Sunday, August 14, 2011
Denyse Schmidt Workshop at PNCA
The workshop with Denyse Schmidt at PNCA was amazing. It was great to meet Denyse and all the other women who came to the class. I was happy to finally meet Susan, who helped me wrangle a sewing machine. Thank you Modern Domestic for loaning me a lovely Bernina friend. I also met, Blair, of wisecraft, a blog that I have read for several years. People came from Seattle, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Kansas City (that's me).
Early the first day we worked on an exercise to get us working on improvisation. We"blindly" drew one piece of fabric at a time from Denyse's paper sacks filled with different sized scraps. We took a moment to think about the fabric and how it related to the next piece and then sewed them together. The trick was to not spend a lot of time dwelling on combination, pattern, etc. Instead, we were following our instincts and allowing the blocks to evolve in a somewhat organic fashion. It sounds easy, but it is hard to quiet the editing part of your mind and tempting to toss back a fabric that you didn't like. I was not crazy about the blocks I made and was much more excited about some of the other girls' creations, but when I got home and put the three blocks together into a little sampler I was in love. I feel like I won a prize.
We had a little picnic lunch from daily cafe in a local park. I enjoyed the socializing as much as the sewing part. It was so relaxing and exciting at the same time,exactly how a vacation should be.
After lunch we began sketching to help develop our concepts for the blocks we would make with our fabric. Some people continued with the grab bag style piecing and others took a more deliberate approach. I was inspired by some of my fabric and also being in Portland. I got up early that day and walked to class. It was about a 30 minute walk down the west hills to PNCA, but the air was crisp and the colors were very Portland to me. I snapped a "not so good" photo on my phone in attempt to capture the moment. I used it as the inspiration for my blocks. So my blocks became linear log cabin like blocks with little pockets of light to mimic the light that pops through the lush green and dark trees. I am excited to continue working on the blocks. I hope to better capture that feeling in my quilt, than I was able to in my photo. Thanks Anne for sharing some of your photos...I can't believe they came from an iphone.