Continuing the improv theme…

Working on Lynette’s improv blocks reminded me of the last improv quilting I did.  I made this quilt top at Gwen Marston’s Beaver Island Quilt Retreat in 2008.  For those of you not familiar with Gwen’s retreat (which I would go to every single year if I could manage it), Gwen chooses a theme for each retreat.  In 2008, Gwen’s theme was “Working with Solids.”

Approx 46″ x 44″

As soon as I saw the theme early that year, I knew I had to go!  Gwen’s retreats are four days long.  She begins with a half day demo/lecture and then lets everyone loose to work on their quilts.  There are other short demos during the rest of the time and Gwen is there if anyone needs help or has a question.  I enjoy the focused freedom of the way she runs the retreat.  Also, Gwen is a lovely and inspiring person to be around.

Some friends and I travelled to Shipshewana, Indiana a couple of months before the actual retreat.  My main purpose was to stock up on solid fabric.  Shipshewana is an Amish community and has two wonderful places to buy fabric.  Yoder’s Department Store is where I found most of my solids.  Lolly’s Quilt Shop is a wonderful place with tons of lovely fabric.

One of the things that I love about Gwen’s work is that she makes quilts that are based on antique quilts and she makes very modern “liberated” quilts.  Using this idea as my inspiration, I bought lots of green and pink solids to reflect my love of antique green and pink applique quilts.  (This may surprise some of you, but hand applique was my first love in quilting).  I also bought a group of solids in the fall color range as I wanted to have some flexibility.

After viewing lots of Gwen’s inspiring quilts, I decided to work in a liberated log cabin style with some insets into the “logs” and using mostly green with pink accents.  Some of the fabrics look brown or black, but they aren’t, they are all shades of green.  I managed to finish the quilt top just before show and tell at the end of the retreat.  Don’t ask my why I haven’t managed to get this top quilted.  Just always a more urgent project I guess.

  • Peppermint Pinwheels
    Posted at 00:56h, 11 November Reply

    I love how this quilt looks like a painting. I can't wait to see how you decide to quilt it.

  • Rebekah
    Posted at 13:41h, 26 October Reply

    What a gorgeous top! The pops of pink are perfect in this. You have made quite the modern quilting workshop rounds in the past few years.

  • Nifty Quilts
    Posted at 04:59h, 22 October Reply

    Hello! I was at this retreat also, and I remember your beautiful quilt. How fun to find you!

Leave a Reply