Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Workshop report -- fine lines

I mentioned yesterday that I taught two workshops last weekend for the Contemporary Quilt and Fiber Artists.  I was so proud of my students, and would like to share some of their good work with you.

The first workshop was on piecing fine lines.  This technique is close to my own heart; that's almost exclusively what I have been making for the last four years.  While the technique is a little tricky at first, I'm happy to share the tips I had to learn the hard way on how to sew neat, skinny lines.  But what to do with the technique once you learn it?

My own work has sorted itself into two categories, to which I have given the fancy labels of large-to-small and small-to-large.  We did exercises in both approaches at the workshop.

In large-to-small, you start with a large piece of fabric.  You slice across the fabric, piece in a skinny line, and sew it back together.  Eventually, as you put more and more lines in, you end up with a lot of smaller and smaller fabric bits, held together by the fine lines.  Although most of my own work in this category has dozens of lines, I am always intrigued at how quickly you can achieve a sophisticated composition with only a few -- which makes this process nice for workshops, since people can see progress before lunchtime.

some large-to-small exercises from the workshop

In small-to-large, by contrast, you start with a lot of small pieces of fabric, and gradually sew them together, each piece separated from its neighbor by a neat skinny-line fence.  Eventually, as you add more and more small pieces, you end up with larger and larger expanses of real estate.

some small-to-large exercises

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