Destination: Transparency!

by Christine Barnes

The past month has been a whirlwind of travel, but gosh, it has been FUN. I’m calling it my California Coastal Color Tour because I taught a different workshop for guilds in San Diego, Arroyo Grande, and Santa Cruz. For this post I’d like to show you what twenty diligent (and cheerfully rowdy) Santa Cruz students did with my “Transparent Circles” pattern. The original quilt, made of shot cottons and Marcia Derse prints:I refer to this kind of transparency as “layered,” which is different from parent/child transparency. Here’s an overview of how I make the blocks, using the upper left block in the quilt as an example.

I piece four smaller squares of light fabrics and four larger squares of corresponding dark fabrics. Using the template below, I cut out a freezer-paper circle (double layer, for stability) and mark each quarter line with a small slit. I then trim the light unit of squares a scant ¼ inch beyond the freezer-paper circle and press the raw edge over and onto the shiny side of the paper. Finally, I appliqué the circle to the larger pieced unit, lining up the seams, and cut away and remove the paper from the back.You make “in and out” blocks, using the same eight fabrics. I love seeing how different the block looks with the light and dark fabrics reversed.

Circles in progress . . . .Brenda’s blocks, with help from Lori. Notice that the colors are in the same location in each block. So cool!What fun to see some of the different blocks. Happy students, successful circles. That’s my traveling buddy Kari toward the back.Meryl (my facilitator for the trip—thank you so much) with her first block. The dark green and orange Grunge fabrics give the block a lovely texture.

Could there be a cuter picture? Pat, my hostess (we loved staying with you!) and her blocks made of Gelato ombrés. She’s the first to try Gelatos for these blocks, and I think they are awesome.

The next day we had breakfast at the home of a local wearable artist. I way taken by the arrangement and color of these elements in her courtyard.Pat and Lori then took us to Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove, a wonderful, must-visit shop on the corner of Grand and Central streets. Who can forget that location?We were in for one more treat the morning we left, Gayle’s bakery, a Santa Cruz landmark and a feast for the eyes and the palette. If you aren’t hungry when you go, you will be when you look at the array of pastries and goodies!Owner Gayle Ortiz did the picassiette (broken pottery mosaic) on some of the tables, as well as one wall.

I don’t know about you, but I see a fabric design in this . . . .We headed home, with new memories, friends, and fabrics. And as often happens after I teach a class, I want to make the quilt again, this time with Grunges and Peppered Cottons. Thanks so much for tuning in this week. For my next post I’ll have tales to tell from another coast—the coast of Florida!

 

 

 

 

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A Mind on Fire + Lustrous News

by Christine Barnes

Greetings, all! My mind is on fire with new ideas, the result of an inspiring five-day workshop with Rosalie Dace at Empty Spools Seminars, which are held at Asilomar, a conference center in Pacific Grove, CA. I’ll share that experience in my next post, once I’ve sorted my photos and and organized my thoughts. Amazing, just amazing!

But for this time, I’d like to share my completed “Brushed Metal” quilt and some fabulous fabric news. First, the news: The Gelato gray ombré, colorway 714, is back.

714a gray copy

This is the fabric I used in “Urban Ombrés,” below, one of the project quilts at our Zephyr retreat. Kits of the gray and all other fabrics except the black-and-white will be available.

Urban Om quilted 2 copy

The gray ombré had been discontinued, so I mounted a very small but very passionate email campaign, thanks to Heidi and Sandra, and guess what? E.E. Schenck decided to reprint it. Hooray! My web developer will have it back in my Store in the next few days.

Plans for the retreat are coming together nicely. I still have openings, and there are still lake-view rooms. “Brushed Metal” is another possible project for the retreat. It’s an example of luster, the illusion of light striking and bouncing off the surface. I used six Serenity ombrés, shown below. (The far left fabric is not in the quilt.)

Serenity kit for supp list copy

I oriented the ombré strips in each block so the light ends are going in different directions, to suggest the movement of light.

brushed metal MF lecture copy

Using the six ombrés, I designed three different blocks and made three of each. I also used Kaffe stripes and Marcia Derse prints. Many of these will also be available at the retreat. Here’s the quilt, beautifully quilted by Sandra:

Brushed metal for HOME quilted 10 at 72

I have a limited supply of the Serenity ombrés, but I’m setting aside enough kits of 10-inch strips for retreat students. If you’re not coming to the retreat and but are interested in the fabrics, let me know and I’ll put you on a list for any kits that are left over.

I only wish I had that amazing sashing fabric. It’s Japanese, from Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove, and alas, it is long gone. Which leads me to my tip of the day, as if you needed to be told: When you see a fabulous fabric but have no idea how you will use it, buy it anyway. After all, we need to be prepared in case of a world-wide fabric famine!

So long for now. And do write with questions or comments. We love hearing from you. Christine