Saturday, July 16, 2005

New York Beautiful Days



Today, I spent a wonderful day in the first of a two-day workshop taught by Karen K. Stone. I'm taking the class at a wonderful fabric store in Walnut Creek, California called Thimble Creek. So far, of all of the stores in which I've taken classes, this is my favorite. The classroom is well-lit, spacious, and has plenty of outlets and and design wall space. The store staff is friendly and will run a tab for you in case (ahem) you need to add to your supplies during class.

I've always wanted to make a New York Beauty quilt, and I've long been dazzled by the gorgeous color and design of the ones made by Karen Stone. So, I was thrilled when this class came up on Thimble Creek's class list...It's to make the quilt shown above, on the cover of Karen's book, called "Cinco de Mayo." I figure that if I'm going to do a New York Beauty Quilt, I might as well start with the most complex one I could find, right?!

The day has been very instructive. Karen spent the morning spreading her quilts out on the floor, and walking us through her design and color process. (By the way, I took pictures but forgot to bring the cable that connects the camera to the computer so I can't upload them from here. Sorry 'bout that!) That sounds pretty boring, but it was really interesting, especially as she talked a lot about how her color and fabric choices evolved. Then, she demonstrated with one woman's stash of fabric, and showed how various selections could lead to really different quilts. This sounds simplistic to explain it here, but it was fascinating to explore how adding one new fabric to a palette of 30 changed things a lot. The goal was to work on coming up with an exciting and unusual palette for a quilt that really "sang" when sitting in fabric hunks on the table...The theory being, of course, that if the fabrics look dynamic together when you're in the fabric-choosing stage, you can't go wrong when you sew them into blocks.

Then, we learned some tips about Karen's paper piecing method. Not much new to me there, although she did demonstrate how she put an edging on a shape that you couldn't ordinarily do by paper piecing. And late this afternoon, we actually started sewing.

I'm having a grand time, so far. The color exploration was really fun, although I'd brought a selection of mostly batiks in jewel tones and I'm working on making the palette less-than-predictable. The blocks are complex, but that is what will make this a satisfying project in the long run.

So, now I have a lovely evening all to myself at the local Holiday Inn. I had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen -- a delicious waldorf salad with chicken -- and after some blog cruising, I'm actually going to do a bit of work before I go to bed. But think of me tomorrow...I'll be happily paper piecing!

2 comments:

mary m. said...

Hi Diane,

Sounds like a great time. Karen came to our guild a couple of years ago, and I was pleasantly surprised at how she didn't seem like the person her name evoked in my mind. (Stone seeming hard and cold, plus all those sharp points on her quilts).

Instead she was a warm and gentle Texan...what also surprised me were the number of plaids and small, homey prints she used in those New York Beauties.

Gerrie said...

Paper piecing? Better you than me!! (Grin)