Tuesday, March 3, 2015

QuiltCon - Gee's Bend workshop and final wrap up

I didn't buy much while I was in Austin at the show. Fabric was no bargain - $11 to $12 for cotton and $14 at half yard for Oakshott. I did buy a few more cones of King Tut as they were $19.99 a cone if you bought three. I use a lot of white linen and I needed another spool of this dark red for my drunkard's path flannel quilt.

On Sunday the temperature dropped and the wind was howling! I only had a thin long sleeve jacket and the wind was going right thru it. So while Glen was at her workshop I walked around town to find a store to buy a sweatshirt. I found this zippered hoodie. It is nice and warm. That is all I bought - the thread and the hoodie. I was tempted to buy one of the Janome 1600P demonstrator machines, but I didn't.

I did haul around my Moda Halloween quilt for the first day until it was just to heavy to deal with. Besides no one asked to see it except when I went into the lecture hall to let Glen know I was going to take it back to the hotel. When I told her then one of the ladies also waiting for the lecture then asked to see it. I whipped it out and she asked to take a picture. Several others then wanted to see it. I also had taken it to the Why Quilts Matter booth and they loved it. While I had it opened up - this was in the exhibit hall - several people stopped to see it. They asked if they could take pictures and asked my why it wasn't in the exhibit. I told them to tell me why it wasn't and then we would both know! Here is the quilt on my bed.

I had volunteered to help out at the show and here is the additional goodie I received - a double walled wine sippie cup. I did miss two of my shifts as Glen and I were tied up on the phone trying to change our flights.

I was lucky and got into one of the workshops with the Gee's Bend ladies. Rossie of Fresh Modern Quilts saved me a seat. I had met her while waiting for our plane to Austin in Detroit along with about 12 other ladies who were headed to the event. The GB ladies sang a song, said a prayer, then everyone just started sewing. I was a little surprised that there was no directions or announced focus for the workshop, but what the heck I just started sewing too! I had brought old clothes as that was on the list of what we were suppose to bring along with fabric scraps. I saw that most of the ladies brought scraps. The room was very hot, probably close to 80 degrees, but everyone just kept sewing away. I had my units on the floor and the GB ladies would walk by to see what everyone was doing. I think they liked mine because you could see I used a sleeve or the front of a shirt because the pocket was still there. I had brought two different colored lightweight denim shirts, and cream and gold tiny checked shirt and a red knit polo shirt. I finally got some of the section sew together and one of the ladies asked me how big I was going to make it. I said until I run out of the fabric from these four shirts. She smiled real big and gave me a high five! Everyone was getting their picture taken with the ladies along with the work they had done. I had a black sharpie and asked the ladies to autograph my piece. They really liked that! So here is my piece on the design wall as it stands right now.

I still have the shirt backs and a sleeve or two that I will be using to finish this piece. I had a great time and made sure I talked to all the ladies. I did feel bad for one of the GB ladies as she got sucked into holding one participants hand for 2 1/2 hours as this woman could not make a decision on her own. She was on the opposite side of the table from me and her constant indecision and need for approval was driving me crazy.

There was one participant that was practicing a technique she learned the day before in a workshop. I was horrified as what she was doing. She had cut a pedal and a bias strip sort of like this - yes, this is a reenactment

Then you sew the bias on to the curve.

Next you press the heck out of the bias to try and get it flat. This is kind of what the piece looked like that the lady was getting. Of course, the bias was curling up. Now where she went with this I don't know and I didn't see her piece at the end of the class. This technique is definitely not for a beginner.

Me being an experience seamstress and quiltmaker I could get the piece to lay flat, but it still wanted to curl a bit. I would definitely use the wooden concrete trowel that Glen sent me to hold the fabric flat until it cooled and I knew better than to stretch the bias as I sewed it to the curve. Stretching that bias would only add to the issues. If I wanted to add a piece to a curve I certainly would not do it this way.

Sherri Lynn Wood is the person who teaches this technique. She had at least three quilts in QuiltCon and has a book just coming out. Hum related?

There were two other pieces done with this technique done by students.

Final thoughts - would I go back to another QuiltCon? Probably not unless I was paid to do workshops and/or had a book to sell. Overall I wasn't impressed with the workmanship or design. I question how many more negative space quilts will hold interest to a large enough group of people that will keep the money flowing and the organization afloat. They are missing the mark with mature quilters with disposable income. How are they going to push the craft forward? How many quilts can you make with a simple circle or straight lines and hold someone's interest?


Anonymous said...

It may be that modern quilting is where the younger quilters who are tech savvy hang out, while older, less tech savvy quilters stay with traditional quilt guilds. I think modern quilters are becoming more like traditional quilters with certain styles of fabric considered acceptable and patterns proliferating. If my prediction holds, modern quilt guilds will simply become another guild option.

patty a. said...

I am not sure it has anything to do with being tech savvy. I just hope that the "modern" quilters step up their game in the area of workmanship. If poor workmanship turns into a hallmark of "Modern" quilting that would be sad.


Vicki W said...

I totally agree with you. One of the goals of pursuing a craft or art is to constantly challenge yourself to get better. They must deal with the workmanship because the best quilters will start focusing more on mainstream shows with better attendance and prize packages. The next 3 years will be interesting to watch.

QuiltSwissy said...

My prediction is that as the younger girls who are pushing this modern movement become more technically advanced in the art of quilting, they will become more and more traditional. I can see the quilts getting more and more complicated.

What I saw at QuiltCon was the same quilt over and over and over again. And quilts from books. That was the most upsetting thing about it all.

Quilts from books and all the big names winning it all. They reward themselves well.