Friday, October 9, 2009

Peace and Piecing

Wow. Talk about doing a 180!

Years and years ago, back in 1989 or so, Sally Collins came to our guild and presented a lecture and trunk show. I don't know if you're familiar with her work, but it is precision piecing at its most precise. Twenty years ago, I was intimidated by her exquisite workmanship. Even over the past several years, as I've gone to Asilomar, I've walked through her classroom with my jaw hanging slack.

I absolutely could not understand how her students could be sitting there with these peaceful meditative expressions as they pieced 1-1/2" stars. Were they crazy? Hypnotized? Drugged? I didn't get it.

Today I did.

Sally is a thoughtful, generous, organized and encouraging teacher. She knows where the pitfalls lie in missing that perfect 1/4" seam allowance, and can tell us exactly how to avoid them. Measuring is key, so this is not a technique for the mass producer. It's a one-step-at-a-time process, that is extremely methodical. The results blew my mind.

Here's a picture of one of her quilts. It isn't large, maybe 12 or 14 inches.

The lighting in the room was poor, and I apologize for the lack of clarity in my pictures. When I used the flash, it caused a white-out. ;)

How about this? It is the BACK of one of her quilt tops. wow. If only the fronts of my tops were half as perfect! :)

I took this photo near the end of the class time. Once we'd learned her "secrets" (which are primarily to measure and slow down), we wanted more, more, more. Every question had an answer, and nothing ruffled her feathers. She has this zen thing going on that is pretty amazing. ;)

Here is the block I made in class.

The class began at 9am, and we left at 3:30pm. We had quite a bit of lecture before moving to our machines, but every word was useful. I took three pages of notes, in addition to the thorough handout that accompanied the class.

Here's a second picture of my block. Again, I apologize for the blur/color issues. I took the pictures in the classroom, and the lighting was less than stellar.

It's a star in a star. This is a 3" star, with a 1.5" star in its belly.

This technique is kind of peaceful. For the first time in a month, I was so totally focused on something (i.e. getting that 1/4" seam allowance), that I didn't have room in my wee little brain for anything else. It was a beautiful thing. :)

1 comment:

pb said...

That is amazing. what are the secrets to getting a perfect 1/4".