Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Blast from the Past

I've been treating myself to a little quilt show this week in my "stewdio". I've been working way too hard on some math problems with a quilt top I am trying to finish, so I thought I would get out some quilts I haven't seen in a while. I have my big design wall directly across from where I sew, and I've added another quilt to the little purple wonder from yesterday's post. This quilt is called My Green Rag. LOL! The official name on the label, however, says it is Asilomar Sunset.

I took a class in 2001 at Asilomar with Lynn Kough called:
"Stretching Tradition: Take a step toward creating original quilt design grounded in traditional block patterns. Learn about splices, split outs, and sizings. Revitalize your quiltmaking! "

I wanted to try using a collection of fabrics from a LQS challenge (and their new store opening), so most of the fabrics were green. What was I thinking? Green, or rather a LOT of green is not my favorite colors to work with! LOL!

Anyway, this was the second class I had ever taken at Asilomar, and it is where I met my bestest Asilomar friend, Wendy. We were tablemates, and we each had a picture of our pooches on our little design walls. A nice conversation starter, but before long, we were both crying, and the other two tablemates were tearful too. My Otto dog of 17 years, had recently died, and when telling the story, we all just started crying our eyes out. And that's how Wendy and I became Asilomar friends! Well, that, and a less than successful class. Not that the teacher was so bad, but that rather our expectations were far different than what the class had in store.

I started with a favorite block of mine, Blackford's Beauty, and made it in several sizes, and split the colors out here and there. The overall size is 32" X 49", and it is big stitch quilted freely with no hoop in numerous colors of perle cotton (also called utility quilting by Tonya and Finn). A local quilting author adds another step to this type of quilting which she calls Quilt and Embellish in one step. I didn't know Linda then, just knew the big stitch quilting from a demo I had seen her do. When I took it back to Asilomar for show and tell, no one had ever heard of this type of quilting stitch with perle cotton.

The largest star is supposed to be the brilliant sunset, and the rest of the green and blue is the ocean.

There are crystal beads hanging here and there on the lower half to symbolize the shine of the ocean waves at sunset, but I don't think they show up, even if you click on the picture for a larger format. This was really difficult for me to do. It was really the first time that I ever started with a blank slate, and an idea. Maybe that's why we felt the class was less than what we wanted - I know I was very accustomed to working from a pattern and some type of process. Overall, it isn't a bad effort, but not exactly one of my favorite pieces of work.

It does make me smile, remembering how my friendship with Wendy began 6 years ago!! Watch out for the water, Wendy!!


The Calico Cat said...

I like that quilt....

Laurie Ann said...

Thanks for the story and for the quilt pic. The quilt is lovely, but it sounds as though the best thing you got from class was your great friendship with Wendy.

Judy said...

I think it's a great quilt. I really like that type of quilting too. I'll have to try that sometime.

Darcie said...

Isn't it fun how some friendships begin?! What a great story...and even though the quilt and all of its green is not your'll always associate it with your lasting kinship with Wendy.

ForestJane said...

The blackford's beauty block is nice, I've seen quilts made from only that block and really liked them... and your interpretation of it as a sunset and ocean is great!

Green is my favorite color, so this one speaks to me anyway. :)

Did you make the main sunset block like a ... 16 inch square? Then the reflection orange block maybe 12, and some 8 or 6 inch versions too?

Wendy said...

Girlfriend...true confession...I've never finished an Asilomar class project, but feel the friendships forged there are the true value of the week at the refuge. Keep stitching, your work is always the best. I think the waves did get us after that photo, right?

Judy said...

I found that book today at my LQS and bought it! It really is neat to sew all the designs around the quilt like that, and the beading is really beautiful too. Of course I don't own any beads... and that may get me into trouble. I see money going out of my pocket!

Glad your friendship came out of that fun retreat together!

Dawn said...

Not a bad quilt. I think what is most important is where you were then and where you are now! Even a flop of a class usually has some positive - which you found out. But WOW - look at that water and waves! Oh what I wouldn't do to be there - it is GORGEOUS!

Finn said...

Working with a new concept and way outside the box...I think you did a great job of it. I do like that block you chose alot, looks like lots of possbilities. The real treasure is the friendship, hard to beat that!!

P.S. Congrats on doing soooo well with your "self" project !!