ (not really a guild – I’m being facetious) myself, it always pleases me to see hand applique is not a lost art.  My heartfelt thanks to the Westside Quilters for a successful class.

Some new additions to my own collection of  Small Wonders are two samples I finished for my Journal Quilts classes. I hold these once a month at two shops in the Portland Metro Area – Pioneer Quilts in Milwualkie (the first Friday of each month) and Sewn Loverly in Wilsonville (the last Thursday of each month), In these three-hour sessions we explore techniques a bit more on the artistic side than traditional quilting, Stamping, embroidering, beading, painting, fabric manipulation, embellishing… we poke our noses into just about anything fiber arts related and the students get an opportunity to learn and try techniques on small projects (I call them ‘Small Wonders’) that beats experimenting on a larger project and finding that it’s really not your cup of tea and then relegating it to your UFO pile. If, on the other hand, you do find you like the process, you now have yet another skill you can add to future projects and expand your horizons.

Last month at Pioneer Quilts, we explored an approach to embellishment I was inspired to from a report I heard on NPR. It concerned an approach to composing music based on a sort of DNA model and what is called The Music of the Spheres – a composition in which each celestial body (or musical instrument) follows its own repetitive cycle or beat that might be static on its own but blended together with others forms a complex pattern. I wondered as I listened to the report if there was a way I could express this visually with embellishment and my artwork ‘Music of the Spheres’ was the result. The previous month we explored working with flat piping at both shops and the design approach was inspired by the abstract work of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian who created a series of works consisting of squares and rectangles in primary colors divided by graphic narrow black lines (we used the flat piping here). My instructional layout yielded an area larger than the rest of the arrangement that cried out for a motif so I hand embroidered the iconic ‘She Who Watches’ petroglyph on my sample. The last image is of yet another Bella Vista landscape, this one of Mt. Hood portrayed in moonlight.

I will be giving the Bella Vista Landscapes workshop in a few weeks for the Crook County Quilt Guild over in Prineville, the Mt Hood pattern will be one of several pattern options.

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