As you have probably noticed, this hasn’t been a good week for posting. I have a couple of posts in the works, but they aren’t finished. Life is a little crazy and I just haven’t had a chance. I hope you enjoy this post!
In case you didn’t hear, Jean Ray Laury died on March 2, 2011. What a huge loss for the quilt community! There are obituaries all over the web, including on the C&T blog and in the Fresno Bee. I took a class from her via EBHQ and it was the first time I was happy with surface design results. It may have been the only time. I don’t remember when that was. I think it was before I started this blog. She had a Thermofax machine and showed us how to print designs on to fabric. I really wanted to get a Thermofax machine at that time and think that if the class had been over the course of several weeks or had been an ongoing class, I may have taken up more surface design. She made it fun and seem doable.
She also had some cool, if a little scary looking, fish fabric that she had just designed. I bought some and I still have a little piece. One of the fish made it into the Eye Spy quilt. I’ll never forget the teeth on those fish. Her website is still up, if slightly out of date. Take a look at it before it is taken down.
I took a class from Libby Lehman sometime ago and it was one of the best classes I ever took. I learned a lot. Libby was not a prima donna. She knew lots about other machines besides her own brand. It was a great class. Recently, I watched a TQS episode where Alex and Ricky interviewed Libby, showed her house, one of her techniques and her workroom. It was a great episode.
I also watched an episode with Verna Mosquera. She has a soft vintage look that I really admire, but don’t have the wherewithall to pull off in my own life. Her company, The Vintage Spool, sells patterns. Verna is also a fabric designer, but I don’t remember seeing any of her fabric. I enjoyed the interview, partly because it was so complete. I like hearing about the quiltmaker’s background and her inspiration, both of which were covered in the interview.
They have really good guests on TQS. I also like the tutorials they give. Alex showed, in another episode, how to draft a feathered wreath quilting pattern and she made it seem like anyone could do it. She also taught viewers how to piece a split LeMoyne, which she made very accessible as well. I have a few issues with the show. The pricing model and what is available to me is hard to understand from looking at their site. The site is really busy, too. I seem to lose connection to their server in the middle of episodes. Also, the images can be pixellated. I think it is sometimes my own connection, but also partly their problem. They don’t have a very good way of marking your place in the show and coming back later, though I think many online shows suffer from that problem. It may be that the technology isn’t as well developed as it will be in the future.
Websites and Blogs
Have you tried My Sewing Circle? Anyone can join. It is place to connect with other fabric makers, catalog your projects, patterns, fabrics and notions. I wanted to compare it to SeamedUp since I am site tester over there. Jewel, the My Sewing Circle site mom, is very fast at adding patterns and steering members in the right direction.
I will be speaking at the Primal Green panel and have been thinking about what drives me. One of the aspects of design that drives me is repetition. You can see it in FOTY 2008 with all of those rectangles. You can see it in FOTY 2010 with all of those diamonds. My friend, Kathy, pointed me to a quilt blog call Elisa in Real Life. She has a post showing some gorgeous photos of a quilt show with awesome quilts. You can see the repetition employed by some of the artists front and center when you look at the 3/15/2011 post. More inspiration!
Mom is doing a mini color tutorial on her blog using the Munsell color system. go read the second of the series here.
Blocks and Patterns
I always wondered how the wonky pinwheel block was made and recently Marcus Brothers posted some visuals on how to do it. They have a little ruler you can use to keep all angles the same. I might make my own or see about using one of the lines on a ruler I already have. I have a plaid quilt in mind, though brighter and cheerier than the one pictured, and this might be the perfect pattern for it. Mom did a blog post about her adventures with this block and it was very interesting to see what would work and what wouldn’t.
Check out the Fabric Worm blog post about their giveaway.