Category Archives: Workshops

QuiltCon Recap #2: Felicity

I wrote in general about my QuiltCon experience on my blog, and this post is going to be all about my experience in the full-day workshop Get Your Curve On taught by Sherri Lynn Wood (who recapped the workshop nicely right here).

The workshop was based on her Mod Mood quilt that I had seen and favourited/bookmarked for a “one day” project. When I saw that the QuiltCon lineup included this workshop I was on it like a duck on a june bug (as my [not-at-all-country] Mama used to say).

I knew this workshop was going to be fabulous when Sherri led us in a meditation  before we began. She instructed us to spread our fabrics out in front of us so we could see them all easily. Then we closed our eyes or unfocused them and listened to Sherri’s voice. I have mediated before, and I have always been challenged to quiet my mind. I persevered and it was so worth it: I felt very relaxed, grounded and present to the day that lay ahead.

At the end of the meditation, Sherri invited us to open our eyes and let them rest on the fabrics that called out to us and to quickly – without judgment or evaluation – pick them up and work with them.

The morning was easy – improv piecing curved segments using wedges cut from fabric without using rulers. We just rotary cut a set of 3 or 4 rectangles of fabric into wedges, then pieced them together on the Janome machines supplied in the classrooms (sweet!):

QUILTCON ~ Day 2: Get Your Curve On Me piecing my wedges, photo by Sherri Lynn Wood from her Flickr stream

They ended up looking like this:

First WedgesSome wedges were pieced, some were patterned fabric, most were solids.

Fun, right? It was. And easy! “I can do this!!” I thought to myself. At the end of the morning, we went around and looked at each other’s work. Here we are gathered around some gorgeous green and purple wedges (fun fact: the woman on the far left was named Felicitas – what are the odds?! Also, she came from Germany to attend QuiltCon!!):

QUILTCON ~ Day 2: Get Your Curve OnThis photo also courtesy of Sherri from her Flickr stream

After that we gathered together in a circle at the front of the classroom and shared some of our surprises, disappointments and discoveries. My surprise was that my first fabric choices – the ones I made right after the meditation – ended up creating my least favourite (you can see it in the bottom photo of my quilt in progress – chartreuse, purple and a purple/brown shot cotton). But I strongly suspect it’s going to add a lot of sparkle to my final product.

After lunch, stuff got real (as they say). It was hard. Really, really, hard. I wasn’t feeling smug and competent anymore. But Sherri was there to guide us – she knew this was coming and she asked for a show of hands from people who felt anxious. Sherri went on to put really interesting words around the idea of anxiety – that it comes from a prediction of a negative outcome, or a negative future state. But can we predict the future? No, we can’t. So why worry now, or be pre-emptively disappointed when whatever it is hasn’t even happened yet?

So what was so hard? Composing the quilt. What wedges to put where, where to add negative space, how long should the wedge be? Is it too curvy? Does it need some bias strips around it to give it space? And so on. This was true improv, in my opinion – creating on the fly, cutting, piecing, adding, cutting some more – letting the quilt speak to you. Here, Sherri is demonstrating how adding some negative space can work with the composition:

Sherri composing her quilt

“You have to commit. Just commit.” Sherri kept saying this, almost like a mantra. And the anxiety was there: what if I wreck it? What if I don’t like it? What if it’s ugly? I really felt pushed as a creator – and I think I even got a glimpse of my artistic side. My quilt is totally a work in progress but I am really excited to get back to it, let it speak to me, and see where it goes.

My Get Your Curve On WIP

I got my curve on, all right – thank you Sherri!

 

Greetings from the Antarctica paper piecing workshop!

Today we’re lucky to have a guest blogger who is one of the newest members of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild! Michelle attended her first VMQG workshop this past weekend and has kindly shared her thoughts about the day and some photos of the group. You can check out Michelle’s Eclectic Gnome blog to read about her crafty pursuits and recent obsession with quilting. Thanks, Michelle!

Sonja teaching

Last Saturday, I was very excited to be able to attend the Greetings from the Antartica- Paper piecing workshop taught by Sonja Callaghan herself! I signed up with a little trepidation as I had almost no paper piecing experience and was worried the pillows were going to be above my skill set.

Penguin and polar bear in progress

Penguin and polar bear in progress

I needn’t have been concerned! Sonja was wonderful! Friendly, knowledgeable, and extremely patient, every single one of us in attendance learned a great deal and came away with a product to be proud of. The people were all lovely and the room was spacious and conducive to creativity. I am hoping to attend many more workshops in the future.

Elke working on her paper piecing

Elke working on her paper piecing

JoAnn piecing her penguin

Michelle's penguin at the end of the day

Michelle’s penguin at the end of the day

Group shot with happy workshop participants (photo by Sonja Callaghan)

All photos in this post were by Michelle except for the group shot by Sonja Callaghan. Thanks for sharing, Michelle! I just have to add this link to a picture of Kelly’s finished polar bear tote bag. Congrats on finishing your project already, Kelly!

Easy Going Modern Workshop with Felicity

Easy Going Modern Quilt Workshop with Felicity Ronaghan

We’re proud to introduce the first-ever Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild workshop! Come along to VMQG member Felicity’s easy going workshop to make this easy going modern lap-size quilt! (approximately 56″x78″). Learn more about this quilt, designed by Felicity, on her blog.

Saturday 14th July, 2012
12pm-5pm

Holy Trinity Anglican Church
1440 West 12th Avenue (at Hemlock)

$30 per person, including pattern
Sign up at our next VMQG meeting!