Pamela Allen Class Continued

Summary: this post follows up on Saturday’s post about the Pamela Allen class.

I realized that when I am in a class with Pamela, I do think outside of my own quiltmaking box. I also realized that if I just listen and do what she says  I succeed. I also feel a bit freer in my work. I really have a strong feeling that I need to make a much larger piece in Pamela’s style.

Pamela gave us tips and I interpreted them as:

  • make lots of art because not all of it will be good; small is good
  • your first idea will be crap, so don’t cling to it
  • put the big shapes down first
  • move things around; try a new view
  • if you are bored by your piece everyone else will be as well

We talked a lot about art quilts at our dinner out together. I feel strongly that all quilts need to have a good design. Block type quilts have a basic structure which helps with good design. Most art quilts do not have a basic, inherent structure and some go astray because the quiltmaker doesn’t care, doesn’t know how to initiate and then evaluate a design or doesn’t have the technique foundation. I think it is easy to find out about these things. There are a lot of good principles of design type books, such as Pentak and Lauer’s Design Basics. The basic thing concerning technique in art quilts is that they don’t fall apart upon hanging. Pamela doesn’t have the classic quilt background that many quiltmakers have, but she has learned what she needs to keep the quilts structurally sound and then applied her art and design training. This is the best of both worlds and this is where I really want to be.

You can see from the gallery above how she inspires great and different work. Diane is a wonderful silk painter. She normally paints a whole cloth piece on silk and then quilts it. Her blue trees piece is really different from her normal style and really, truly wonderful. Kristen is very busy with her family and doesn’t have tons of time to sew, but made some fantastic pieces that her children would enjoy. I love that space alien monster! Kristen’s pieces are also cheerful and imaginative and wonderfully creative. Mrs. K’s sauguaro cactus/Suspicion Mountains piece has a calmness to I that I love. I hope she finishes it and hangs it somewhere where it can inspire other people. Everyone really did fantastic work and I am sorry I didn’t take more photos.

Creative Mess #2
Creative Mess #2
Creative Mess #1
Creative Mess #1

We made a creative mess. Mess is the wrong word; we had supplies and we needed to use them. When you only have 15 minutes to make a piece of art, the fabric will be flying and it was. I brought my scraps which kept ending up on the floor. People would stop by, pick up some bit of fabric and ask to whom it belonged. It became quite hilarious. We really couldn’t have done the workshop without Mrs. K. She brought tubs of fabric which allowed us to actually have backs and batting and such things. I seemed to conveniently forget those supplies when I go to Pamela’s workshops! DUH!

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

4 thoughts on “Pamela Allen Class Continued”

  1. Thank you for taking these photos Jaye–I have thoroughly enjoyed both your posts on the Pamela Allen class. I will post your blog address in my blog so that more people can see what happens when they study with Pamela Allen. This is great stuff, sorry I missed it!

  2. *blush* thank you, Jaye. It was really just so cool to be in a place where there were LOTS of creative people who were all so happy and willing to share their ideas (and fabric). I’m glad the fun/cheer came out in my quilts. It really was often a struggle for me to See what I was trying to do – to let it all happen and make it work – It’s really funny b/c I’ve had a number of comments on my pig – and that was just so crazy hard for me and I was SO not pleased with it. Now I need to make some space and time to do some fun stuff with what I have. I should use Mom’s spray baste so I can work on some of it without worrying about the falling apart aspect of it all.

  3. Rosalie: Pamela will be teaching at Road to California in January (Feb??). I know that it is a big commitment, but her teaching is well worth it. I am considering going if things change around here.

    Deirdre: You will love her class.

    Kristen: I loved seen you work. The struggle is part of it. Letting go is something that I have trouble with as well. I put on my iPod music playlist (as opposed to listening to podcasts) and really was able to get into a sketching zone yesterday. I am having trouble with Beach Town in terms of it falling apart before I can get it sewn together. I need to spend some time on some major surgery just so I can work on it! A seam a day; the quilts get done that way!

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