Saturday, October 11, 2008

BIQR 2008: Gwen's Trunk Show and Lecture

She gave her lecture 9AM Wednesday morning; as you can see we had a great view. She gave a brief summary of why she chose to do a retreat about solids, much of which can be found in her introduction to her new book Ideas and Inspirations: Abstract Quilts in Solids. She created the book with photographer Gregory Case to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Beaver Island Quilt Retreats. Most of the pieces in the book were newly created as samples for BIQR.

She showed all of the quilts in her book and then some! I will not bore you (as if you can get bored looking at Gwen's quilts) with a photo of each one that appears in the book, Gregory's photos do it better justice, of course, but will focus on some of the bonuses. I have to tell you, every night before I turned off the light I journeyed through that book and still do since I've been home. Of course each photo has a memory attached and that is something I cannot give to you, you'll have to meet Gwen and her quilts in person for that!

This was one of her first quilts using her "Tulip Block". She gave demos in the making of this block. I knew I would be putting some of these in my piece, since Mexican Hat Dance (the one on the cover of her book) was one of my favourite pieces! This is a fun block to play with, above with sashing and she showed how you could put stems and on them to create another block.

She says that quilts stitched in solids, are more like contemporary art. Your solids are your colour palette. Instead of the patterns being in the fabric, you have to create the pattern with the fabric and the stitching. Definitely, hand quilting shows up more effectively on solids than on prints. And solids are not like those prints and colours now, but will you still, 10 years from now?

I just love the hand quilting in this piece and had to take close ups.

After the trunk show, the quilts were laid out on the counter and stayed there the whole time, so we could visit, hug, fondle, drool, (no skip that, there was absolutely no drooling), yearn, peruse, take photos of her quilts for ideas. "it starts with an idea, plant a seed and let it grow."

Just go ahead and sew blocks, "arranging them is like jigsaw puzzles", she says. Each block does not have to be an exact duplicate of the last one, these differences are "what holds people's interest longer and takes it out of the predictable."

This is one quilt not in the book, where she just added liberated triangles at the ends of sashing to create the stars. Here she added interest in the centre blocks. The next pic is of Gwen's pinwheels, this quilt can be found in her Liberated Quiltmaking book. She says they look like Jacks and we were calling them Jacks blocks. It was a favourite and she gave a demo on that block too.

Here is another surprise quilt she showed, she was very enamoured with those Cherrywood fabrics. A few of the students also had those fabrics, "Luscious" as Karin liked to say!

She then told us about floor scrap quilts. "Don't worry about cleaning up your scraps", she said, because after each week of retreats she collects the floor scraps and makes quilts out of them. She encouraged us to do the same. It was funny, as many of us were searching the aisles for floor scraps. Our end of the room was much messier than the other end for some reason.

Another surprise, she showed us this basket quilt she made with 219, 4 inch blocks! Rumour has it, this will be appearing in an upcoming book by 2 Toronto ladies, Biz Storm and Mary Elizabeth Kinch, called Small Blocks, Stunning Quilts, due out in December.

Next Post: Meet and Greet, Show and Tell. Stay Tuned!


Vicki W said...

Thanks for sharing all of the great photos!

goooooood girl said...

Well well well......

jovaliquilts said...

Thanks so much for the show! What a fabulous experience it must have been to see all this in person, and to learn from Gwen.

Malagueta said...

Wow, fantastic quilts. Thanks for sharing. The colors alone are inspirational--then work in the designs and it's a home run.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

Wow, thank you ever so much! I can't believe how many quilts she's made - she's so incredible.

Clare said...

Truly awesome. Thanks so much for the virtual show. I feel as if I were there. I read on someone else's blog about Gwen collecting the floor scraps! Glad I know not the only one!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

What a treat! Great pictures! Loved reading your descriptions of her talk and quilts!

Rhondi said...

Oh how lucky you were to spemd a week with Gwen. I love her! I took a class at Asilomar with her and Freddy Moran and absolutely had the best time ever. Can't wait to see her new book!
Hugs, Rhondi