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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

While Paula's Away - Let's talk about her - tee, hee, hee

Paula Nadelstern is about to set out on yet another cruise down under setting sail from Auckland, New Zealand and winding up the trip in Sydney, Australia.  And in case you did not know - Paula is an active teacher on these cruise trips through Quilt Seminars at Sea.

For those not familiar with Paula Nadelstern, she is the true queen of kaleidoscope quilting.  Here is a recent article now appearing online in that tells you something about herself -

Below is one example of a quilt (and a close up) she did in her earlier years that I saw last summer hanging in the American Folk Art Museum in New York City.

I won't lie - her technique is quite technical, you have to love to do very detailed work.  But the end result is most spectacular and rewarding. 

She loves to teach her technique.  She doesn't make patterns, but prefers to teach her technique and the blocks are a "concept" that she also hopes to impart to  her students. During the time that she is not out teaching, she's designing new fabric lines.  All her fabric lines contain a few pieces that are bilaterally symmetrical (mirrored images) which is the basis of her kaleidoscope technique and then glorious sets of coordinates.  Her last few lines have been filled with bold colors. In fact, I believe she just finished working with Benartex on a new line that will probably come out next fall - can't wait.

She does have 2 classes coming up in May and June.  One will be held in Wichita, KS, the other, Duluth MN. 

In fact she will be holding one of her last classes on her Puzzle Quilt design in June in Duluth.  The first quilt to your left is her original Puzzle Quilt using fabric sadly long gone.  The second, to your left, uses somewhat newer fabrics, but also very little, if any remain.

As I understand, this class teaches you a concept.  How to select your fabrics, and put them together to make very interesting blocks, like a puzzle.  Essentially she tries to convey that it is the fabric that almost dictates to you what type of design/block to make.  Almost like how someone who sculpts works.  I've heard lots of times it is the stone that actually has the figure/design buried within and it is your job, as the sculpter, to find it. 

Anyway, if you're interested, and want to attend this class, or any of her others - love her new Sixty-Thirty blocks she now creates:

May 12-15
Wichita, KS
5/12-Afternoon and evening lecture: SYMMETRY & SURPRISE: The Kaleidoscope as Design Inspiration 
5/13: Workshop: Sixty-Thirty: A KALEIDOSCOPE CLASS
Additional class TBD 
June 10-13
Duluth, MN
6/10 & 6/11: 2 day workshop: PUZZLE QUILTS: Simple Blocks, Complex Fabric
6/12: 1 day workshop: SIMPLE SYMMETRY
6/13: 1 day workshop: NEEDLESTARS

This is a more recent Sixty-Thirty quilt that Paula has done and displayed at the Houston 2014 Quilt Market.

Okay I now admit it - didn't mean to actually "sell" Paula, but it looks like I've done just that.  Oh well - it's worth it. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Are you as intrigued by Kaffe Fassett as I?

When I see a new fabric collection by Kaffe Fassett, well - there's no question they capture may attention.  But I'll admit I sometimes have a love/hate relationship with what I'm seeing. And I'm not sure what that is.  Is it because his colors are usually so bright and bold?  Is it because your eye never rests? Is it because his color mixing, well, let's face it, it's a bit out there.  Not sure I'd put some of those colors together the way he does.  Is it his designs - they are so large, so abstract, so not abstract?

No matter.  I still always end up falling for what I see.  Then I just ran across this video that Westminster Fabric put together.

What I especially love was what Tula Pink had to say about Kaffe and his designs and color - "they leave you with very little room to breathe."  That is just so PERFECT!  I think that sums up my feelings exactly.

Then Kaffe goes on to say when he creates a new line of fabric - well unlike other designers he does not think in terms of creating a focus fabric first and then build the other pieces around it, the various coordinates/complements/support pieces.  He just really creates what's in his mind because his overall intention is to recreate a quilt like those quilts made from whatever was around and available -from rags, old pants, old shirts/t-shirts, drapes. Then make the fabric work for you and your design, not the other way around.

Check out the video, it's only a bit over 2 minutes: