Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Susan Denton Workshop

A couple of weekends ago I had a long anticipated workshop with Susan Denton.  The workshop was part of a weekend organised by Region 10 of the Quilters Guild .

The meeting and workshop were held just south of Lincoln in a village on the edge of the Lincolnshire fens.  I had forgotten just how big Lincolnshire skies can be

Susan's workshop was titled 'Irregular But Not Completely Crazy' and focussed on foundation crazy piecing and the use of grids.   I had heard from friends what an amazing teacher Susan is and they were not wrong.  Despite the fact that the workshop was only one day we learned an enormous amount and inspiration was at an all time high!

Although I have been making quilts for a long time now I have never had much experience of foundation piecing and as I worked and Susan talked it became a revelation for me.  

My first attempt was a bit rocky and was a steep learning curve.

The second attempt was much better.  I know it all seems very simple but combined with the talk Susan gave the day before and thoughts about combining tessalated shapes I had a light bulb moment.


The work above doesn't include mine as I seemed to spend most of the afternoon working on paper.
Since coming home I have made one small piece using Susan's methods and am very excited to try more.

I have been playing with the square block that I made on the workshop and have flipped it around on the computer to explore potential designs.

My favourite is the third pattern down.  I'm not actually going to make any of these up but I had fun making the arrangements.  What I am far more interested in is exploring the making of landscape quilts using the principles we started to explore with Susan.

These three quilts by Susan show just how far you can take foundation piecing and working with grids of one sort or another to achieve the look you want.  I have long admired Susan Denton's work since I saw a gallery of her work at Festival of Quilts 4 years ago.

Susan often uses fabrics other than cotton and I do like the added texture this gives the works.  I have to make a quilt inspired by David Hockney for an exhibition next year and I am thinking I will explore what I've learned further for that piece of work.  I just need to clear the decks a bit first!

I'll leave you with a little bauble we made at the Regional meeting the day before the workshop:
I may now also have found a slight liking for hexagons!

Oooh!  I nearly forgot, I've also made a multi-textured table runner.  My inspiration was my dear Australian friend Dot Christian who loves to combine all sorts of colours and textures in her work.  I have made this runner once before and used an article which also explored the combination of various fabrics and textures but, do you think I can find it?

The materials include Donegal tweed, cotton, wool, Scottish tweed, beautiful hand-dyed velvet and curtaining fabric.  The backing is linen which wriggled all over!


Emma said...

Oh WOW! I can see that the workshop was just up your street, fabulous samples/sketches you've got now, & obviously a wealth of knowledge to use later....what's tessellated....?!

As for your Dot inspired runner it's gorgeous, totally edible colors!

Sheila Evans said...

Glad you were able to come. She is an inspiration. I am going to keep an eye open for any other workshops she may do when she feels better.

Mystic Quilter said...

My goodness what a super post to begin the day with here in New Zealand! I love the blocks you have been working with and you small landscape. I have admired the work from Susan Denton for a while now and love her "stone wall" piece. David Hockney - we have a fantastic DVD of his work when he spent time back in Yorkshire painting through the seasons, superb artist! As we come from Lancashire we are fans!!

Maggi said...

Love the results Julie, especially the landscape work. It was fun to see some other samples from this and her other workshops on Tuesday too.

That table runner is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

That workshop looks simply stunning and the little landscape piece is gorgeous. Looks like there may be a lot more to come from this!