Wednesday, January 31, 2018

“Looking Up” (with Sally Manke)!!

Don’t you love it when inspiration strikes?  I was preparing for Sally’s snippet workshop and, quite frankly, I wasn’t all that excited about it.   I wanted to learn the technique and thought that the sample quilt was great but I didn’t want to just make a quilt like all of the others in the class… retrospect, I shouldn’t have worried about that as there were LOTS of people with equal and better inspirations!!

Anyway, the idea of the quilt is that you are looking upward thru the branches and leaves of gorgeous trees.  I hit the internet looking for inspiration photos and came upon an Aspen forest….ES6-Blue-Sky-and-Aspen

and knew that I had found my niche.

I had so much fun pulling fabrics and came away with these as the color basis…..IMG_4924

When I was thinking about snippets, I was imagining small bits of fabric, probably  a 1/4 inch in size….boy was I wrong!!  Sally encouraged us to keep on cutting until the pieces were super tiny….almost dust like in some cases.  

She was a master of snippet cutting as evidenced by this VIDEO…..

After this demonstration of her cutting dexterity, we all returned to our stations and started madly cutting fabrics.   I found it a bit disconcerting to have my hands in the way when the first cuts were being made (probably because I already bear the scars from errant rotary cutter blades) so I developed the technique of using a plastic “credit card” to hold the fabrics in place while I made the first cuts…..


The plastic cards were actually part of the supply list and were invaluable for scraping the bits into piles so that more slicing could be done…..


After we all had many piles of confetti fabrics, we started placing them on our backing and batting, trying to emulate the photo that we had chosen.  At this point, my creative process started breaking down!!…..


As I added more and more confetti, it just became more and more muddled and didn’t seem to improve when I started adding the trunks and branches….IMG_4990

Sally showed us a few things that I really liked, including adding small snips of threads to define the smaller branches. 

When I had “finished” my designing, Sally placed a piece of light brown netting over the snippets and we pinned and pinned and pinned until the entire piece was held together enough to get it home.

The next step in the process is to cover the snippet areas with meander quilting to hold the layers together.  That part went well, although my clothes were covered with little bits of yellow when I finished.   Next I worked on the tree trunk and that ended up being the only part of the piece that I really like…..IMG_5018

I used a grey Tsukineko marker to add some interest to the plain grey fabric and then added more interest with the quilting.

At this point, I decided that I wasn’t really interested in finishing the project….


Since leaving it, I have thought about what I liked and didn’t like about it.   Firstly, I should have just used a solid piece of blue fabric for the sky rather than trying to achieve it with confetti.  When I look at the inspiration photo, I realize that I have WAY TOO MANY “leaves” and not enough sky behind them.   I think that this happened because I was paranoid about covering every inch of the batting.

I also can see that my tree trunks are not the right size or at the correct angle for the perspective.  I think that if I had been working on it at home, I would have spent more time and kept working it (or started over) until I got it looking the way that I want.   As it was, we had to pack up and get out of the room so I just finished it where it was.

I really do like this technique and can see using it to depict water, especially when I think about the shiny bits that I can add to it to achieve the sparkle of moving water.

I also learned something about myself……when I am in a classroom setting, I become very shy and uncertain about my work, but when I am in my studio, I am willing to tackle almost anything even though I know that it might fail.    I guess that I simply dont want to fail in front of others!!

In the final analysis, I am glad that I took the class and really enjoyed Sally Manke’s teaching style.   She was open with her comments and suggestions if you wanted them but also let people travel their own paths.   

One of my favorite quilts in the class was by Linda Z. who worked on this marvelous path……IMG_4998

I cant wait to see it finished!!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Time with Sally Manke

Nationally known quilter, Sally Manke, was the speaker at our last guild meeting and then presented a 4 hour workshop the next day.  Both were special events.

She began her “Trunk Show” by showing some of her magnificent snippet quilts……IMG_4927

The depth achieved is amazing!!   

This is a technique that I am anxious to explore and am looking forward to the workshop.

This special portrait was made with cheese cloth (2 weights) and black thread stitching…..


Who says that you need complicated supplies to make something wonderful?

Sally had been at another local guild earlier in the day and had presented a workshop about using Inktense pencils in surface design.  This was one of the examples of that technique…..


Since it is a Sunflower, you KNOW that I loved it!!

This next quilt was made by couching tons of “sari silk ribbon” to a base fabric…..IMG_4945

I had never heard of Sari Silk Ribbon before…..514y oZbptL._SY450_

….but I sure wish that I had known about it when we were in India….I feel sure that it would be cheaper than buying it here!!!.      If we get to return then I will certainly be stuffing my suitcase with it!!

When she pulled out the next quilt…..IMG_4464

….I turned to Linda and said “Didn’t we see this in Houston?”.  As Sally talked about the quilt, she soon confirmed that it was indeed hanging at Houston.   I enjoyed hearing her talking about the creative process that came with this quilt.  I remember being particularly enamored with the barn…..IMG_4467

This psychedelic truck was my favorite of the evening…..IMG_4952

I love the little touches of 3-dimension that she added with the “leaves” on the trees!!

She ended the trunk show by showing one of her “Transportation” series quilts…….IMG_4955

We have all seen photos of these cute and creative bicycles as they sped across Facebook and I am happy to say that I have not only seen them in person, but have met the woman who made them!!!

Sally was a vibrant and interesting speaker and we were all sad when she arrived at the end of her program.   If you ever get the chance to hear her be sure that you do so!!!

The next day I took a workshop with her and will post more about that in the coming days…..

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