1/22/14

Transforming the Traditional: Day Two

If you missed yesterday's post, I'm at the "Transforming the Traditional" workshop taught by Lura Schwartz Smith this week. Friday will be the Stitches in Bloom quilt show, and this workshop is a part of that event.

Today was much more fun...for me, at least. Working on the grass yesterday really set the stage for today's activities. I'm not sure if working on the grass made today easier, but it was a good intro. When I started working on our "Wild Rose" quilt today, somehow it all just clicked into place. Recall that we are trying to approximate this quilt:


She called her technique the "No P" technique, meaning no pins, no paper, no plan, and no pain. Well, there is sort of a plan. It's a little like paper-piecing, and it's a little like making a log cabin block, only your center piece is triangular shaped. For this exercise, you choose around four of the same colors in light, medium, to dark values.  She gave us this little diagram to work with, and she also provided us with a little cheater sheet about what values of colors to use. 


I went ahead and made notations on each piece about what value it should hold. Then I asked her how she decided on the values. It was helpful that she drew this rose (and I'll just say I hate I'm envious of people who can draw so easily) and filled in the values. She told us to think of a rose in the sunlight. The light will hit the curled petals and make them appear lighter, while the inner recesses of the rose will appear in shadow.


She also advised that the center piece, piece #1, should always be a dark value color. I started off with a range of pinks. (I know there are a lot of pink haters out there. I have always loved pink. It's a color that I can wear well, unlike red, which looks terrible on me.) So these are cut free form. You cut your center triangle, then lay wide strips across with right sides up. You cut a slight curve or an "S", avoiding making them too curvy because you are going to just stitch them together without pins, just kind of stretching and fitting the edges as you go. If you cut the curves to curvy, they won't lie flat. I found it was best to cut them much wider than you need them, and then trim them to size as you go, always leaving them a little larger than you need so that you can make corrections if you need to.



Here are the first six pieces, and I've outlined that section of the diagram so you can see what I've done.


Then I just continued on. The image below has some of the deep blue background pieces added, and you can see that I've progressed through piece #15 in the upper right hand corner.


And here is the whole thing. It's okay that it isn't a nice square block because eventually I will add sashings and leaves also cut curvy to fit.


Then I moved onto the second diagram she provided. She also suggested that we flip the diagrams over, trace them with a lightbox, and then make two more roses that will be reversed. And since the pieces are all cut differently, each rose is bound to look different.


For the next rose, I used a range of oranges. Here, I've taken it through piece #12. On this rose, I got a little ahead of myself and did pieces #11 and 12 before I did pieces #8, 9, and 10 on the left. As it turns out, it didn't matter. When I realized what I'd done, I just went back and did the other side before moving on to piece #13.


When I was finished, I had a rose that looked like this. I probably didn't have a wide enough range of values for this one, but I still like it.


Mike and I actually had a hybrid tea rose that looked like this once. It's name was "Madrid". It died, and we tried to replace it, but were never able to find another one like it.

We've been pinning our work to the wall. Here are my two roses. As we stood and looked at these, Lura was telling me different ways I could sew these together with a sashing, without a sashing, with some greenery, and while she was talking, I suddenly got the idea to add the "grass" I made from yesterday.


You can see how that would look in the image below. She suggested just putting the roses together with no sashing, perhaps making some smaller roses to put above, or some larger ones below, and of course, to make more greenery. As she was talking, I started getting kind of excited about the potential for this quilt.


Updated to say that I'll be linking this post to:


We have an option of learning some "inking" techniques tomorrow if we want to. Now I'm excited about these roses, and I kind of want to keep going. When I knocked off for the day (a little early because I didn't want to start another one if I couldn't finish it), I had ironed pieces for a purple one. I think I'd like to make a large purple one, and then some smaller ones to put across the top. I have only a tiny bit of that deep blue background fabric left, but I have lots of deep greens, and I could always purchase more if I want to. I don't consider myself an artistic person, and I have never really made a true art quilt. Somehow this has sparked my imagination and my creativity, and now I'm excited to see where I can take it. I started out feeling confused by this technique, but now I'm thinking that it's really not possible to mess it up. And I'm all for things I can't mess up...something I've very good at doing.

So it was a better day today. I felt more comfortable with the group, although I'd still prefer to be in a room alone. And I want to thank those of you who left such supportive comments. It does help to feel as if I have my bloggy friends in the room with me and watching over my shoulder, even if it is only in spirit. I find myself thinking of you and what I'm going to tell you about the day's activities. It's nice to have my invisible friends along with me. (I do avoid speaking out loud to you. We have our secrets, don't we?)

My workshop deal includes all meals, and dinner was very good last night. I had a pasta dish. It was an early night. I found myself utterly exhausted and nearly turning my face inside out with yawning, so I turned off the lights at 9:00 p.m.. The bed was comfy and I got a good night's sleep. I was up at 5:00 a.m., which gave me plenty of time to read my email and drink some coffee, just as I would at home. Breakfast was a buffet and it opened at 7:00 a.m. I went over early and then came back and did some embroidery before the workshop started up again at 9:00. On the way back from breakfast, I noticed these birdhouses on the grounds of the resort. Have I ever told you how much I love birdhouses? Look at this little log cabin variety hanging at the front door. It has straw inside the door.


Then there was this one in the parking lot.


Cute, huh? I think any bird would be proud to have one of these as its home. 

