My friend Joan and I traveled to Port Gamble last night to see a lecture by celebrated quilting icon Gwen Marston. It was hosted by local quilt shop Quilted Strait in the Port Gamble Vista Pavilion – the view of the sound was nothing short of spectacular!
Gwen’s vibrant personality radiated joy as she talked about her creative process. A treat to hear her talk in person about liberated quilt making. She’s also very funny!
At the beginning she mentioned that all of the quilts she’d brought were hand quilted by her except for one tied quilt. I wasn’t sure I heard that correctly! This was the tied quilt and yes, ALL the other quilts were hand quilted. I don’t think I could accomplish that much quilting in my lifetime. Truly amazing. Her hand quilting frame is always set up in her home and she always has a quilt loaded to be worked on.
The story I enjoyed most was about teaching a class where she went around the room and in a very nonchalant way gathered scraps of solids that people were throwing into the trash. She then went back to her room and began sewing them together. She thought that starting with odd shaped scraps is a good exercise for experimenting with improvisational piecing. It takes many of the decisions out of the process and allows you to work intuitively with what you have. A simple and powerful idea to loosen up and get started.
A liberated rail fence. Gwen is a walking encyclopedia of quilt history. Many of her designs begin with a traditional block as a starting point.
She’s inspired by antique quilts and pointed out elements of traditional techniques as she went through her show and tell. Very enlightening and inspiring to see the connections.
The picturesque scenery in Port Gamble is breathtaking. A magical evening for sure.
Happy 3-Day Weekend Sewing! xoxo Kathy