This two-week trip was wonderful despite a couple of hiccups. I re-connected with a long time (not old) good friend near Detroit. Together we took a short trip to Toronto. Then I'm at the Crow Timber Barn for a workshop - Machine Quilting: Inspiration, Design, Critique with Sandra Ciolino. I'll save the hiccups for another time and get down to what you really want to know about - the workshop.
|iso right thread color & weight for Golden Sol|
We were a small group of seven with not a bad apple in the bunch! Couldn't ask for a better group of people!
We were also diverse stylistically. I expected more Nancy Crow students since it was at the Barn. Instead three had never taken any workshop with her and two had taken only one workshop. So we had a diverse range of quilt tops to critique.
The critiques were a fabulous learning experience. These were not a show-and-tell what's-good-what's-not likes-dislikes kind of free-for-all. Sandy provided a timed 5-step structure adapted and revised from Art + Quilt: Design Principles and Creativity Exercises by Lyric Kinard. Of course everyone wanted to know how to quilt their tops - our reason for being there.
The critique structure really worked and we really got into the swing of it. Sandy even joked she'll packaged us up and take us on the road! I got some helpful feedback and am no longer stymied by my larger tops.
The very first exercise was another fabulous learning experience. It made us take the plunge. Jump off the cliff. But in a non-threatening way. It opened up options. Very freeing. We learned there are no rules for thread color, thread weight and stitch lines. Sure, fiddle with the thread tension until that works. Otherwise, quilt as desired!
I've heard that many times but was clueless as to what that meant. Now I know. There is no one way, no perfect way. Explore, experiment, play. Trust your instincts as an artist and quilt as desired.
With inadequate choice of threads, I didn't get far on the circle with straight lines shown at the top. So I started on these two small black and white compositions in the workshop:
|geometric stitches with white, variegated white, variegated gray and black|
|organic stitches with contrasting variegated thread|
|more stitcher doodles|
Apropos, Perfect Happiness was the title of Robert Genn's Tuesday Twice-Weekly Letter, which led with this quote from Winston Churchill: "The way to be happy is to find something that requires the kind of perfection that's impossible to achieve and spend the rest of your life trying to achieve it." Read the rest of it here.