I accidentally added a period at the end on the title of this post. I meant to use a question mark. It’s seems so finite and I don’t feel that way. I’m referring to my quilting journey, but it could also refer to my life in general. Let’s discuss quilting.
Last year I took (one) in-person workshop with Sherri Lynn Wood then multiple virtual workshops. They were almost all improvisational quilting classes. I’m now working on the 100 Day project and all these classes have impacted how I now work. I can’t decide which approach to take. Sherri Lynn’s approach emphasizes a “go with the flow” and the process appeals to me. I recently finished the quilting the top I made that weekend, called Doodles and Curves:
Since I took a workshop with Irene Roderick, I felt more inclined to plan out the final design. In her workshop we made units of pieced sections then assembled them in a composition. The goal was to sew the units together after figuring out how we wanted the final piece to look. The putting together to get that final look was frustrating. I also experimented with free motion quilting. I became annoyed with the tension on the stitching and had to take out large sections of quilting. In some places I used thread which was darker than the fabric color and I’m not sure I will take that path again. It’s distracting to me and highlights the mistakes. It does surprise me how exuberant the quilt is since I made during the height of the pandemic and felt very depressed. Here is the final quilt, titled A Thousand Yellow Rabbits Dancing with Balloons.
I also took a virtual class with Maria Shell. Her approach is more controlled with precise components and much more symmetry in the final composition. Her approach also pushed for more repetition in the components. Her approach is more like following a recipe. Here, a quilt I made after taking her class, titled Pit Stop:
A friend recently called my approach to quilt design as “meandering”. That is a good description. For the 100 Day Project, that’s what I’m doing. I started making units like Irene, then I kept adding them as I felt like it, more akin to Sherri Lynn. I’ve made a few “short row” units from Maria’s class. It’s Wanda’s Meandering Approach. This is the top, almost finished:
I also took a class with Sheila Frampton-Cooper where I learned a new improvisational technique. She calls it applique plus piecing. She was very helpful with color choices and I’m very excited about where I can take my new skills. Here’s the top I created. It is titled Back of the Dragon. The idea came after I made a small sketch which looked like a mountain. Where I grew up, there is a mountain road called Back of the Dragon. It winds in and out with sharp curves. That is why this work looks very topographical.
I have lots of quilting to do to finish these new works. I hope to find my voice after learning from so many talented artists/makers/teachers this past year.