Thursday, May 22, 2008

Workshop with Gabrielle

Gabrielle Swain whirled through here for a two-day workshop through EBHQ. She is a kick! She lets her personality come through and is not afraid to speak her mind! During lunch, she called her niece a pistol, then admitted she must then be a shotgun! I swear she said that!

The first day we designed and selected fabric. This was work! Better to spend time on design first rather than trying to design around a beloved piece of fabric, she said. I came up with a three leaf design with a segmented border. I've never hand appliquéd and was concerned about the small pieces. Bigger would be better. I enlarged the leaf by 200%. My quilt grew to 36" wide. Well, so much for keeping it small and doable!

Gabrielle nixed most of my fabric selection. Okay, I understand: too much pattern. She also kept saying too many colors. Leaves of a plant are all one color with variation only through light and shade. She must have emphasized that a few times and even had us look at real leaves on real plants. Eventually I understood that too.

I needed only five fabrics. The background passed. So did a chartreuse green solid I threw into my bag at the last minute. The rest of the fabric bought specifically for this class were unacceptable. Karen gave me a hand dyed that works. That was so generous of her. And Tish kindly let me borrow one of her shibori hand dyes. So after class, off to the local quilt shop with the approved fabric set for alternatives.

The second day was easier - less thinking involved. First off, she approved my latest purchase for the leaves and the pseudo-border. Yeah! I didn't need my backups! Then she showed us how to select leaf segments pieces by placing the pattern and fabric on a light box. How to mark the fabric, pin and hand baste. And her hand appliqué technique.

I started one leaf section in class. Gee, I could appliqué in front of the tv, in the car, in waiting rooms, etc. instead of being tied to the sewing machine. Wonder if I can actually finish this?

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