Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I had a great time on the weekend - I went to a two-day quilting workshop with Beth & Trevor Reid, renowned contemporary and abstract quilters who live in the Canberra region. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will have seen some of their work here. Here's some more of their work and more. I just love it!
While it was liberating and thrilling to learn an entirely new technique and a new way of looking to nature for inspiration, the best part for me was finally trying out free motion quilting! I had been a big chicken and not tried it - to be honest it scared me! But, with a bit of expert tutelage from Beth, off I went and I don't think I'll look back.
Each of the 11 workshop participants (all women - no surprise there!) created a wall quilt, although not many of us actually finished - and that included me. BUT, we did all choose the kind of quilt we wanted to make, drew a sketch of what our quilt would become and went for it. All 11 quilts were completely different - I love that about quilting.
For my quilt, I was inspired by a photograph of the Australian outback, which set an electric blue sky against an ochre coloured landscape, with a huge boulder in the middle ground, which had split in two.
I really wanted to challenge myself, so I limited myself to four really bold colours/six fabrics. The result is abstract and pushes the boundaries of landscape quilting. I'm not sure how well it works, but I just love the effect of the heavily quilted sky, as well as the FMQ circles giving texture to the boulder.
We learnt how to paint fabric with fabric paints (the red fabric in the above photo has been painted with a green, to give more depth to the distant mountains), experiment with limited palettes, and learn how to do raw edge appliqué using Viesoflix. We learnt about layering for effect, using fabrics you wouldn't ordinarily think of (like organza) and painting fabric to get different effects.
It was lots of fun!
The quilt still needs quite a bit of work. The trees, tree trunk and shrubs are yet to be quilted. I think I'll also drop a couple of 'rocks' into the foreground to give it a bit more depth. Here's a view of part of the back of the quilt - there's about half a kilometre of thread in here already :o
Once it's finished it'll go into Romily's room - she's already claimed it :) It'll take me a little while to get it done though, as I have some other more pressing deadlines looming!
Hope you're all having fun out there in the land of Blog!