Monday, June 25, 2007


After getting home from Tahoe late on Saturday and doing some quick unpacking, I turned my attention to preparing for my monthly Practical Design workshop on Sunday. I really look forward to this class each month, as I get such inspiration from my classmates and I always come away with a lot to think about in terms of my work.

This time, we talked about abstraction. I understand the idea, but I have a surprisingly difficult time achieving something that is truly abstract. Even when I start fiddling with random shapes and colors, my brain immediately wants to turn it into something. I guess it's that rational right brain trying to overcome the creative, visual left brain! Our discussion of abstraction reminded me that work doesn't have to be totally divorced from any specific idea to be "abstract". Even the most traditional quilt blocks are abstractions of images... think log cabin, flying geese, etc.

Anyway, after we talked about these concepts, we played with small collages. Here's what I achieved that afternoon.

Marilyn (our workshop teacher) suggested that we start with SOME basic concept... a shape, an image, a color, an idea...and go from there. I decided to play with line. I started composing this horizontally, but when I started to channel Liz Berg (whose work I adore) I turned it vertical to get my head away from her wonderful fences. I'm not sure where it will go. But I like what's there so far. Our challenge for the month is to do something with what we started in class.

I also just got some photos from my friend Carol T. who was in the Color Mixing for Dyers workshop. She shared what she washed out after class, and her results are FABULOUS!

Look at these -- don't these just make you gasp with delight?

Carol Soderlund had demonstrated a "rose window" type fold and demonstrated dye application to achieve a stained glass look, and Carol really managed to get stunning results.

I've got to give this a try!


  1. Anonymous11:30 PM

    Thanks for sharing the fabrics -- there are soooooooo many possibilities with the rose window ones. Just gorgeous. It looks like you are getting a lot out of your class too. Fun.

  2. Ooh love the stained window effect. Are you allowed to share how you did it? I am working on a medieval theme at the moment and that would be just perfect!

  3. To be honest, I feel a bit uncomfortable trying to explain Carol's lesson on how to achieve the rose window effect. It's something Carol has worked out and it's part of her teaching, and I don't really feel that it's mine to publish on the Internet! Carol did say that she wrote an article for Quilter's World magazine (the April 2006 issue) called Tie Dye Symmetry... So maybe you can find that?

  4. Ooh I like the kaleidescope one! (Stained glass, whatever!)

    And those photos of Lake Tahoe look like postcards - picture perfect. Lovely...

  5. The dye in those fabrics is breath taking. The blue/green one and the red/orange are particularly stunning.