Seminar at Sea: Six
So I'm stepping out of sequence here. My Seminar at Sea Series has Seven posts. But I'm saving the best for last. So hang in there until tomorrow, please. It will be so worth it!
Monday and Tuesday were days at sea, and Monday was our last class. Karen Combs was teaching Batik Waves (isn't that just the right name for a seminar at sea class?) and Bonnie and I had both signed up for it.
Let me pause here to reiterate: If you ever have the opportunity to take a Karen Combs class, do not hesitate! She makes what looks complicated manageable. No, I won't say "easy." Doable, manageable both work. She is patient and kind and encouraging. And there's this feeling of accomplishment when it all clicks. Besides, Karen is incredibly generous! When we came for this class we are given not just the pattern, but a special ruler for cutting , a pair of color filters we could use to determine the relative lightness or darkness of a particular group of fabrics, and two fat quarters from Karen's latest line of fabrics!
This was the one class we had been asked to bring fabric for. The instructions were to bring a specific number of dark batiks, an equal number of light batiks, and cut both into specific sized strips. I couldn't justify buying any more batiks and I didn't want to have to rummage through that gigantic bin of same. And, besides, I had another idea.
Ten years ago I made a quilt from batiks in a special color grouping. I wanted to reflect the colors in a porcelainberry, a
weed gorgeous plant that I'd encountered on the Jersey coast. It turned out well, and I gave it away as a wedding gift. Since then, I've wanted a porcelainberry quilt of my own. I have a good-sized supply of text prints that I decided to use for the "light batiks" and bought porcelainberry-colored solids for the "dark batiks." I was afraid I'd be thrown out of class for not following instructions, but Karen was kind and let me stay. She even became enthusiastic about my choice!
This was the most difficult of our three classes, and I was glad that it wasn't held on the first day!
The blocks are made by connecting four small blocks, rotated according to a plan. The big block ultimately contains 48 pieces! There's a lot of bias sewing (and unsewing). It was challenging to keep track of exactly what piece went where because there was a good bit of stop-and-start involved. I had the idea to lay out the pieces and take a photo with my iPad and then as I got up to press and returned with little units, it was easier for me to see where they would be placed. When a mini-block was finished, I'd delete the photo, and lay out the next one.
With the next day's free sew period available, I was able to complete eleven mini-blocks. Now that I'm home, I'm going to try to make one block each time I sit down to sew. But first Ihave to do some more cutting!