Tuesday, April 21, 2015

a workshop with Denyse

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to take Denyse Schmidt's Pure Improv workshop. I've been a fan of Denyse's work and fabric for a long time, so when I found out she was teaching in Wisconsin, I knew I HAD to go! A few of my friends from guild went as well, which made it even more fun. I'm still trying to recover and process it all....but it was really fabulous!
That is Denyse sewing one of my quilt blocks...on my Juki!!!! It was a little surreal.
The materials list called for just two fabrics, in a similar hue. JUST TWO??? I'd rather pick 122! I was quite certain that by the end of the weekend I would hate the two fabrics I had chosen, even though I love orange. Thankfully, the opposite was true. When we finally had the option to add in other fabrics, I chose not to. I was surprised by that. In the end, limiting the color palette was a good exercise in restraint.
We started by making the traditional shoeman's puzzle block, with templates. Templates? Yikes! Not my favorite. The theory behind that was to start out from square one, learning the rules. Then, one step at a time, we pushed those limits, or rules, and played with expanding the boundaries of the block. It was a very good exercise overall and interesting to see the progression.
We also played around with layout, exploring the many possibilities that one block holds. In a workshop setting, it's especially valuable to see not only what you discover, but what the other students discover.
I kept playing around, and eventually added some smaller blocks into the mix. That made it feel a lot more like me...and I could use up some of my scraps. Bonus!
I kept going...and going. I may have gotten a little ribbing from the other students for being speedy. :) It just looks bad because I was about to engulf Lisa's quilt. I can't wait to see how my quilt comes together!

Goodness. There is so much more that I could say about the weekend, but I think I'll leave it at that!

Because it's fun to hear from you, I'll leave you with a question. If you had the choice to take a workshop from anyone, who would it be? I'd love to hear about it!

55 comments:

Carol E. said...

Gwen Marston, Denyse Schmidt, Amanda Jean Nyberg

Julie L said...

I would love to take a class from you of course. I am a fairly new quilter who has a lot to learn. I love your style and color choices.

Anita said...

I love your blocks. That sounds like a fun class. I'd pick Jen Kingwell or Rita from red pepper quilts.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

do you ever find the tension on your Juki hard to set - it sometimes seems that no matter which way I turn the dial it stays the same.

Denise Boyle said...

I would love to meet and take classes with you, Jolene from Blue Elephant Stitches, and Rachel from Stitched in Color (I've taken a few of her online classes but in person would be amazing).

Annie said...

I'd love to take a workshop with Gwen Marston. She is the master of colour and improvisation. I could learn so much from so many people but I think she would push me out of my comfort zone the fastest!

diane said...

I'm such a fan girl I would love to have taken this class

Julie Bagamary said...

Sounds like a fun yet challenging workshop which make the best kind.
A class with you would be fun as would one with Lorie Hancock McCown

Dresses and Spurs said...

Awesome! Looks like fun!

Laura Links said...

Debbie from A aquilter's Table, you and Christina Cameli...

Teri said...

Maybe you! Coming to Florida any time soon?

bloominworkshop said...

Hmmm... good question. Gwen Marston was at the top of my list until a couple of years ago when I got to attend one of her workshops. Denyse Schmidt would be fabulous too! But other than that, my mind is blank at them moment. I need suggestions!

Ruthann Grace said...

Great post! I love the idea of learning the basics and then expanding from there. I also love the idea of constraint so you can concentrate on other aspects while learning. If I could take one concentrated workshop from anyone I think I'd like to take another workshop from Gwen Marston. I did one last year but there was so much more to learn. Of course now I want to take a course from Denyse Schmidt!

Laura said...

I would love to take a workshop from you! Our modern friendship group (we're not an official guild) has just finished up a couple of charity quilts using slab blocks, inspired by your and Cheryl's book.

Tubaville said...

Gwen Marston is the person who inspired me to take up quilting. Definitely her.

Tubaville said...

I'd also like to take a class in person from Leah Day. I learned how to FMQ from her YouTube videos.

Suzanne said...

I am surprised you stuck with just the two colors but I see that you wiggled your signature in by using the scraps. We have often spoken about the dream of sewing together so you would be one choice. I'd also really enjoy a class from Cheryl because she does so much with improv as well. That's a place I'm still hesitant to travel.

Kelly O. said...

I think I'd love to take a class from Jenny Doan, Vanessa Wilson, Camille Roskelley, Anna of Noodlehead fame, Vanessa Christenson, Jacqui Walker, Amanda Jean Nyberg, Elizabeth of Oh! Fransson fame, Dana of Old Red Barn Co. ...oh so many more!

Mystic Quilter said...

I would have my name down pretty quick for Sujata Shah, Gwen Marston, yourself,Victoria Findlay Wolfe,Kaffe Fassett and
Mandy Patullo at Thread and Thrift

Terri said...

I would love to take a class from Lizzy House, my latest fabric designer crush, or Heather Ross. I love their fabric designs but also love their drawing skills and artwork.

Brenda said...

Gwen Marston, Sarah Fielke, Sujata Shah.

Lana said...

Definitely You!!!!
I LOVE your Sunday Mornings Quilt book and have made several quilts in that book...PERFECTION!!!!!

charlotte said...

You would be my first choice. I need to learn better how to use up more scraps. Second choice would be Lizzy House.

Bernadine Kringel said...

Amanda Jean Nyberg, Cristina Camelli, Faith Jones or Rita over at Red Pepper Quilts. Any of those would be amazing!!

cityquilter grace said...

great exercise....lovely work....my workshop choices are mary lou weidman, kim diehl, marsha mccloskey...to start with

Deb said...

