It’s been a glorious week. Last Friday I did a workshop on the Improv Wedding Ring method. The class was given by the South African artist and award winning quilter Joy Clark in Port Elizabeth. Joy had in turn taken the class with the artist and designer Diana Vandeyar at the 2019 South African National Quilt Festival. Diana gave Joy permission to repeat her class, generously even sharing her notes. Six of us had a very happy, laughter filled and stimulating day with Joy.
Joy calmly and clearly walked us through the method and once we had marked our blocks, stacked and slashed them according to Diana’s very clever method, the sewing machines started humming and we (almost) forgot that it was a blazing hot and humid day. The method resulted in nine blocks that could then be arranged in different ways to arrive at the perfect pattern. It took a bit of shuffling until the design clicked into place and there were sounds of “ah yes, that’s it”. Well, mostly. I was not entirely happy with the arrangement of my blocks and so decided not to sew them together and finish the quilt top at the workshop. At home I made another set of blocks and added them to the mix to make a larger quilt. This also means that the piece is about 120 cm (48 inches) square and can be used as a throw.
It didn’t end here for me. I found myself looking at photographs of modern quilts and becoming more inspired. I have previously read up on modern quilting but found the written descriptions confusing (perhaps a reaction to trying to wrap my head around postmodernism in literature). But the QuiltCon and other photographs on the web got me going and so I stitched another 16 block Improv Wedding Ring quilt top. I also got out my copy of the book Cut Loose Quilts by Jan Mullen and am planning to have some fun with improv circles, using her stack and slash method.
Diana Vandeyar won two awards at QuiltCon 2018 for her quilts Grandmother’s life on Mars and 713 Lollipop. There is an interview with her on the web that makes for stimulating and fascinating reading.