10.25.2011

Laughing Leaves with Frieda Anderson

So, I took my first ever quilting class last week.  Exciting isn't even close to describing how awesome it was.  The class was called Laughing Leaves with Frieda Anderson.  Her blog is here.

I think part of what made it so incredible was how many firsts it was for me:

* It was my first time playing with hand dyed fabric
* It was my first time working completely with applique -- like which side do I iron?
* It was my first time using decorative rotary cutter blades
* It was my first time spending a whole day quilting with a group of awesome ladies
* It was my first time (in awhile) that I tried to take creative direction and didn't just do my own thing.
* It was my first time quilting in anywhere, but the safety of my sewing room

We had a beautiful cabin on the lake setting...


...which was pretty, even as it poured outside for most of the day.


Frieda hand dyes all her fabrics.  The evening before she described her technique in detail at the guild meeting.  Really makes me appreciate all the effort that goes in to creating fabric like this.

I think the initial cutting of her beautiful fabric was fairly challenging ... since we dove right into the background and did things a bit differently than I normally approach things -- the idea was to let the design develop naturally. 


Each of her yards of fabric had between 7 and 14 colors on them in gradient.  Really cool!!

Here I am arranging my background and the strips between.

At some point I decided the oranges and yellows in the background were too much.  I also started to add other elements in the gray boxes.  Looking at it now, one week later, I have to laugh because I have so many ideas for how to finish this!  The day of the class I think I was getting a little overwhelmed.

All in all, I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do and that was to push myself out of my comfort zone and create something I wouldn't have done on my own.  I also really enjoyed the experience of hanging out with a group of other quilting enthusiasts for the day. 

Here are few other things I learned:
* Clean fusible (or any sticky goo) off your iron with an unused (and unscented) dryer sheet
* The release paper on fusible can be reused and makes a good working surface and you are building up layers and adding elements
* Placement of fusible isn't permanent until you steam it.  That means you can lightly tack your design (as I have above), and go back and remove/move something if you want to try something else. 
* When trying to cut out leaves or any shape for that matter... it doesn't hurt to look at the real thing (or a picture).  Don't always have to work from memory.
* Stand up to cut with decorative blades.  They really require a bit of force to cut.
* Cut with decorative blades on the back of your mat... they do scar cutting mats.
* Putting a hanging sleeve on your work is much easier to do that I previously thought!
* Oh, and last thing I found really cool.. you can fuse to card stock!!  Can you say holiday cards?

I am going to add this unnamed piece to my in progress stack, but I'm already looking forward to pulling it out and finishing it up so I can take it to the November quilt guild meeting for show and tell. 

And since this features a few firsts for me I am joining Melissa at Happy Quilting for TNT (Trying New Things) Thursdays.  If you have tried something new... doesn't have to be quitling related join in!



Have you ever taken a quilting class?

6 comments:

Teje said...

Hi Christie! I'm so happy and exited for you! You last post was so wonderful and now this your quilt class - wow! Enjoy!!! I could never find any quilting class here. Your work with leaves and the doggie paw is fantastic! Thank you for sharing - you made me really want to try something like that!
xxx Teje
Hugs for Katie and Sammy!

Seaweed and Raine said...

Wow! Such gorgeous fabrics Christie. I am so looking forward to seeing how you design the finished product! Thanks for all the tips. We don't have dryer sheets here (at least I've never seen them), but I do find that some kitchen towel paper rubbed on a hot iron will do a simmilar thing (just don't burn your fingers!)

My Sweet Prairie said...

ooooooh that's going to be nice!!! I have never taken a quilting class, but I've taught some. IS that weird??

Christie! It's gorgeous! I can't wait to see it done.
: )
~Monika

Pat said...

Oh, just love it. I've never tried fusing. Thanks for sharing!

Melissa @ Happy Quilting said...

That sounds awesome!! I love all of the colors!!!

Megan said...

This looks like it was a wonderful day!! And leaves, oh my, I am quite a little bit obsessed with them as well! Too many common likes happening here!

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