Workshop — the good, the bad, the ugly?

One of my first Village Quilts

One of my first Village Quilts

This weekend I took a daylong workshop with internationally renowned quilter, Sylvia Einstein.  I have long been a fan.  She has such a good eye and makes wonderfully dynamic, painterly quilts.  This was her “Small Towns” workshop and even though I have been making what I call “Village Quilts” for almost ten years, I decided to take it.

First, the good —

  • Seeing Sylvia’s quilts up close… I had studied them online and they were so much more exquisite in person!
  • Hearing her opening remarks… “I like very active skies” … “don’t try to pick all prints in the same scale — use large leaves, for instance” … “I work slow” ….
  • The invitation to become an avid collector of images. One of the teacher’s favorite sources?  Christmas cards!
  • Getting critiqued by the instructor (plus she gave me a couple of to-die-for scenery fabrics!).
  • Seeing other student’s work.
  • Getting new ideas on how to finish a quilt.  Sylvia uses very bold prints, often, for the edges of her pieces, and then binds them.

Now, the bad —

  • It was crowded.


The ugly —

  • My quilt.  But that just means ‘unfinished’ — right?!

Here’s what I will bring to my next class —

  • 12″ ruler and mini-cutting grid
  • Drawing pad, so that if I’m not in the mood to deal with major space restrictions, I can draw
  • Hand-sewing (for the same reason)

And, here are suggestions that spring to mind from the experience —

  • Experiment with scale.  I am excited, for instance, as someone who’s favored size is 2’x3′ to make a village that is 18″ by 20″.  A lot changes when you do this.
  • Collect images!!  MY challenge will be to put them all in one place.
  • I often use ‘sky’ fabric for buildings and ‘building’ fabrics for sky, so as to really play with what is inside and what is outside… but I’d like to make one quilt where building is building and sky is sky.

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