I’m really fortunate to belong to a quilt guild that brings in fabulous teachers from all around the country. This week was no exception. I had the great opportunity to attend a day long workshop with Gwen Marston. Even though Gwen has been teaching in this industry for 3 decades and has written 26 books, I was surprised to find her techniques to be quite fresh and modern. I think she has changed my life! (well, my quilting life, anyway). Her approach to improvisational piecing was truly liberating. Here are some of the pieces she shared with us.
First, strip piecing with 30’s prints. Notice how everything doesn’t need to match up exactly. It’s OK!
Those black fabrics really give this movement!
It’s the use of solid colored fabrics that really give this a modern feel.
Gwen often takes her inspiration from antique quilts. Here is a new setting for strip pieced blocks.
Notice how the borders get chopped off in the seams. Just like they do with old quilts. That’s OK too!
I really love this one. Sewing fabric strips together is an old, old idea, but this looks like modern art!
Even though this one is made from 1890’s reproduction prints, it looks fresh and new.
So I had to try it. I cut strips any old shape and size and sewed them back together. You may notice that my fabric color choices are a lot like my painting color choices. I do love pink!
No measuring! No worrying about points matching or using a perfect quarter inch seam.
I like this “X” block I made for the corners. This is a 4″ block. Notice the tiny pieced bits in the “X”. Those are all different fabrics I sewed together and then cut into strips. Really not that hard!
I worked fast as I could to finish this little piece (about 20″ square) before the day is through.
I could quilt it now for a little wallhanging, or maybe I will turn it into a larger quilt. You’ll just have to stay tuned
to see how it all turns out. Just don’t expect it to be any time soon!
Pam these are all so wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing them. I love the one she is holding up. Very cool. And yours really looks like you. The colors and patterns are so you. It would be great as a wall hanging… but I am curious to see what you would add to it too. I love the wonky lines, the movement that creates. Happy creating to you 🙂
I really appreciate your comments, Sheila. I really felt inspired by this workshop. I have a lot of new ideas now percolating in my brain!
I love it!!! Kind of has that crazy quilt look, but not quite. Very fun!!!
It was fun. And it is a lot like crazy quilting–except it was less planned and less fussy. It’s fun to work without a a pattern. And no measuring to get things perfect. Anything goes.
I’ve been seeing ‘unmeasured’ quilts, but I never thought those would even be embraced by quilting groups. Maybe this is a type of sewing where my lack of straight lines and poor measuring can still make great work! I’m really excited about this 🙂
These kind of quilts have been around a long time–and you are right, the “quilt police” haven’t seen any merit in them. But now we can appreciate them as art.
It’s really exciting, quilts always seemed so daunting to me as a relatively new sewer (I’ve hand sewn for ages, but I’m not about to hand sew a quilt.)
I’d suggest starting out simple. Get a good book (I like the old favorite “Quilts, Quilts, Quilts” which has been recently re-published). Or try an online class from Craftsy. Or go to qnntv.com and watch episodes of the show “Quilty” which are free. Best of luck on your quilting adventure!