The modern quilt movement has been on the scene now for at least
five eight years, and it’s going strong. The annual conference/show, QuiltCon, has been a smashing success, and members are alerted that if they want to register, they need to have their hands poised over the keyboard the moment registration opens. Yes, it’s like getting concert tickets.
I was obsessed enough to do just that last June and ended up registered for three classes at QuiltCon to be held in February in Savannah. I was a bit relieved that one class was eventually cancelled, because it gave me a full day to explore the exhibits and vendors.
Jennifer and I rented a house in Savannah on the edge of the historic district. Crape Myrtle was perfect for us; two bedrooms, two and a half baths, kitchen, porch, high ceilings, on a quiet side street.
We started off Thursday morning with an architectural walking tour, which I can highly recommend. The tour guide, a young architect, seemed to know everything possible about the history of Savannah as well as the provenance of the buildings we saw. I realized afterwards that “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” which I was reading on this trip, never did come up, but some of the history he told us helped me to set the scene. Note to self: find out more about James Oglethorpe, colonizer of Georgia and an Enlightenment philanthropist who founded Savannah as a utopian community.
Then it was off to the show, which we got to by walking down to the riverfront and taking a ferry across the Savannah River, a trip of about five minutes.
You get a nice view of the riverfront from the ferry.
My first class was “Sew All the Curves” with Jen Carlton Bailly, aka BettyCrockerAss. She is known for her curvaceous quilts, one of which I spotted in the exhibits. This is her “You and Me” quilt, created with what she calls “chubby squircles.” This was entered in the Piecing category. Here’s a closeup that lets you see how she constructed it with a combination of curved and square blocks. And yes, we learned how to do this! I bought her templates for the larger circles and made an imperfect set, but I think I can do better. The key is glue, people. She was a very engaging instructor and I enjoyed her class and her quilts. Here’s a slideshow of a few she shared with us in class.
The next day was a class with Alison Glass, a designer whose fabrics I love. You can see from her shop that she loves saturated colors. You can also see from this photo, taken from her site, that she has a strong sense of design. Just yum. Her class was about translating a photograph into a quilt, and I wish I had taken pictures of her examples. Starting with a fairly simple photo of her daughter standing against a plain gray wall, she made three different versions in fabric, the first fairly realistic and the succeeding ones increasingly abstract. She encouraged us to divide our photos into blocks or strips and work on one at a time. She came around to critique and offered insightful suggestions. I was so absorbed in the class that I didn’t even visit the mini-shop she set up in the back and wish I had picked up some of her gorgeous fabrics on the spot.
So here is my original photo, taken in the M’dina in Gozo last fall.
She encouraged me to straighten the bottom edge to give a the viewer a better way to see the curving street. She also emphasized working in vertical strips so that I could piece in the windows. Boy, did I struggle with this, but it was totally engaging. The result so far is below, but I have since decided that I want to play with constructing the buildings out of pieced fabric strips to add more interest. As it stands, I find the batik too massive. The hardest part was getting the street to angle correctly, but I think I’ve got it.
In process, not finished! More to come.