I've just spent the last few days in quilty heaven - two totally wonderful, fun, inspiring days of workshops with Gwen Marston.
The first class was based on her little quilt Sketches as can be seen in her book, 37 Sketches.
These quilts are tiny! The sizes would be approximately 8-10 inches by 11-13 inches. Beautiful little studies of shapes, colours and composition.
After an introduction as to how she came about playing with small pieces Gwen then showed us some of her recent sketches one by one. It was so interesting to hear about her design decisions and the progression of repeating elements that she uses. Although I've had the book for a while now and have looked at the photos many times Gwen's points made me see the sketches with fresh eyes.
Gwen has such a wonderful way of sharing information. The things she says are so interesting and are delivered with such a wonderful sense a humour.
Soon it was time for demonstrations. Line work, triangles, super skinny curved lines and teeny tiny little squares.
We all loved her sample book with examples and ideas.
Armed with our newly learnt skills we revved up our sewing machines and started to create! Gwen was "The Beauty On Duty" who would turn up at your table at just the right time to help with a decision or suggest the next move. In between she would entertain the class with funny jokes, fascinating stories and more tips and tricks.
The result was wonderful Sketches made by everyone!! This is just a few made on the day.
This is my little piece. I had fun with those curvy lines and like how the stripes add highlights.
I'm sure everyone would agree it was such a very inspiring and happy day. There was a real excitement in the room as we all played with our little pieces, and the results were so rewarding. And I don't think I'm the only one who can't wait to make more!! I'm already thinking the next one will be firey reds, oranges and sunny yellows...
I went home that evening very happy to know there was another day to come...
Liberated Medallion Quilts is one of my very, very, very favourite books. I've almost worn it out from flicking through it so often so you can imagine how happy I was that Gwen's second class was based on the ideas/skills outlined in these book.
We got to see the cover quilt in real life!
Plus more examples of Gwen's Medallion quilts. You can imagine the Oooohs and Aaahhs as these quilts were unfolded
It was wonderful to hear about how Gwen was taught how to hand quilt by a group of Mennonite women.
My medallion center so far.. I'm not so sure about the colourful border, but it's now on my design wall at home and I've pulled some more fabrics from my stash and will be working on getting it finished soon...
Here's Chris Jurd's quilt!! She totally rocks at being liberated.
Here's the A Team! Me, Erica of Creative Dabbling, Beautiful Gwen with her winning smile, Chris of Patchwork Fundamentals and Stephanie who flew from the other side of Australia to do the class.Erica and Chris have done posts on the classes so check them out. Chris is having a giveaway as well at her blog so doubly worth checking out.
Such a wonderful couple of days!! Thank you so much Gwen for coming to Australia to spend time with us!!
I have to say Cottage Quiltworks was a great venue. Chris, Jann and Sandy were such great hosts, not to mention the shop was full of gorgeous fabrics.
For Sydneysiders- Gwen will be doing a lecture about Abstract Quilts in Solids this Thursday 11th July. It's being held in North Sydney and starts at 7 for 7.30pm. Call Cottage Quiltworks 02 9997 4661 or Quiltsmilth 95504947 for more info.