Wednesday, March 13, 2013

QuiltCon Wrap-Up Part 3: The Workshops

I took two workshops at QuiltCon.  The first was a half day class with Lotta Jansdotter, textile printing. I love Lotta's fabrics and I just wanted to spend a little time with her and learn a little about the way she works.  The class was really fun.  She had us try two different methods of printing, stenciling and block printing.

The little half moons in the photo below are my stenciled design and the triangles are block printed.  Because this was just a half day class and we did two techniques, we really just got a quick overview of each.  But it was great to learn from Lotta and to see that, no big surprise, she's got a really loose and free-spirited attitude when it comes to printing and design.  We kept hearing "Figure out what works for you!"  I know there are people who don't respond well to such loose structure but it's definitely a big part of the way I work and I enjoyed it.

The second class I took was a full day, block printing with Lizzie House.  I know it seems weird that of all the workshops I had to choose from I picked two on the same subject but in my defense, I didn't know that Lotta's class would entail block printing when I signed up.  Once I realized what we would be doing I was a little nervous that Lizzie's class the next day would be a little redundant.  Thankfully I had nothing to worry about.  
Lizzie's class was completely different from Lotta's.  She has a very strong background in block printing and she treated the workshop like more of a class you'd take in art school.  She had us start by drawing, giving us prompts like autumn, sewing notions, etc. to inspire us and we moved onto the block carving from there.  She was very helpful and engaged with each student every step of the way and gave us tons of useful information and tips while still having fun and chatting with us.  At the end of the class she made sure to reserve plenty of time for us to display all of our work on a design wall and had us each talk about what we had done and get feedback from her.  

Below is the geometric print that I came up with.  I wanted to make something like this with a repeat and Lizzie gave me great advice on how to make it happen.  While I love the free wheeling, organic approach of Lotta's style, my left brain really appreciates the structure and focus of Lizzie's.  After all, I do have degrees in math and computer science.  The logic and structure love is still strong within me!

When I chose these workshops I was trying to pick things that I probably wouldn't do on my own, which is how I ended up in two printing classes (I also considered a class with Malka Dubrawsky!).  I do really well teaching myself things from books or the internet, or just figuring stuff out as I go so I never feel a great need to take quilting classes.  However, I did learn through taking a class with Elizabeth Hartman last fall that it can be very fun to just spend a day trying something new with a cool teacher, even if it's something I could figure out on my own.  At QuiltCon, I found myself wishing I was going to do some sewing (duh), so next time around I will keep these things in mind and really push myself when choosing workshops.  The ones I took were really wonderful and I'm so glad I took them but I had time for more and I wish I had taken advantage of it.  Of course, the amazing thing about these classes is that even though I didn't get to sew in them, I got to make some awesome fabric that I can't wait to sew with.

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