Friday, February 26, 2021

QuiltCon 2021 - Together, Virtual - and What I'm Learning


QuiltCon Together, 2021, wasn't awful and it wasn't fabulous.  While the social component was missing, the content was awfully good.  And it's an absolute luxury to listen to a lecture/workshop at your own time and own pace while doing something purposeful with your hands!

It was a lot of screen time, and most of it was so well done.  This picture oh Heidi Parkes hows how most of the presentations were done - little dot on the screen with the presenter and big screen for demos and handouts.  

For QuiltCon 2020, which I had to miss (broken wrist), I signed up for the Bojagi workshop.  Sarah Evans went in my stead.  And she showed me what she learned.  But...  So I signed up again for Daisy Aschehaug's Bojagi-style workshop.  Simply, Bojagi is a Korean method of joining 2 fabrics with the seam totally encased.  (note:  this is also referred to a flat felled seam - think seams on blue jeans). Daisy uses this method to make linen napkins and disht towels and for on-the-go sewing.  Above is my sample using some leftover shot cottons.  The lower left shows my attempt at following this method. It relies on whip stitching and some serious folding and clipping.  As I made my way though this first piece, I realized something I already knew:  I do not like whip stitching.  I like running stitches.  So I tried a few pieces using running stitches.  Daisy's stitches are almost invisible.  But I like being able to see big stitches.  And in the interest of getting a sample piece to a point where I could put it away, I tried using the machine.  Again, highly visible stitches.  Daisy also taught us how to do a curved piece.  I think  will use whatever leftover bits I have to continue making this sample piece.  So, here's my takeaway.  Bojagi isn't necessarily for me.  I may use this method if I decide to do a light-weight single layered quilt using peppered shot cottons or OakShot cottons, something with a bit of heft.  I'm glad to have this technique in my repertoire.

As I started listening to my other workshop - Improv Instructional Quilt:  Exploring Art Concepts by Heidi Parkes, I quickly realized this wasn't the quilt I wanted to start or even work on.  But I was happy to listen while working on the above.  Heidi mentioned representation in connection to fabric.  And the lightbulb went on:  I've been saving a bag of bits of fabric that I have loved and I have been wanting to use them in a pattern by Yoshiko Jinzenji, Abstract Pathways.  So while listening to Heidi talk about line and texture and unity and balance, I worked my way through the above.  Unity?  Yes, I have had this project in mind since my first QuiltCon!  There's a lot of negative space which will be perfect for hand-quilting, something I learned in my first QuiltCon workshop with Maura Ambrose, @FolkFibers.  

Here's the big thing I am learning:  modern quilting offers such a variety of techniques and aesthetics.  As I slowly find my own way, I know I don't have to do it all.  I don't have to struggle with things I don't find pleasant, like whip-stitching.  I need to keep looking for new things and then adapt them for my hands and my eyes.  This is a nice stage at which to be!

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