Monday, June 15, 2009

Class with Cynthia England

Guild dues are definitely worth it when they give you the opportunity to take a class from an amazing quilter. This totally awesome quilt was pieced (NO applique, all piecing) by Cynthia in a quilt that took Viewer's Choice at Paducah. I love this quilt!
She told us that she had been using a freezer paper technique that has you work in reverse, with the freezer paper templates ironed on to the back of the fabric, but once she accidentally ironed on to the front and realized how much more forgiving it was to work that way -- if something is not exact, then you move the template to where it should be and keep going! And it's true, this was an amazingly simple technique and it's extremely forgiving. I never would have believed it!

Here's a closeup to show some snow and tree branches. You can click on all these photos to enlarge them and take a closer look.
And I love the tree trunk!
Another quilter in the class put her hand down (Cynthia let us touch and photograph) to give an idea of scale. I love her fabric choices in the snow -- that bit of pink is just perfect!
I couldn't get a good photo of the back of her quilt, but here's an angled one. Very simple, but it was also beautiful.
And here's her pieced bird on a branch on the bottom of the back. It made me realize that incorporating her technique for a small area can be very effective -- I don't know that I have the patience to make an entire large quilt like this!
Here's a detail of the border of one of her quilts, again, all pieced. You can see the full quilt on her website, here. If you go to her home page, you'll find links to videos, a step-by-step tutorial and a few free patterns to help you learn her technique. It's not nearly so fiddly as you might think!
And what did I made in the class? Here's the beginning of her Country Roads design. She asked us to make one of 3 patterns. You could use your own fabrics or buy a packet for the kit, and I did the latter. I wanted to learn the technique and knew I'd spend the entire time making fabric choices if I didn't use what she gave us. In addition to teaching this piecing method, Cynthia also showed us several shortcuts she's developed over the years and demonstrated how to take a photo and turn it into a pattern for this method. Great class!

19 comments:

Beena said...

Oy! I'm glad I draw/paint! I'd be beating my head against the wall to try to make something as eloquent as she has all in piecing. Whether the technique is easy or not. Astounding. Just astounding. I can see where she'd win a ribbon. Very deserving after such extensive efforts.
And you? You are the lucky one to take a class with an international quilting instructor! Must've been a great time. And I would have done the same thing by buying a kit. Auditioning fabrics while fun,can be quite time consuming!

LC said...

I took a class from Cynthia at Canmore, AB (Art Quilt Rockies) and was amazed at her energy. She almost bounces off the walls! It was fun, and I completed the split rail fence, with some pieces about 3/8 x 1/4 inch. I took the class to learn how to draft the patterns so I could design my own, but it might be awhile before I tackle another one of these!

em's scrapbag said...

That quilt is amazing. What a great class. I'm going to have to check this method out.

Joyce said...

Wow! Her work is amazing. I don't think this would be my thing, but I'd probably take a class from her if I had a chance.

Catherine said...

Wow! The detail is incredible! The little rabbit by the base of the tree really caught my eye when I enlarged the photo of the quilt.
I don't know if I'd be brave enough to tackle one of those, but I'm sure curious. I love the idea of using a small element on the back.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Wonderful post ~ so glad that you really enjoyed the class . . . and your class project shows lots of potential (but, like you, I doubt I'd ever do anything very large with this technique)

BUMBLE BEANS said...

lovely work! amazing! are you finished with yours or will it grow???
;-)

Vicki W said...

I would love to take a class with her!

Millie said...

Wow! Wow! Wow!

But I'm with Beena. Wicked glad I can draw and paint.

Trisha said...

Oh my gosh! I can not get over how insanely amazing that quilt is! And I would have never guessed that it is all pieced. Wow! So cool that you got to learn from a master quilter!

Gina said...

Fabulous eye candy. Thanks for the photos.

I think your quilt is great. I think I'm going to have to add thistechnique to my to do list

Love and hugs Gina xxx

Grannyspot said...

What an awesome quilt!

Clare said...

Wonderful quilt. I am in awe of people who can paint pictures like that with fabric. The tree trunk is wonderful.

SueR said...

Cynthia England is an incredible quilter, and I've been a fan of hers for years. I've made several of her patterns and love her technique. Lucky girl to take a class with her! Can't wait to see your finished piece.

Judy Alexander said...

What a great quilt! I would love to take one of Cynthia's classes.

Kim said...

Found your blog over at Millie's and popped over to visit only to be WOWED by the quilts ~ totally faked me out, lol, I thought the first one was a photo!! Wonderful talent, huh?!

XUE said...

Oh my goodness! I don't think I'll ever be able to do this nor have the patience! Plus, my eyesight will be sooo bad at the end of a project like this. I am such an amateur & just tried hand-piecing last week!

laura west kong said...

Thanks for sharing ~ those are amazing! Yours looks like it will turn out great too.

meggie said...

What truly fantastic & wonderful quilting. I would love to take a class for that.