Friday, July 20, 2007

My Day With Gwen!


I have to tell you about my wonderful, fantastic, over the top, most excellent day. I traveled to Marion, Indiana yesterday to take my 2 classes with Gwen Marston. She is a truly lovely lady, very funny and well spoken. I enjoyed my day immensely. My first class was a little flower pot quilt. This was a 3 hour class and by the end of that class we had listened to Gwen talk about little flower quilts. We had learned her methods of cutting her shapes directly from the fabric and had cut our own shapes from our chosen fabrics, we learned her methods for bias stems and made our own bias stems sharing one sewing machine between us and had designed our own quilt and had it laid out and it was ready to appliqué before we left. I couldn’t believe all that we accomplished in such a short time. Here is a picture of my bright little flower pot quilt.
The second class was on Liberated stars. They were a little more difficult then what I thought. Here is a picture of my samples. I need to work on the points areas. I think I am now ready to actually make some for a quilt top. They are a lot of fun.
I talked to her a bit about her Liberated Quilt book and she told me that AQS will not reprint it. She offered to do a Liberated Quilt book II and they were not interested in that either. So she said that her Collaborative Quilt book with Freddy Moran is her answer to a follow up to Liberated Quilting. She also said that she has seen and has a copy of Tonya’s “wonderful liberated letters”.
It was a very rewarding day. I have always worked in a primitive style with my appliqué and she promotes working that way. She said it distresses her to see all the pain people put into their appliqué quilts these days. They have made it so that perfection is what is most important and that when you look at the antique quilts the things you love most about them is the little imperfections that you find. Can you tell I am still on my “Gwenny high.” Too bad I have so much to do to get ready for this trip coming up that I won’t be able to sit at my machine for at least 3 weeks. In the meantime I have been doodling on my post it notes fast and furiously.

17 comments:

The Calico Cat said...

Lucky you, sounds like you had a wonderful time. I woul dhave loved to have been in the liberated stars class, I just cannot wrap my head around the concept... (Jan Mullen's peicing is similar & I can't wrap my head around that either.)

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

I am so envious. How much fun. I love your pieces. What do you mean, work on the points of your liberated stars? The whole idea is to lose the tips and NOT worry about it. They are free!

Darn that AQS! How can they not be interested in doing a follow-up, let alone a reprint. That makes me crazy. Best book ever but they'd rather do all that perfection thing. argh.

I actually wrote a gooey fan letter to Gwen last year (right before I moved and changed addresses multiple times)and sent her some of my letter blocks for her to play with.

Fiona said...

Your bright flower quilt is gorgeous. Sounds like you had a great time.

Dawn said...

Oh my gosh Laura! They are all wonderful! I would love to do her applique class, that one I havne't done yet. I love those little flower quilts you showed! and darn you got to make those fun stars! I've been drooling over those for years. I've tried to do them from her book, but I sure would love to hear from you how she does them in class. I always like how hers come out better than mine! You and I may have to play at camp with them!

Libby said...

Oh what a wonderful day you must have had. Just listening to Gwen and seeing her quilts is enough to send a girl over the moon.

Andrea said...

I am so jealous ! You made some great stuff and had a wonderful day ! I really want to do some applique and I would love to take some classes ! Wonder if Gwen would come to Wales for some workshops - lol !

Lily said...

Laura it sounds like Gwen lived up to expectations! Wonderful fun and look at some of those flower pots - gorgeous! So glad you had a great time...and now your next trip coming up too!

Bren said...

What a wonderful display of techniques you have. they are all beautiful! Don't you just love days like that?!

KCQuilter said...

You lucky, lucky duck!!! She was actually in the KC area a coupla weeks ago at a quilt shop--and wouldn't you know, I couldn't go that day. You could probably hear me whining all the way in Indiana. She is a jewel to the quilting world. I have lots of her books and find them so inspirational. I love what you've done so far!!!

Sharon said...

She certainly is the one to inspire, that's for sure! I love all your blocks, and your stars are lovely liberated - don't redo them! I am looking forward to the second week in Sept when I get to spend the week in Elk Rapids MI with her (formerly known as Beaver Island retreat).

Susan said...

This sounds like *so* much fun. That's the second story I've heard about AQS and reprints. If I were going to publish, they wouldn't be my publisher of choice. I love your flower quilt, especially the pot! I think one of the reasons I was so drawn to folk art was the freedom it gave in design.

YankeeQuilter said...

Don't yo love it when you meet someone who is as nice as you expected! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. The photos are great.

Lucy said...

Ohh Laura!!! You lucky girl!!! I believe you had a great time with Gwen. I can see it in your post. And I reslly really hope that I am able to meet her once too !

Judy said...

Sounds like a blast! I agree it's hard to loosen up and not make those points go from top to bottom. it took me a bit too not to go all the way down and lose the point. It's like re-training your brain for a bit *G* Just slap on the piece and sew...no worries where it ends up!

I can't wait for next years retreat, that I hope to attend with her.

Maureen said...

I was in Marion Indiana Quilter's Hall of Fame Celebration too! How lucky you were to be able to take both classes with Gwen! I wish I could have too. I do recommend to anyone what hasn't gone, do attend the QUilter's Hall of Fame Celebration next year, it's worth it!

jovaliquilts said...

Wow, these are wonderful. I don't have Marston's original book (can't find a used copy that isn't outrageously expensive), but I drool over the quilts in her new collaborative book. Sounds like a great class.
Cheri

Ming said...

Hi Laura, I came here from Kathie's link. I like this post, it is very inspirational! I have been such a perfectionist when it comes to quilting. Sometimes I actually think I quilt for pain. :-) I can get Gwen's book from the library. I shall have a good read. Cheers!