Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hollis Chatelain Workshop

Last Sunday I attended a workshop by Hollis Chatelain called "Quilt Line As The Third Design Aspect". It was hosted by Marilyn Farquhar and held at her quilting studio (and home) north of Waterloo, Ont. Here is a brief description of the workshop from Hollis' web site:

"This is a process class that will help you find new ideas on how to use quilting to enhance the look of your quilt. We will be working on design, not technique. We would like to go further than just holding the three layers together with stitches. The main objective is to use quilting lines to create depth, texture, tension, or shadowing which give a new dimension to your quilt. Lines can be inspired by an endless variety of things (nature, architecture, technology, etc.) to add visual interest and reinforce the overall design of your quilt. Even straight lines can become a design in themselves. You will be working with the quilt tops you bring, which can be a traditional patchwork or a contemporary design. We will pin the quilt tops on the wall one after the other and discuss the possibilities of how to enhance what you like best and diminish what you like least in your quilts."

I have to say that this was one of the best workshops that I have attended and I came away with a wealth of knowledge and a new perspective of how to approach my quilting designs. The first part of the workshop Hollis covered off colour and what effects you can get depending on the colour of threads you select for your quilting. Next was a discussion on line and the effects of lines on your quilting based on their shape, direction and style. Then Hollis talked about the design aspect and how the quilting needs to enhance your quilt as well as be able to stand on its own from a design perspective.

We had a group of about 20 and everyone brought a quilt top to share and discuss.  There was a good diversity from traditional pieced, modern pieced, traditional & modern applique, everything from small wall hangings to queen size bed quilts and every colour of the rainbow.  This diversity provided for some interesting discussions and I'm sure everyone was able to take away some good ideas for their future projects.

I highly recommend this workshop so if Hollis is going to be teaching in your area in the future it would be a worthwhile experience.

Thanks Marilyn for hosting this event and thanks Hollis for proving a very enjoyable and valuable workshop.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where Have I Been and Where Am I Going

I realized that it's been well over a month since my last post and I'm sure several of you may be wondering what have I been up to. Well on the quilting front not much at the moment.  Life sort of happened on my way to the sewing room and my creativity sort of got put on hold for a bit.

A few of you who I chat with outside of my blog already know this, but the rest don't and I feel I need to share this since I am still here reading your blogs, but I'm not doing much at my end. Awhile back one of the specialists that I was seeing found a lump on the right side of my thyroid. So as with these types of things one goes through the pre-requisite needle aspiration biopsy, ultrasound, then ultrasound guided biopsy.  For those who don't have the privilage of living in Canada and experiencing our medical system, these tests can take a month or longer to get booked, and with each one you will wait 2 to 3 weeks to get the results. So knowing this and knowing that the wait for surgery can be upwards of 3 to 4 months I had made sure I booked my surgery at the beginning of this process.

My last biopsy was done on April 30th and I got the results on May 15th which were inconclusive so at this time they still don't know whether it is benign or malignant. Since my last biopsy was an ultrasound guided one, they first did a full scan of the thyroid and have now discovered some smaller lumps on the left side. The good thing is that my surgery is less than 3 weeks away on June 7th so this will be taken care of and will be sent off for full analysis.  Then I will know with 100% certainty if these lumps are benign or malignant. The prognosis is good since 80% of thyroid lumps are benign and of the 20%, a high percentage are very slow growing and easily treated with specific radiation treatments. So I'm quite optimistic that all will go well and once this is over I will be able to get my creativity back on track and start working on some projects.

My sea turtle quilt will be put on hold for a few months since in the last few weeks I have had a few new ideas come to mind that I want to explore and these will be easier to execute since they will be smaller wall hangings and will allow me to get back into the grove of things.

Have a great week everyone.