Saturday, April 19, 2014

In Love with Liberated Medallions!

I had a fantastic week! Gwen Marston came to Kalamazoo to the Log Cabin Quilt Guild for two full-day workshops and a lecture. Guess what? I took both workshops. Two full days of sewing--no work, no kids...just fabric play and hanging with quilting friends and learning from the talented, funny, and inspiring Gwen Marston. Lots of fun! 

Want to see what I made? 

The first workshop was Liberated Medallions. We were asked to bring in a center medallion of some type to build around. Because I don't have enough fabric in my stash (ha!) I went shopping the previous Friday and bought the fabrics below:

I struggled with what to for my medallion--I considered just fussy cutting a piece of fabric, but ultimately decided to piece something instead. The timing worked out perfectly, as I'd been watching the Spring Challenge over on 15 Minutes Play and realized I could combine ideas, participating in the Spring Challenge and making it the center of my liberated medallion.

Here's what the Spring Challenge started with, plus the assignment to use made fabric and "think spring."

With a tight timeframe (I began piecing the night before the workshop!), I played around a bit in Illustrator first to figure out what I wanted to do. While I like the star concept, the third design spoke to me so quickly that I didn't even bother to spend time coloring it in.

I dug through my scraps to find fabrics in the colors that matched what I'd bought and started piecing. Because of those extra lines I added, I paper pieced the blocks instead. And skipped the center line in the biggest (teal) triangle. Here are my four made fabric Spring Challenge blocks:
They say spring, don't they?!?!

I quickly got caught up in creating at the workshop itself, and I don't have many in-progress photos. (oops! Truly the sign of having a good time!)

Here's the center medallion with the sashing and first border added:

First pieced border added:

My liberated medallion after the workshop (not complete, but just as far as I got that day):

And a close-up of the borders I added:

I LOVED this workshop--I felt in the groove from the start and enjoyed making pretty steady progress. The "liberated" technique meant very little measuring, a very relaxed attitude, and lots of wonky piecing. I can't wait to see where this piece goes from here! 

And if you ever have a chance to hear Gwen speak or take a workshop from her, jump on the chance! She's delightful and witty, and I loved being able to jump right in and start sewing while she walked around and offered advice, chatted, and shared her enthusiasm.