Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Red and White Sisters

Meet Lucy and Beth. Sisters. I don't know a lot about them, but they sat at the table behind me. I met Beth last year at BIQR but this was the first time for Lucy. They had been to the American Folk Art Museum in New York and had seen the Red and White quilts(!) What an impression it must have made on them as each of them spent their time at the retreat on creating their own Red and White treasure!

First Beth finished this gorgeous Amish inpired piece:

before moving on to work on this mesmerizing piece, each strip is a half inch bigger than the previous strip, giving it that 3d look.

Lucy started with a red checkerboard on point with 16-patches in the corners:

Also sitting at the Red and White table was MaryE who was working on her appliqued red berries on white cloth (see previous post) and Kathy! While Lucy and Beth were diligently working on their Red and White masterpieces, Kathy was strolling up and down the aisles shopping for floor scraps, handing out quilting wisdom where ever she went. She loved the Red and White checkerboard but it was not liberated enough for her, so she made it her job to create the liberated version of Lucy's quilt, using floor scraps!

You can find a quilt by Kathy on page 18 of the Liberated Medallions book.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Liberated Stars Shine!

Every year at BIQR I get my new Gwen Marston book signed by all the participants, and Gwen too of course (!) kind of like a yearbook. It really makes a nice keepsake of the retreat. This year was especially fun as quite a few of us had quilts in her latest book. So we had a great time signing each other's pages and pretending we were stars. Not everyone has a blog to do their bragging on so I thought I might feature their work at the retreat and match it up with the book.

First I will start with Cathy who did the Liberated Witch Hats on page 31. Obviously her piece had a lot of impact on me since I had to play with that fabric too (see last post), but I heard that women in the other weeks also using that fabric. This time Cathy brought a different fabric to work from.

I love how those red wedges just pop!


Then there is Pat Haas, her work is on page 86. She likes to dye and play with fabric, her center piece is her own batik that she created.

Again she started with her own painted piece in the center, but what a different colour palette she worked with! She started with some tiny liberated stars...

Then added some red and some Paris novelty print. I think it is stunning!

My quilting buddy Christine is on page 92. She is always making great presents for her family.

This time she brought her unfinished applique piece from 2 retreats previous to work on. (I too brought my piece from the same retreat, but did not work on it all since I got distracted by that Ghastlies fabric). She spent a lot of her time working on "parts" for this piece.

Mary Elizabeth Kinch from Toronto is already a quite known published quilter, she has at least 2 books under her belt, her latest book is Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts. She made this interesting piece on page 100.

I think when you work with such small pieces all the time you need to have a break and do something really different. MaryE spent a lot of time appliqueing red berries to white fabric! During show and tell she revealed that she wondered that if Jackson Pollock could splatter paint from above she could let her berries fall where they may! In this photo she was experimenting with vine borders, and later she tried out some floating squares....I think sometimes you have got to take an idea and let it go where it may and at BIQR the creative juices flow! I can't wait to see this one done, it will surprise us!

and the there is Kate! wait, if I tell you about Kate I have to tell you about the sisters....I think I will save that post for another day!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

It started with Liberated Witch Hats!

Every year Christine, Gail and I go to Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreat in Elk Rapids, Michigan. This year's retreat's theme was Liberated Medallion Quilts. It's a 5 hour drive from London, Ontario but when you stop at quilt shops along the way it takes, well, a bit longer!
First stop was Linda'a Country Quilts in Davison. Christine's daughter Caitie took this photo. This was her first quilt retreat. Gail buys a lot of fabric! Me, I am a nibbler, a little bit here or there and very much project oriented, I don't have a big stash. So it was unusual for me to buy 4 fat quarters with no real plan on using them at the retreat except that Linda's carried the Alexander Henry Ghastlies fabric! I had seen this fabric at my local quilt shop Hyggeligt and had resisted the temptation to buy them not knowing what I would do with them (sorry Chantal), but I remembered the Liberated Witch Hats!  

It started off slowly, on Wednesday, as after Gwen's great trunk show and everybody is getting started on their projects, we had a power failure just after lunch! At first we blamed the irons, but alas it turned out it was the whole building! and later to find out it affected the whole town! We went into town to Now and Then Quilt shop and shopped with flashlights! the rumour on the street was the power would be back on at 6:21PM, at least that is what the recording said. Making the best of the situation we went into nearby Williamsburg in search of quilt stores with working lights! Spent more money at Renee's and then to Acme for dinner!

After dinner the power was back on and we tried to get our mojo back. I managed to accomplish this much on my Ghastlies medallion quilt (working title only). Btw, the pink floral border, was a floor scrap that I found first thing that morning.It was a great match!...at Gwen's retreats you do not throw fabric into the garbage you throw it on the floor so the quilters can go picking!


 Then I lost my mojo again....I had this very nice framed piece of fabric....but then what...I did not know what to do. So I worked on another project from home that had lots of unthinking chain piecing, before I came up with the idea to make a liberated house with some of the characters in the windows. It was kind of a big house... where to put it...?

I finally decided that I would try to make a tree similar to the one in the tree fabric and create a whole scene and place the house off to the side.

(photo courtesy of Gail)

 Another lady, Laurie,, was also working on a Liberated Witch Hats and Ghastlies inspired quilt, she gave me some wonderful owl fabric to put into my tree!  She also gave me a strip of Scrowlie cat fabric.

The next brain storm came when we were asked to create a liberated block as a gift for Gwen for her birthday. I thought I would make a liberated log cabin for her from the fabrics I was working with and it turned out fabulous, I had to make more!

Title:  There Goes the Neighbourhood!
(thanks Gail!)

Laurie and me with our masterpieces!
More BIQR in next post!