Friday, January 27, 2006

Yes Virginia, There is a Gwen Marston!

Oh, oh, oh! It was so worth the drive and late night. Gwen was such a down to earth wonderful friendly person! So even though I got less than 5 hours of sleep I'm happy.

And look it! I even dragged Bonnie and Tonya with me! Isn't it fun that we all wore the same outfit!

She talked about her 4 blocks quilts and how she applique's just like women would have back in the 1800's. For circles she just cuts the circle from the fabric - no template. For sunburst type pieces she folds the fabrics and free cuts, as would have been done back then. She eyes her placement, no overlays. A really great comment she made was if you were going to make 80 blocks and have them all identical why do it - make one block and just look at it!

She does a lot of her quilting free form - hear that Tonya! She was said your free form fans were the way to go, Good for YOU! We saw one of her quilts where she free hand drew the feathers on the border of the quilt, no templates. She was curious how long it would take and it only took her 45 minutes. She also had an example of a quilt where she did free hand grids without lines and pointed out how it ended up that parts of the quilt they looked like squares where other parts were more diamond shape. Oh the quilts were so wonderful! I'll post more pictures this weekend. Tonight I get to see the liberated log cabin quilts!

One lady asked how or when she got "liberated"! She laughed and said it didn't take long! Before she found quilting she was the very home ec-y type lady and did all the needle things of the time - macrame, needlepoint, that kind of stuff. Then she went to a quilt show in Flint Michigan and saw the quilts. She said she felt like "....the heavens opened and God said - "You will quilt" - and she said - OK!".Not long after that they moved to Salem Oregon and she went through a blue time in her life. Miss Home-Ec was stuck in a new town, her husband was busy working and the kids were in school and here she was stuck in a pre-furnished condo! But the best thing happened because of that! She was looking through the paper and saw that a mennonite church nearby was having a quilt show. So she went and was in love. She said she pretended to be sick and asked if she could come back sometime (you should see her acting this out)! They gladly told her they met every Tues and Thurs and she was more than welcome. So she started going and never missed. These ladies were all in their 80's - the younger women were not interested - so these ladies were so happy to have an interested young thing! One woman took her under her wing and taught her to quilt and when she got good enough she was allowed over at the group quilt. So she quilts on a flat frame and says her year with these women was really how she learned and involved

OK, so much for the bad summary of the lecture - I'm not a good story teller like Darcie, but at least you get the picture. Tonight - Liberated Log Cabins!

10 comments from wonderful readers:

Tonya Ricucci said...

Darn it, blogger just ate my comments.
Dawn, thank you so much for the fabulous post. I laughed my ass off when I saw my disembodied (re-embodied?) head there with Gwen. You are the best, and so incredibly lucky.
Liberate yourself and enjoy the class!!!

Cher said...

oh, I am so excited for you...what a fun sounding lecture-and the photos are hilarious!

Tracey said...

ROFL!!! Gosh golly...I"m SO glad that Bonnie AND Tonya were able to make it! I'm sure you 3 had the best of time with Miss Gwen. :o)
Now...are they able to make it to the class as well? I mean...why leave when they can have a 2 for 1!?!

Have fun!! LOVE those pics!

Quilts And Pieces said...

What a great idea! Tonya, Bonnie - want to come with tonight!????

Leah Spencer said...

I love the head transplants!! Great job, glad you all three had so much fun. ;)

Lucy said...

Ohh Dawn this must be a wonderfull lecture.. I have the book four block applique from Gwen and I love it. She can write so interesting. I love the way how she applique and lay out the pieces by the eye! She is just from my heart :c) . I can't wait to see what you made.

Quiltgranny said...

ROTFLOLPIP! Geesh, Dawn, I wonder why *I* didn't get to go? Do you think my respirator would have made me stand out? That was so great that Tonya and Bonnie made it. Now, maybe you can go to Asilomar with *me*!

Thanks so much for sharing! I can hardly wait. I was excited before, NOW I am really excited!

YankeeQuilter said...

Love the photos! What a great opportunity to hear from Gwen. I love her quilts. And thanks for the early morning giggle over the "head shots!"

Darcie said...

I'm so excited for you that I can hardly sit still and type!!!

Your pictures and story are terrific! Makes me feel that I was also *transported* just like Tonya and Bonnie! ;-)

Laura said...

Dawn - - Lucky you! Her lecture sounded so great. Thanks for sharing. I was lucky to go to a one woman show she had in Flint, MI years ago. I saw a bunch of her quilts and they are so awesome up close (as you now know!).