Category Archives: Quilting Classes

Free Motion Quilting Class Update

After I taught my last free motion quilting class, I decided I needed to rework the class a little bit to improve its effectiveness. I also needed new shop samples. The photo below shows my first new shop sample, which includes thirteen different free motion designs (twelve blocks plus one in the sashing). By focusing the class so that each student tries these thirteen designs, I am hoping students will have a clear goal and feel they have enough designs to use on their quilts until they gain the confidence to create their own. You can click on the photo and enlarge it to see the designs. On my computer I can then zoom in even further so the quilting patterns really show.

Free Motion Quilting Class Sampler

Free Motion Quilting Class Sampler

Pieceless Applique Shop Samples

I will be teaching my Pieceless Applique class at Sleepy Valley Quilt Company in Port Angeles in September and have been preparing a couple of samples for display in the shop. The first sample is using a block from Liz Jones’ book, Flowers, Hearts and Garlands:

Pieceless Applique Peach Floral sample

Pieceless Applique Peach Floral sample

The second sample is one I prepared using a simpler design that is more suitable for the students as a practice piece:

Pieceless applique four patch sample June 17 2013

I really love the book by Liz Jones where I learned this technique.  The applique patterns are really beautiful.  Click on the book name here to see  more details about the book on Amazon: Flowers, Hearts and Garlands Quilt (Applique Masterpiece)

Use of “negative space” in quilts

I am taking a class right now called “Art for Quilters”, taught by Marilyn Belford ( http://www.marilynbelford.com ) at Quilt University ( http://www.quiltuniversity.com ). One of the first homework assignments is in the use of “negative space” – that is, the space outside the design elements where there is no piecing or applique. Negative space is also one of the common elements of the Modern Quilting movement so popular currently. Although they don’t name it, traditional quilters often use negative space in the form of alternating plain blocks, plain setting triangles, or sashing. Negative space gives the eye a place to “rest” as it moves around the quilt. It helps emphasize the importance of the positive elements of the quilt.

I am pleased with the impact that can be achieved with simple geometric shapes and using a lot of negative space. Here are some examples from my class homework.

First, I cut a rough circle was out of a lavender fabric, cut it into irregular pieces, and then scattered them about on a purple background:

Cut up circle with negative space

Circle cut up for negative space exercise

Then, I cut a light grey square into strips and placed them on a very dark grey background:

Square cut in strips showing negative space

Square cut in strips for negative space exercise

I cut a green rectangle into smaller rectangles and other shapes and placed them on a blue print background:

Rectangle cut up for negative space exercise

Rectangle cut up for negative space exercise – I had to do some additional cutting to make the pieces fit on this one

And I cut up several black triangles and placed them on a marbled grey/mauve background:

Cut up triangles for negative space exercise

Cut up triangles for negative space exercise – this one looks sort of Native American to me

Aren’t these interesting? With some appropriate borders and free motion quilting in the negative space, I think these are going to make dramatic little quilts. I will report more progress as I continue.

I am very pleased with this teacher and the class materials so far. Marilyn Belford also teaches a class called Realistic Fabric Portraits at QU that starts June 28. She has a book available on the same topic Portraits For Fabric Lovers  (if you click on the name here it will take you to Amazon to buy the book, so don’t click unless you want to do that).

I was saddened to find out that Quilt University – where I have taken many classes and learned so much – is shutting down at the end of this calendar year. It was founded by Carol Miller who recently died after a short illness. Her husband Roger, who was always the technical guy behind the scenes, has decided to have a graceful shutdown and allow all us QU addicts to take the classes we have been putting off. I am going to be very busy for the next few months trying to do just that.