Last year, I signed up to do an on-line dyeing fabric course and a Improv piecing class with famous art quilter Sheila Frampton Cooper. I haven't found the time to do any dyeing but I have been doing some improv piecing, both straight and curved.
Sheila posts videos every month about different piecing techniques, tips and tricks. She is also making quilts at the same time and we can watch her as she makes design decisions. It is not very often that you get to watch an artist at work and it has been a real privilege. She is such a delight and we can also post photos of our progress and Sheila and the other participants can comment.
I started both a straight and a curvy block. I have abandoned my curvy blocks because I started to hate the colours I chose and really don't want to spend any more time on it.
I persevered with my straight blocks though.
This course is not a block of the month or anything like that, it is advanced design and we have to make the choices as we go.
After we had put a few blocks together, Sheila suggested that we started thinking about how we were going to combine them! This was a challenge and where design considerations really came into play.
I can't remember how many blocks I had done, maybe about 8 or 9, but nothing fit together. I had never designed like this before. it seemed impossible, I wasn't the only one who thought so.
Sheila suggested just putting 2 blocks onto the design wall that sort of went together and start adding piecing to combine them in a pleasing way. I didn't take a photo of my first 2 but here I am starting to combine some blocks.
Sheila suggested that I could make the orange more of a focal point, so the next photo is me placing some orange fabric to see what it might look like.
I wasn't working on this all the time, I had my other quilts to work on, so I would spend a few days on it then leave it for a while. It was actually quite tiring to stare, decide, piece, stare again, try something else... you get the idea!
In the above photo I have the top part sewn together and I am working out the bottom half. You will probably notice that I changed the design quite a bit from those first photos.
Last week I finished the top and I am happy with it. It's a little bit busy for my taste, but it's good to know that I like my designs to be not so busy. We are all different aren't we?
I am glad that I persevered with it, I didn't like it when I started making the blocks because everything I did reminded me of sailing ships! I kept asking myself why I was making these sailing ships! Finally, I just embraced the idea and went with it.
It's not quilted and probably won't be for quite a while because I really have to get on with other things.
There's still 3 months to go with the class with Sheila, I am not sure if I'll start something else or just watch what everyone else is doing. Every month, we have a zoom get together, we watch Sheila try out different things with her quilts, I'll miss that connection with her and all the others. Sheila suggested we all try to get together in Houston later this year, but I don't think our government will allow us to go overseas anytime soon!
Bye for now,