Friendly with Fabric

Today was devoted to getting my fabrics, photographs, and supplies ready for the Ann Shaw class I'm taking next week entitled "Designing from Nature." Ann will be teaching Ruth McDowell's technique, and I'm very excited to learn from her.  Already I've given a good deal of thought to what pictures I might use. The supply list advises thus:

Distinct subjects in a photo (a flower, plant, person, animal, etc.) work best with this design technique. Landscapes are picturesque, but don't tend to lend themselves readily to this design approach.

So, I sort of took that to mean "still life" type photos, and decided on this group:

When I get to the class, I'll narrow it down to just one image. 

The water color, second from the left at the bottom, was painted by a friend from high school. She's given me her permission to make a quilt from her art work. The rest are my photos. I love those Adirondack chairs from the beach last year. Since I wasn't sure the full photo would work, I decided to crop it to one chair, just in case.

After that, I worked on choosing fabrics to take along. The supply list says this:
...In some instances we will be looking for specific features in a patterned fabric--for example, something that suggests the shape of an eye, or feathers, or fur, or a stem. Patterened fabrics with multiple colors add texture and dimension to the quilt . . . BRING LOTS!! Lots and lots of patterned fabric. (emphasis in original)
There's more, but I think you get the idea. Initially this seemed like a bit of a challenge, but when I narrowed my choices to fat quarters and large-ish scraps, then again to bright prints, it became much easier. When I went into the sewing room, I set the pictures all around, but then never looked at them.

Instead, I went through my fat quarter bins and pulled everything that fit the description.

Next, I went through my large-ish scrap bins and pulled everything there that conceivably could be used.

It was tempting to go through my yardage too, but I thought I had enough fabric at that point.

There are other supplies to bring along as well...the usual stuff you'd expect. Almost all of it is packed up now so that I'll be ready to hit the road on Thursday morning.

Of course, I still need to pack up my sewing machine and my clothes, but that won't take me long. I'll be staying the full four days in Vancouver, WA, where the class is held, and I'm planning to blog while I'm there. It helps give me a reference to look back on after the class is over.

That didn't take as long as I thought it would, and then I was ready to move on to some other things. Before I get to that, however, let me just say that the last of the Gingerbread Square block is hooped now. I think one more sitting, and this will be finished.

With that in mind, I made up the next block for the Live, Love, Teach quilt. This one will probably take about one sitting to finish as well. I'll be satin stitching the musical notes. The rest will all be done in back stitch.

I'll get started on that tomorrow or Monday. After that, I finished the quilting for the Sweet Tweets table runner. I had one more section of the pansies and watering cans.

Really, I had more help than I could use.

When I was able to slide the quilt around again, I finished up the bird sections. Again, the fabric told me what to do. I outlined around the major elements and then stippled in between.

And now, it just needs binding. I'm going to give it a hot pink and white polka dot binding. That's next on my list of things to do.

As you can probably tell, it's been a pretty full Saturday. I wanted to tell you about these patterns I found. After I'd made my purchases at the quilt shop last weekend, I noticed these little mini quilt patterns while I was walking out the door. I took a picture of the pattern cover, and then looked up Suzanne's Art House online. What a cute little online shop she has with lots and lots of creative patterns. I've always wanted to make one of these really teeny tiny little quilts, and so I chose four pattern sets made up of traditional quilt blocks. Yes, I probably could have done the math myself, but some things are worth paying for. Each envelope contains patterns for three mini quilts...each one 6 x 9 inches.

Here's her business card. No doubt, she designed it herself.

And lookie there...she's from Escondido, which is right next door to Vista, where I went to high school and met my hubby. And this woman loves to draw. Look at how she decorated the envelope she sent the patterns in:

Also included was this little note card. Very cute.

So, that was a fun little package to find in the mailbox. 

Other than that, it's business as usual here at the Three Cats Ranch. There was the usual morning stand-off trying to determine who would be the Top Cat today. 

Maggie, you bore me with your incessant staring. Besides, I have serious cat business to take care of here.

Next up, I'm going to sew the binding onto the Sweet Tweets and try to get that little quilt finished up.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

quiltzyx said...

Great fabrics & photos you've picked out for your class! I think you have inspired me to get to work on my little quilt for the ALQS10 swap. :)
Those patterns & her artwork are wonderful!
It's amazing how much better Maggie is looking now, compared to when she first came home. So sleek and much calmer. Fun to see her interactions with Smitty.

Dana Gaffney said...

This class is going to be fun, I can't wait to see which picture you pick. The pink binding on the birds is going to give just the right "pop", I like polka dots and stripes for binding too. Those mini patterns just make me laugh, if I had them I'd ship them right to Sharon, LOL.

Quilting Babcia said...

This is going to be interesting, especially choosing the photo to reproduce in fabric. I'm betting on lemons and limes. But then that Adirondack chair looks mighty inviting too. Have fun!

Kate said...

You've got some great photos to work from in your class. Looking forward to seeing which one you choose and how it works up.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Photos, fabric, and four days - fun.

gpc said...

You have changed and grown so much over the years, it's really inspirational to me. I am thinking about how daring and adventurous you've become in the years I've "known" you -- really amazing and very impressive. I can't wait to see what you create! :)

Beth said...

I love it when you take an interesting class--when you learn, we all learn!

Lyndsey said...

I'm looking forward to seeing which photo you choose and how it turns out. I love the fabric choices for your class and I wish I had your storage bins. Maybe later this year when we sort out the sewing room cum office.

Brown Family said...

I have those patterns by Suzanne. You know I have jumped right on them! It is so nice to be ready ahead of schedule for a class!