What a Week!

by Christine Barnes

Retreat 2017 is now history, and what a great week it was. Let me begin with my intrepid, up-for-anything students—you were wonderful, one of the best classes I’ve ever had, and your blocks and projects prove it. You were fun and brave and always cheerful. Allow me to show off your work!

We began with four mock-block exercises that illustrate the adage that “Value does all of the work, and color gets all of the credit.” Contrasts in value create two important effects in quilt design: 1) they add a sense of depth (dark shapes seem closer, lighter shapes farther away) and 2) they establish the design (a dark star shows up on a light background).

When the values (lights, mediums, and darks) are somewhat similar, differences in pattern and color can differentiate the shapes, as in these Boy’s Nonsense mock-blocks. Paula combined two very different patterns to establish the design.Barb’s modern background fabric makes her block light and lively.Marti’s intense center square contrasts with the somewhat duller ombré rectangles.The Granny Square block is a great format for playing with light, medium, and dark values. In Lisa’s block, there’s even “accidental transparency.”The way in which Patti used the linear prints is smashing. (I want this block. 🙂Gale had an assist from her sister Mukhya in pasting up her Best Friends block. A bright print for the outer triangles makes the design even bolder. See how well the dark skinny triangles stand out against the red-orange half-square triangles.A busy Alice in Wonderland print separates nicely from the background and the dark skinny triangles in Susan’s block.An op-art, black-and-white print gives Gail’s block movement.I’m loving the vintage/modern vibe here, with contemporary fabrics and a Featherweight machine. Yes!Color therapy!Gail auditions fabrics for Laurie’s Spumoni blocks.That’s Susan behind her Urban Sunsets quilt top. It’s difficult to see in this shot, but the black-and-white swizzle sticks have an undulating design (check out the upper right block).Jane’s Urban Sunsets units are wonderfully different in value, color, and pattern.Variations in value, color, and pattern make for an elegant, minimal design. Lisa’s block, I believe.Cindy working on her Urban Sunsets blocks.Another one of Cindy’s blocks in progress. She’s bordering her center units with a green Gelato ombré instead of the gray. (I can’t wait to show you the finished quilt!)Gail went to town with Kaffe fabrics for Spumoni. See how the different values affect the look of each block.Isn’t our class wall colorful??? There was even more to see, on moveable design boards.These Farmer’s Wife blocks, done the morning of the last full day, really show the growth in everyone’s work. Well done, ladies!

Green Grunge triangles flank the nine-patch unit in Ellen’s block. Dark-value corner squares advance and give the design a strong sense of dimension.Though there is some blending in the nine-patch unit, I’m loving the colors and prints in Gale’s version.

Lisa’s clicked when she positioned the leafy squares in the nine-patch unit so the values contrast with the greeny-brown triangles.The color in Laurie’s block is a bit off in this photo, but wow, it sure works! The nine-patch unit advances because the values are darker than the gold triangles.OK, not our best look, but hey, it’s the last morning and we were weary. We had 12 students in all (Gale, Patti, Susan, Ellen, and Jane are missing from this pic). This photo, taken by our phenomenal assistant Kathy, says it all. There is no other place on the planet like Lake Tahoe.But wait, there’s more! Gail and Laurie, my students from the Dakotas, rode around the lake, all 72 miles of it, in the “Tour de Tahoe” on Sunday. Congrats, ladies, on ending your week with a bang. I told my young hair stylist about your ambitious ride, and she paused and said, “Well, that sure changes my idea of what quilters are like.” Too funny!With that I’ll sign off. Thank you for looking at my students’ amazing work. And thanks to my students for making my week so memorable. As I’ve said many, many times, “You make this job so rewarding and so much fun!”

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“Style is a Simple Way of Saying Complicated Things.”

by Heidi Emmett

“Style is a Simple Way of Saying Complicated Things.” – Jean Cocteau.

I think this thought can be attributed to Art, Furnishings, Clothing, and of course, Quilting! The following pictures will show you a way to create style, using large scaled printed fabrics. It is done simply, but oh, so, complicated looking. This technique is perfect in a vest, wallhanging, or any number of creative projects.

DSC_0181A complicated Marcia Derse all over printed, large scaled fabric.DSC_0184 (2) Gathering other Marcia Derse fabrics and Kaffe Fassett “shot cottons.” And of course, I pick out possible jewelry to go with…DSC_0202 (2)I like to look at things on angles and take digital pictures. It helps me get a sense of proportion, scale, design, and colors. I have added some, taken away some, all to go with the first large scale print. DSC_0673

DSC_0674Close ups of sections of the “Skinny Vest” I created using this technique.I have to say, my sewing machine was giving me FITS while making this vest. It will be worth your sanity to have your machine in tip top shape. Skinny Vest pattern available at Craftsy.comDSC_0228

 

I love the complex look of this vest, “Skinny Vest”, using Marcia Derse fabrics.

 

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A beautiful Aboriginal fabric. Don’t be afraid of stripes (this one is believe it or not) that go from selvage to selvage. I’ll show you how to make long, lean, pieces with it.

 

 

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“Skinny Vest”, Aboriginal Angle. Love, these colors.

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Another FABULOUS Aboriginal that I am working with. I pull EVERYTHING I think might work and then begin to edit. I’ll bring this to Zephyr to show you in person. DSC_0803

The other day I went to my studio to iron shirts for my husband to wear for work. I abandoned the ironing (I made him wear sweaters) when I saw this Anna Maria Horner, moths and butterflies. Oh my, what will I create with this? Stay tuned. Better yet, sign up for my workshop at Zephyr and while the light breezy wind (that’s what Zephyr means) from Tahoe, washes over us, you will be creating your own style, complicated looking, yet simple. Hugs, Heidi