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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ruth B McDowell Workshop

I just recently took my second 5 day workshop from Ruth B McDowell. Although I had always wanted to study with her, I had never felt ready. Last year when a number of my quilting buddies were going, I thought maybe I should just climb on board and did. This year, after a second visit, I think I am seeing differently. The actual techniques of drawing, transferring, sewing and designing are taught in her most recent books: Ruth B McDowell's Piecing Workshop; and Ruth B McDowell's Design Workshop.

I think the "seeing" you either have naturally or comes with practice. For me it also requires some distance from distractions, such as life. More walking along the river and quiet time.

Ruth has a terrific website and is and a good writer. So her books are easy to learn from too. It is inspirational to study her quilts up close. After 2 - 5 day classes with her, I think I could take more and continue to learn. In class she is helping us answer our questions and from that exercise, much is learned. Now, I understand why people return year after year. There are new questions to answer. Several people in our class had been as many as 8 times.

This time I was much more relaxed. And I loved the photo I was adapting to a quilt. I took more fabric. Most of the fabric in the quilt came from my stash. It was especially fun to have a 1 yard hand-dyed piece end up in the background that was purchased from a visit Ellen Anne Eddy made to our Boise guild. As people pulled fabrics from the store to use in their pieces, it was easy to add to my stash, too and I did! As soon as I complete the jar, I plan to start another piece right away to see how I do on my own.

Right now I am still busy sewing it together. When I left class my project looked just the way it does here. After 5 days, I hadn't sewn one stitch and still had 4 small pieces to cut out near the base of the project. It isn't "quilt-in-a-day" but it sure is fun! I will post again when I finish it and show my new design. I should write the other students and ask if I can post their pictures too. It was amazing the variety of work.

If you want to take a closer look at Ruth's books, Click Here.

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