Class Projects in 2018

My guild has had some terrific workshops in the last few years. In 2018, I participated in three of them and added to my tool kit of skills. I share a bit about them below, in the order I took them.

Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams
Kim Lapacek brings a joy and enthusiasm to her work, and her workshop, that I’ve rarely experienced.

Kim led a workshop in the style of her Project Quilting challenges. Nine guild members spent the day inspired by her take-no-prisoners style of quilt-making. She goes ALL OUT, with techniques, embellishments, color, and pattern. As our challenge, she provided fat-quarters of base fabric as well as two more fabric pieces to each of us. We were to create and FINISH a quilt top in the six-hour time slot, using those two printed fabrics and NO straight-edge ruler. In addition, we were given a limit on how much fabric we could bring — only the amount that fits in a brown paper lunch sack. Also the fabric pieces we brought were supposed to be scraps, less than a fat quarter. While that lays a lot of constraints down, the subject or direction of our individual projects was completely up to each of us.

Influenced partly by her own “amazing technicolor dream heart quilt” and partly by a project I’d been wanting to make, I decided to use a rainbow color scheme to recognize LGBTQ rights as basic human and civil rights. It might be a poor shorthand, but it is eye-catching.

The verbal message is plain in black letters.

This project is like nothing I ever did before. It hangs behind my ironing station, and every time I stand there, it buoys me a bit.

Cathy Geier
Cathy Geier is an art quilter focused on landscapes. Her style would probably be called “collage appliqué,” though she incorporates piecing, especially into the backgrounds. She’s also quite fond of amending her fabrics with paint and markers, allowing some subtleties not available from the fabric alone.

In our workshop with her, we learned some basics of creating a landscape quilt of a forest scene. With commercially-available fabric, we cut tree trunks and glued them to a base background fabric. Diluted white craft paint helped turn the birch trees a paler grey, and silver Sharpie markers applied to one side of the trunks gave a sense of dimension. Flowers and shrubs came next, and then leaves. Leaves were mostly adhered using a fusible web rather than glue, but either would do.

At home I added a border and did the quilting. This was my first “collage” quilt and I’m very happy with the result, and with what I learned. The part that makes me less happy (and I know this wouldn’t bother many people) is that it doesn’t feel like my quilt. I can’t display it because I didn’t design it, and likewise it’s hard to give as a gift. Maybe that’s just weird of me to feel this way… But maybe because of that, I like the back that shows the quilting as much as the front.

The gallery below shows a squared-off photo. Click either image to see bigger and with right proportions.

Toby Lischko
Toby Lischko specializes in using mirrors to create fabric design symmetry, and in curved piecing, especially in New York Beauty blocks. My guild was treated to the first topic for an evening presentation, and to the second topic in Toby’s workshop.

Using her method and rulers, curved piecing was a snap. I honestly was surprised at how easily and well my blocks turned out. In class I made two quarter-circles; at home I made the other two and set them in a background of orange Grunge.

I added corners in purple and designed the Lone Star-style star point. I need to take the star point apart and rebuild it so my seam allowances and sizing are better. This is a low-priority project so will carry into next year.

I am very fortunate to have opportunities like this. My guild has some great things planned for the coming few months, too, and I look forward to them, too.

13 thoughts on “Class Projects in 2018

  1. tierneycreates

    The Resist art quilt is fantastic – go Melanie! I love your landscape collage quilt too! You do have some fabulous guild workshops – and impressive the instructors you have available to you!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      We’ve had some really good presenters and teachers over the past few years. I’m not president anymore (YAY!) but I am on the program committee, so do help choose the lineup. I’m certainly not interested in all the workshops but these 3 were especially good for me. Thanks.

  2. snarkyquilter

    I understand your feelings about the landscape quilt. Use of the instructor’s design makes a technique-driven workshop much more efficient, but you can’t really personalize it. The upside of workshops is that shot of a new perspective. The downside is the creation of yet more unfinished work. That’s OK as long as you feel you’ve learned something to apply to future work. I’m at the point where I like multi-day workshops where I can really get involved in the design process.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes, you got it. I do think I can still learn a lot in some single-day classes, but I think multi-day ones would probably push me a lot farther, a lot faster. Around here there aren’t really opportunities to do that in person. I could drive up to Madeline Island for something pretty cool, but that requires buy-in from Jim…

  3. katechiconi

    I love that NYB centre and your plans for Lone Star points. Great colours, too! Although I probably wouldn’t have taken any of those classes, I do envy you the opportunity.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I am really fortunate to have them available. There’ve been a lot of classes over the last few years I had no interest in, and that’s probably true of more than not. But this year had kind of jackpot for my interests. The next couple of years will be good, too, not as much in quantity as quality. 🙂


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