So that's about all I have to tell you today. Dinner is a couple of hours off, and so I'm just going to enjoy some quiet time until then. I'll have more to tell you tomorrow. I hope you had a good day too.

32 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

Love your roses, what a fun idea and with the grass and other colors, that is going to be beautiful. I am glad you are feeling more relaxed. I am good with being around new people but I do like my morning and night time to be by myself.

Debbie

Cherry said...

YAY for you!! You are doing a great job at trying some new things! I love your roses so far and bet your vision for making it bigger will be fabulous! The inking sounds so very interesting - can't wait to hear all about it.

Cath said...

Your roses are superb! I have a sudden urge to want to try this aswell now. The bird houses are very quaint. I like the "multiple apartment" one.
Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

Kate said...

Well, humph. I talk out loud to your blog. So there. :P

The roses are beautiful - and it's very nice to see you so excited about the technique. I want to try it!

crazy quilter said...

Love your roses! I am not an art quilter either but I think you have aknack for them. Glad you had a good day sounds like this was well worth coming for! Have fun and keep on sewing.

crazy quilter said...

Love your roses! I am not an art quilter either but I think you have aknack for them. Glad you had a good day sounds like this was well worth coming for! Have fun and keep on sewing.

Sher S. said...

I absolutely LOVE your roses. They are my favorite flower of all time. Had roses and daisies as my flowers for my wedding, eons ago. I think we are celebrating 44 this year. I'm so glad you had a wonderful day and things are starting to make sense for making your flowers. Wish I could fit in your sewing tote so I could watch and learn too. Have a great evening and enjoy tomorrow.

Marei said...

Your roses are turning out wonderfully, and I happy that you've gotten a spark of an idea for turning them into a quilt. This is something I'd love to learn to do....hint, hint! BTW I ALWAYS talk out loud to my imaginary friends. How else are they going to know what I'm thinking?

Junebug613 said...

Your roses came out really great! I'm glad you are enjoying your class more. I love the bird houses! Can't wait to see what tomorrow's class entails.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Your feeling more at home and enjoying the technique make for a great productive day. Cute roses, interesting way of putting them together. Asleep by nine sounds familiar; early to bed is de riguer around here after any kind of strenuous day. Looking forward to seeing how the rest of the week pans out for you.

quiltzyx said...

The roses came out great! I heard you talking to us in class too, just so you know. Hmmmm cats & roses.....

I ended up reading & working on the transcription (which I misread & thought was 17 minutes long, but was really 38 minutes long - ugh!)and going grocery shopping. Forgot 2 of the important things, floss & laundry soap. I'm working at the college tomorrow (so Bev can go to Road to CA!), so I'd better get back to the xcribing again. May tomorrow be even more fun & exciting than today!

Patrica said...

Your roses are da bomb!! Really I can just see your excitement shining through in these. So proud of you for taking a chance. Can hardly wait to see where you'll go next.

Tami C said...

Your roses are really lovely. It's really great that something about this project has sparked your imagination and creativity. Glad you had a better day today. I liked the log cabin bird house! I think you need one like that. ;)

Dana Gaffney said...

I'm so glad it all started to click and you're excited about the quilt. The roses look great. Go ahead and talk out loud to your blogging friends, it adds to the artistic mystique.

gpc said...

You are learning such cool things! :)

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

You are taking such interesting classes. Looking great!

Jeanie said...

Great looking roses! We are all hanging out with you, enjoying the progress and trusting the process! Whoop Whoop!

Rosa said...

Your roses are fabulous.Love them!

knitnkwilt said...

Sounds like the perfect workshop in every way. My favorites are those where I learn a technique that I can keep using in new ways like you are doing with the roses. I can't wait to see where you take this!

Teresa in Music City said...

I just love your roses Barbara!!! But what I love more is that you are enjoying these classes and learning how to do something new and exciting - there's just nothing quite like that feeling when quilting!!! Looking forward to seeing your first Art Quilt and all the lovely things you do to make it come to life, Barbara-style! :)

kathyinozarks said...

I am so glad you had a better day. your roses are lovely Kathy

Kirsty said...

Extraordinary! I am so envious. Looks like an amazing workshop. You are doing brilliantly. Yes, loving the birdhouses too.

make.share.give said...

Yep, we were right. You are art-y. Very pretty roses!

A Nudge said...

Wow, Barbara - you're so talented.

Diane Wild said...

I'm envious of your time absorbed in new techniques, environment, routine. You'll go home feeling all jazzed up and ready to tackle anything. Sew on.

Brown Family said...

Your roses are beautiful. I would say that you have a good grasp on the process. Can't wait to see the finished produce. Have you had time to walk around in the gardens?

Karen said...

This is an interesting technique and the end result looks great.

Needled Mom said...

Those are fabulous! You must love classes like that.

MooseStashQuilting said...

I completely understand not being able to sit down and draw something. I wish I had the talent. Throw in shadows and value, etc...I'm lost

Kate said...

It all looks pretty complicated, but your roses turned out great. Looking forward to seeing how it all comes out.

Celtic Thistle said...

What a fascinating technique Barbara, your roses look really lovely!

Thanks for linking up to New to Me too :)

ukcitycrafter said...

Wow and wow again! Your roses are beautiful and just as you were excited about them you've passed that excitement on to me - I will definitely want to give this technique a go. Thank you.

ukcitycrafter(at)live(dot)co(dot)uk