Although I teach the art of making quilts myself, I am anxiously awaiting the start of the new class that I will be taking tonight! I take five or six online classes a year, mostly for fun, but they are also a great way to learn new techniques … or old ones that I just haven't tried before.
This class will teach me more about my new obsession for quilt embroidery and is also a great reason to stock up on my quilting supplies. Hey, anything that promotes shopping is fantastic in my book! This particular class will concentrate on creating the highly embellished Victorian art of crazy quilting. Up to now, I haven't done much embellishing, except for a few buttons or a bit of ribbon, so I'm looking forward to the permission to totally go overboard on the decorative aspects of this quilt style!
When I first started making quilts,I was under the sad impression that all quilts had to be just full of color! The first quilt I made included solids in red, blue, yellow and green for my son's first big-boy bed. All of these colors were equally dark, and I added nothing to soften the look. My next quilt was a little softer, but still had way too many dark colors. The third quilt had some lighter colors, and that is when I realized that the most beautiful quilts are those that have colors that blend.
Of course, blending doesn't mean that all the colors have to be completely of the same tone. No, a pretty quilt can be completely tonal – all shades of purple for instance – or have a high contrast like redwork quilts. But, the colors must blend together so that the quilt looks finished as a whole, without one color totally overwhelming the rest. Color choices seem to be the most difficult decision a quilter ever makes, and it truly doesn't have to be. Start with one color that you like and then choose a lighter or darker one that compliments it. Stop there, or add more. With time, color comfort comes to all of us.
With me, I am always nervous that I will do too much. I put too much decorative stitching on clothing that I make; too many ruffles on the pillows; too much fussiness on just about every project. So, I'm hoping that this class will help free my inner decorative artist so that I can add embellishments to my heart's content without also going insane with it!
One of the best features of quilt embroidery is the option to try out ideas on a small scale. With the machine embroidery designs provided in my class, all the guesswork will be taken care of for me. I just need to choose my thread colors and fabric! The class will also teach me how to use the regular decorative stitches on my machine to replicate the intricate hand-embroidery designs the Victorian women did with such pride. I honestly am just too impatient to do that kind of hand-work, so this class will be so helpful for so many reasons!
Doing just one block at a time instead of working on a huge quilt before deciding that my ideas didn't work out the way I wanted will save me time, money and frustration! Lovely! As much as I hate messes, I look forward to seeing my sewing room jumbled with lots of colorful blocks in the crazy quilting style. Since I love making quilts – and a lot of people think we quilters are crazy – maybe making quilts in the quilt embroidery technique will be my new favorite fiber art.
It's back to school time for me!
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