Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bright and simple

The speakers yesterday at the Bayberry Quilters' Guild were sisters, Barbara Persing and Mary Hoover who have a business together, make their quilts together but live 300 miles apart and so send their work back and forth via UPS. The orange quilt was one of their first. They sewed together strips of orange, of yellow and of purple, and then cut the pieces of fabric they had constructed into triangles which were arranged to make blocks of color --the arrangement looks somewhat random but has a sense of balance.  Simple! They use mostly batiks which accounts for the subtlties of color.  This quilt immediately reminded me of the Kaffee Fassett quilts I saw last month at the International Quilt show. 

They moved from simple blocks/triangles to using the blocks (made by the same method) a background for floral designs.  And then they experimented with blocks of more varied colors which were cut on a slant to give movement and direction to the background and their floral designs became more complex and exciting.  When they add flowers (or leaves, etc.) they use a simple method of either freehand cutting or freezer paper floral temples, glue the edges and do not turn them in applique but quilt up and down over the flower to five petal definition and to repeatedly go over the edges.  Barbara does some (or most) of this free motion on a regular sewing machine, but Mary has a long arm quilter and does the majority of the quilting.  They have published a book full of simple directions and bright designs called StrataVariations.

They have a wonderful eye for color and they have a very sensible, collatorative approach to their work. As speakers they were comfortable, had worked who would talk about what but were informal and  poised. The talk was delightful. They showed a spectacular new quilt that they are going to show at the big Houston annual show and which cannot be pictured yet.  It was a most delightful way to begin the season and the only thing that took the edge off disappointment that my daughter from California who was to arrived early had cancelled her trip due to some hand surgery.

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