by Christine Barnes
Where to begin? There are so many great memories from this year’s retreat! The weather was perfect (there have been snow flurries since then) and the lake gorgeous. We made wonderful new friends and shared in the creative excitement of each class. Without further ado, let me show you what my students accomplished in our workshop, “It’s All About Color.”
After a crash course in basic color concepts and the color wheel, we warmed up doing one of my favorite blocks, King’s Crown. Pat’s version is soft and beautifully balanced, and it shows just how effective stripes can be in the corners. (Imagine the secondary pattern where four identical blocks meet.)
Lori’s modern block illustrates how repeating colors in different values and intensities can unify a design. The intense colors of the center fabric are echoed in the low-volume fabric for the corners.
To learn about color-wheel combinations, we made Granny Square blocks. Here’s Sally’s triad of yellow-orange, blue-green, and red-violet. And look—her center fabric has all three of her combo colors. You can find color-wheel combinations in many multi-colored fabrics.
Tamberly’s Granny Square is a rich split complement of red, yellow-green, and blue-green. You start with red, then go opposite to green on the color wheel, and “split” it into yellow-green and blue-green. What a contrast between these two blocks!
As a group we decided to use black-and-white fabrics for the “rolling” squares in our Rolling Stone blocks. Mary Ellen’s version is a celebration of dots and stripes. (She gets double the usual extra credit for using both in her block.)
Party Hat is a delightful block, and it gave us the chance to combine prints and mostly solid fabrics for a contemporary look. The background in Diana’s sophisticated star is a white-with-navy print by Carolyn Friedlander. Oh so modern!
For the final cut-and-paste exercise, students did the Japanese X and Plus block. (It goes by other names, too.) Barb chose to work with Kaffe Fassett blues and a printed plaid by Jane Sassaman. Love the crisp contrast between the organic prints and the plaid.
Judith chose the Kaffe stripe “Strata” to lighten the look of the bold print. (Again, extra credit.) The almost-solid, yellow-green Grunge fabric provides a bit of visual relief from the patterned fabrics.
We “curated” our class, ganging the same exercises on boards, so others could see them as a whole. Don’t they make great “paper quilts”? On the left are Sally’s fabrics for her Pop Beads quilt, a project from last’s year’s transparency workshop. Way to go, Sally!
Late on the last afternoon, when most students had packed up. I just wanted to show you the view from our classroom. So sereneA huge thank you to my students for bravely tackling new exercises and being willing to try (and try again) until we found what worked. You are both a joy and an inspiration to me. What a fabulous week we had. I’ll be enjoying our Tahoe time together for weeks—make that months—to come!