I'd pick Joanna of Fig Tree quilts.

Anja said...

Sounds like a great time. Orange is my favourite colour.

Sarah Craig said...

Ooh, tough choice! So I'll give a list: you for scrap management and quilting; Judi Madsen for long arm quilting; Christina Cameli for domestic machine quilting; and Kate Spain for fabric design and color!

C. Jaeger said...

That is a great question. I would love to learn from Amy Butler, Gwen Marston, and Sarah Fielke. I love your work that you did in your class!

Marcia Haggerty said...

I'm relatively new to quilting, and the only two blogs I have settled on following is yours and Rita from Red Pepper quilts. Would love to attend. Workshop from either of you, but unlikely as I'm in NZ. Oh well, dreams are free ;)

ellen fischer said...

Well since you are my quilting hero, it would have to be you. Love your work. Also, Jen Kingwell, I am a fan of hers as well.

Issabella The Cat said...

Ohhh my dream list teachers! Anna Maria Horner, Lizzy House, yourself and Kaffee Fasset would make for a fabulous week long retreat!

excuseme23 said...

Sarah Fielke or Jen Kingwell as I am a lover of hand piecing and quilting.

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

I would be happy to take any classes! I think everyone has something to offer and I do love learning! your blocks are gorgeous, I'm a fan of orange too :)

Erin ST said...

Leah Day

Penny Olive said...

Amanda Jean, it is fun to see that you are still learning; always learning. I have been watching your blog for I believe eight or nine years now. I think it was another site when you started. You have refreshing scrap ideas. Your book is on my list; I found it on iBooks which was a wonderful surprise. I would love you take a scrap workshop from you and since I am an avid FMQ, I would love a workshop from Cindy Needham.

Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Jenny of Sew Kind of Wonderful, Judi Madsen, Jen Kingwell, Sarah Fielke, Denyse Schmidt, +.

SarahZ said...

"And I could use up some of my scraps... bonus!"..... You are so funny!! I have no idea whose workshop I would like....at this point for me, I would be happy just to sew with a few bloggy friends :)

sue said...

Becky Goldsmith, Jen Kingwell, Sarah Fielke, Kathy Doughty

Grandma said...

Your posts are always a bright spot in my day! I love your enthusiasm and your real friendliness!
The orange is awesome in this fun quilt.

knitnkwilt said...

I had fun skimming the names in the comments. There was a day a long time ago when I knew all the big names. Then I dropped out of quilting a while, and when I came back the "big names" had multiplied. I recognized only a few of those mentioned.

Meanwhile, I have had one of my wishes, a workshop with Sally Collins. Though I do improv and such, I also wanted to know how to do precision piecing for those times I need/want it. Another for FMQ on a DSM is Diane Gaudynski. (I may have the spelling wrong.)

I love how your two shades of orange looks. Lots of possibilities. I like all the concepts of the workshp that you reported, the limits, the start with rule then push them. Fun. Fun.

KateKwiltz said...

Ruth McDowell. Totally not my style any more, but her piecing is absolutely incredible, the kind I can only dream about doing.

P.S. Love the orange!

Debbie Stefanuk said...

Gwen marston

FlourishingPalms said...

I can imagine what a whiz you were in that class. You're always so on top of quilting, and life. I'm sure it was a blast for you. Since I struggle to do improv so it's not fun for me, I'd probably choose a domestic machine quilter to take a class from... and unfortunately, I don't know any domestic machine quilting instructors! Everyone who gets the recognition is a longarm quilter. So gosh, I don't think i'd take a class from anyone!

sweeteelou said...

I nominated you for the NATIONAL QUilters blog award!!! Because I really enjoy you blog.

Karen said...

I spent last weekend in Chicago at Sewtopia. Rita and Latifah were amazing! I'm smiling at your fist picture here because Rita used my pins to demo how she bastes her quilts and I felt the same way about my pins that you feel about Denyse using your machine!
On to your question - Denyse and Angela Walters are top on my current list.

Helen Ryan said...

Hahaha, Denyse Schmidt, and I am ALIVE with jealousy right now. :D

Allison said...

Thanks for the post - workshops that build and expand on a skill are great - usually something I wouldn't do at home where I tend to 'play safe'. Our newish quilt group has had several workshops, I'm really looking forward to one coming up in November with Gail Lawther - 'stained glass' quilts! :-)

Jill Fisher said...

Nancy Crow. I can't say Miss Amanda Jean since I already did a workshop with her in Iowa City about two years ago. I love the alternate sizes you put in your quilt!

Jill Fisher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise Russell said...

That looks like so much fun! Two colors can be amazing...

Live a Colorful Life said...

Everything about this post, from Denyse sewing on your machine (!), to the use of orange, is sheer perfection!!

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

This is really cool! I'm taking the improv class with her over the summer. I just had a baby (yesterday!) and a few weeks ago when my guild announced this class, I told my husband this is something we have to make happen no matter what! So we're getting a hotel room and he's going to take care of the kids during the class time and I'm going to bring baby to the lecture. I told him this is a twice in a lifetime opportunity and we just have to do it! Gwen Marston is my other bucket list teacher. I would love to hear her at quiltcon, but traveling to the other coast is out of the question for at least 2 years!

I really like your orange quilt and your unique way of using "scraps" even with just two fabrics!

Julie said...

Denyse Schmidt. I was so close to signing up for a workshop of her's at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah and chickened out. I will yet because she does fantastic work. I have a book of her's, but that's not enough. I really like your quilt!!!

house on hill road said...

hands down, this was one of my favorite workshops and resulting quilts. i love what you made!