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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

My Biggest Workshop Ever!

Postcards - Manitoba Style!

Today I ran my Creative Quilted Postcards Workshop for the Manitoba Prairie Quilters.  The difference was that it was in a huge hall with 20 registered and a FULL day at that.  It was a big job to prep for that one, and I was really worried about the noise level with that many machines chuggin' along at once.  It was awesome though!  I was pleasantly surprised.  In fact it was quieter an easier to manage than the small classes of a half dozen women that I was used to.  They were "Manitoba friendly" of course, but WOW did these ladies ever dive right in and get creative!  It was fabulous!  They truly blew me away.

yay!  she's not 'allergic' to handstitching! : )

The morning portion of the day was my original format for Creative Quilted Postcards that I developed and have taught at least fifteen times.  I love doing this class.  It never gets boring.  The only thing that changes is the theme.  Today we chose "the garden".  I supply everything so people need only bring their machine & threads.  There's no patterns and no expectation.  It's just play - play - play & experiment - experiment - experiment.

She clipped little flowers for hours and then stitched them all down by hand!  It was so worth it.

The results were gorgeous!  Everyone had such different styles considering they all had the same fabrics and theme.  When we put them out on the table for the class photo, they were all so proud of each other's work! ; )

results of the morning - part one

Seriously!?  There was free motion thread painting, applique (even out-of-the-box with those butterflies), couching, beadwork, hand embroidery, wonderful layering and even use of metallic thread.  They are ALL fabulous.  Each one had stunningly gorgeous aspects about them - from technique to use of colors.  I loved it.  I want to show you this next one in particular though.  She used a technique I have never seen anyone use in my classes before (reminds me of Jackie White's 3d art quilt techniques).

see the buds!?  see the beads!?

I totally reacted to those fabric-folded hand-dyed buds coming out from underneath the leaves.  It's so pretty!  I was also amazed at how she managed to use batik, an old fashioned floral print with gold, and a bold modern illustrative floral all together and make it work together like that.

I asked her if she's a 3d art quilter.  She told me she prefers to make modern quilts because they are simple and less nit-picky (or something along those lines...).  I shook my head and laughed and pointed out the intricacy in her postcard.  She was so detail oriented.  I hope she goes on to utilize some of these methods in her future creations.  She's good at this!

So that was part one.

We broke for lunch and came back for another 3 hour class.  This 'part two' is something I've only done once before.  A few people had been nudging me to offer an advanced postcard class and so I ended up putting together a workshop to challenge students to think further about creative choices.  The best format I could come up with was a texture challenge, and the best way I believe that you can get creative with texture is to use no color.  So - away went the pretty prints & bold hues.  Out came the boxes of (you guessed it) white!  Well - white, offwhite, almost white, and even white-on-white.  So we had light or white fabric, lace, ribbon, tulle, yarns, heavy weight threads, rayon cords (razzle/dazzle/sizzle Wonderfil), raffia, metallic fibres, and even paper doilies that I've been collecting from the hotel.  This TEXTURE challenge resulted in pieces that resembled antique linens, old fashioned wallpaper, or pretty bridal wear samples.  That was beautiful for mother's day and the wedding season coming up.  I did brief demos on cording, bobbin work, and decorative stitches with different thread weights to be used in crazy quilting the fabrics together or for use in border applications... and away they went!

afternoon class photo

This is harder to see and not all are finished at this point, but there was a great variety of creative stitching and couching / cording applications.  They also layered a lot with ribbons and sheers, as well as experimented with fabric folding & fllipping techniques.  (See the diagonal dips & waves in the card on the lower right of the photo?)

I wish I had a better photo or angle.  You should have seen me take this photo!  lol  Picture this:  I was up on a chair hanging over the centre of the cards on the table as best I could to get a good straight-on photo from above.  I nearly tipped forward, so one women behind me reached up and held on to my hips while a woman in front of me reached up and held onto the top of my head.  They held me still there until I snapped the photo.  I'm still laughing about it.  hahah  Talk about team work!

Here's a closer look at some fabulous experimenting with texture.  I love all the antique colors.

i love the grey-blue border color too!

You know it was the heaps of French Knots on floral lace in this postcard that made is over-the-top gorgeous! : )

soooooooooo pretty!  ; )  goodness gracious!

Awesome.  They were awesome (the women and the postcards)!  Thank you so much for having me come in to run this workshop for you.  It was wonderful to hang out with you all and even more fantastic to enjoy your positive and fearless creativity.   : )

See you soon!


Dahn said...

hahahahahaha... I can just picture the class holding you up to take photos. What a visual. lol..

And loved hearing about your workshops. Thanks for sharing the photos too. Wow! What a talented group.

Michelle V. Alkerton, mixed media artist said...

Sounds and looks like a wonderful day! Tip: next time put the postcards on the floor (on a large piece of paper or something) as it's much easier to just be standing to get a good overhead shot ;). You just have to pick a spot with good lighting and watch out for your shadow getting in the way.
Stay inspired!

Bee said...

Its clear that you are a wonderful teacher for everyone to have such beautiful results! Thanks for sharing!

lej619 said...

they did a great job! question?? how was the "gray boarder" done?? looks like achine and if so which stitch?? i really like it.

marshaleith said...

Thanks Monika- it was a great workshop. Nice to see the white postcards since I missed the finished products....sorry I had to leave early but my puppy beckoned!! I am checking out the Yahoo postcard group.

HollyM said...

Wow, they are all beautiful! I do love the textural ones though and particularly the edging on the uneven zigzag. I don't have that on my machine.

LindaB said...

Monika, It was you that provided us with the inspiration to be creative. I don't usually sit quietly for an hour(s)and cut out flowers ;). Hopefully we can arrange something for your trip back. TKS for a great day.

Noreen said...

Great workshop! Terrific Teacher !! Awesome Exhibit!!! Perfect Presentation and trunk show!!!! `Hope there'll be more when you return in June. `Safe drive home today.

laurel said...

What a terrific workshop and a terrific teacher. My Mom recommended the workshop; she had taken it some time ago in Saskatoon. I sent my very first postcard to my Mom, the best in the world... for Mom's day (today).

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