Sunday, February 21, 2016

My QuiltCon 2016 Experience

Hi everyone! Sorry for being so quiet last week. QuiltCon 2016 took over my life!

                                               Image result for quiltcon 2016

I had wanted to get a post out before I left, but taking my mom up to my sister's, and having to pack for the trip, left me with no time for blogging. And of course, once at QuiltCon, there really is very little spare time!

So, how was QuiltCon? Awesome! If you have the chance to go, go!!! It is such a fun event! Everyone is so happy, engaged, social, eager to learn, friendly, and the list goes on and on. 

And that's what struck me more than the quilts in the show. Sure, there were some gorgeous modern quilts, and there were some that made me scratch my head. But what I really noticed was the people and their energy. There was such a strong community feeling at this show, nothing that I've experienced at other shows. And that's what I really enjoyed, the gathering together for the love of quilts. Truly an incredible experience.

Now, what did I do there? Well, Thursday was a longarm class with Krista Withers, teaching her 'Creating a Quilt Path' style of quilting. Gorgeous! Here's a couple pics of my work:

In the top photo, I made a waterfall, with a rock filling the space to the left, and trees on the right. Just use your imagination on this!

The bottom photo works with circles, and the path moving through a block. Well, I didn't get to that last part, as class time was over. But I got the idea, and hopefully you do too.

Friday was spent with Jacquie Gering. What a talented quilter/designer! She had us working on the theory of notan, which is achieving balance with dark and light. The ultimate goal is to not let either dominate the piece. Think of yin yang. We first played with paper,

(I like the second one), and then moved on to designing our own blocks to play with to achieve notan. And this is where I went downhill, like an author staring at a blank page and doesn't know what to write. No creativity sparked a block design, or at least one that was interesting.

Now, Jacquie noticed my 'lost at sea' look, and was ever so kind to work with me on a design. We removed pieces, cut pieces, and added pieces, until this emerged:

And when we stood back to look at it, I saw the green (cause it's my second most favorite color), and she saw the black. Does it achieve notan? No, I don't think so. It's interesting, but that's about it.

Through these exercises, I learned something about myself:  that I need to spend time each day playing, exploring notan and other design ideas. Until now, it's always been a block or an image that brought about an idea, which is fine. But to really create something that is a powerful piece, I'm going to have to let go of that crutch, and start playing and experimenting. I know it won't be easy, and I'll want to give up, but at least I have to try. And this leads me into a challenge proposal.

Before I left for QuiltCon, I was working on a quilt for the #purplesewingproject that created a ton of half square triangles, or HST's. Those got me thinking about hosting an HST challenge.  The idea was further encouraged upon seeing a couple quilts at QuiltCon that had very creative uses for HST's. Combine all of that with the design class, and I've got subject matter to work with. 

My idea for the challenge is to think outside the box, and not use any traditional block settings. Throw out the grid and explore other settings for these triangles. Maybe think of them as triangles, and maybe not. The point is to not repeat what has already been done.

Does this sound like something you would want to try? The project could be a block, a mini, or a quilt created with HST's. You choose. But the point is to break free of the typical blocks made from HST's. 

I'm thinking of starting this in early March, as ideas are already in my head. I have three different piles of HST's waiting to be played with. Want to play along? I'll be posting more info in the coming days.

So, thank you, QuiltCon, for a memorable experience!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like two great classes. I too see green and even if it does not speak Notan I love it.


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