The annual Honeybee Quilters' Retreat in Jacksonville was a couple of weekends ago, and the group did their usual fine job of organizing several days of classes and fun for dozens of quilters. This year, I took a class taught by quilt artist Carol Taylor titled "Arc-I-Texture". You can see a series of quilts made using her techniques in her gallery section.
Our supply list included a selection of fancy fabrics like satins, silks, sequined, sheers, and drapery fabrics. We were to adhere them to fusible web ahead of time. In class we then created a background using squares and rectangles of the fabrics cut from the fabrics by fusing them to a muslin base. There are no seams, so we next learned to couch yarn. This method allowed us to cover the areas where the shapes butt up against each other. If you look closely, you can see the red yarn I used to accomplish this. Carol sold an assortment of yarns suitable for the project in class since it requires yarn with a fair amount of texture... but not too thin, not too thick, not to furry. The piece changes quite dramatically with the next step.
Once the background was couched, we got to the fun part... sewing the circles on the surface. Carol is an excellent instructor and we got the hang of doing this quite quickly. The circles are also completed by couching.
The class was very enjoyable, and this is my "practice" piece. That's beacause at the half-way point while driving to Jacksonville, a thought popped into my mind- did I, or did I not, bring my fused fabrics?? In all my preparation of things to bring with me, I did not pick up the tote that had them. Next question- well then, did I pack the red backup fabrics which were not yet fused? They were not my usual color pallette, but fabrics I had on hand. Happily, the answer was yes. So I spent some time the afternoon before class fusing the fabrics you see in this project. I have another potential project waiting in the wings, all fabrics fused and ready.
Lily, who considers my sewing room to be her personal playground, was enchanted by yarn couching. Carol uses a rigged-up drinking straw attached to the sewing machine to feed the yarn smoothly. All that yarn moving was pure delight for Lily, who interfered often, causing several stops and starts for me while finishing up the project.
These photos show two classmates' projects. One, just the background, the other, background with couching.
Love the faux-fur piece in the one on the right, and the plaid at left.
Below is one of Carol's class samples. By the way, these are not large projects. Each of ours measures about 15"-17" square. So I need to think about how to use it. Pillow? Tote? Wallhanging?
Video of Visual Improvisation
3 hours ago