Triad Harmony Workshop

A song from my childhood always pops into my head when I start my Zoom classes, bright and early, on Saturday morning. It’s something about “bright, smiling faces” that are “all in their places,” and when you see that class portrait where I cue them all to look at the camera and smile, it certainly resonates. (I like to do a class portrait, giving the students time to compose themselves, so as to avoid that strange deer-in-the-headlights-slightly-tipsy portrait that can happen when we try to freeze a video feed with a snapshot.)

The portrait above is the Coastal Quilters from Santa Barbara, one of those Guild engagements that morphed from in-person to Zoom. Again, I have to say I’m really loving teaching this way, with everyone in their own spaces with their own equipment and fabrics. (Do we have to go back to the other way?) I did teach one Zoom class once where they all gathered in the back room of a quilt shop, masks in place, but there wasn’t the interaction; I really missed the individual conversations that the traditional Zoom set-up allows.

And this is what a busy workshop looks like in reality. Everyone is on task (since I took this unannounced, I have blurred out any faces), working hard at creating their own versions of Triad Harmony. This is later in the afternoon and they had all made incredible progress.

Something I do — which I think is unusual — is a Follow-up Workshop Session, one week later. It’s one of the best parts of the class, in my opinion.

In this Follow-Up class, the students send me photos of their quilts the day before, and I put them up into a slide show. This is my view from my computer, and we all engage in discussing the quilts, the fabric choices, successes, and challenges. It’s a lovely time to hear from the quilt makers, the quilters involved at a granular level in creating these masterpieces. It’s not often that we get to talk like this, and it’s a treasured time.

I wish I could have had you all there. More than once, someone said, I was scared to work with this precision, but it went together really well. Or they’d say, they had a stack of triangles cut and changed out. At that point, several people picked up their stacks and flashed them at the camera. A couple of people had theirs already quilted, some were still finishing up borders, and one quilter had printed off onto paper an image of the fabric she was missing in order to show us how it should look. All in all, the follow-up class motivated them to work hard, and finish up as much as they could.

Enjoy the show!

Karen B.
Sue B.
Margaret D.
Heather G.
Marcia G.
Gail B.
Ranell H.
Carole K.
Sue K.
(The black is for display only.)
Susan K.
Tami K.
Barbara M.
Polly M.
Sue O.
Karen P.
detail, Karen P: dimensional wedges
Bee S. (with bee fabrics!)

I try to give something a little extra to each class, and for this class I included four different videos they could watch, with different tips and instructions for making the quilt, as well as a line drawing for use in coloring in preferences.

I also included pattern pieces that would make a larger size, shown here for comparison. I’ve updated the pattern in my PayHip shop, and the pattern now includes the larger size. The fabric line I chose for the larger size is Geo Stones, by Riley Blake.

Thank you all, Coastal Quilters, for a lovely experience!

Ladybird • Quilt Finish

Ladybird_1Ladybird is finished.

Ladybird_2Ladybird, the name a shortened version of ladybird beetle (or ladybugs as we call them in the States), has a rich folkloric history, with allusions to religion, good fortune, death, and old rituals.  This original quilt, with its split block design, evoked the tiny beetle, a godsend to gardeners everywhere.

Ladybird_7We’d had a bumper crop of their babies around the yard when I started this, little crawly things that my husband identified as the early stage of ladybird beetles (the official name).

Ladybird_6a

I don’t know how I came up with this original pattern, but the colors and the accents just sort of found their way to this quilt.  I also don’t know how I figured out the quilting, but like anything in my life, the starting is the hardest.

Finishing is easier.

Ladybird_3

Background fabric is from Jane Sassaman.

Of course you are familiar with the rhyme:

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home,
Your house is on fire, and your children will burn.

There are multiple, maybe even a hundred, versions of this rhyme in many different languages and countries.  The one I quoted above is dated to 1744, and is often thought to reference the burning of stubble in the fields after harvest, a practice discouraged now because of air pollution, but common in early times.

Ladybird_8My husband found the photography site for us at University of California-Riverside.  It’s the artwork on the front of the Genomics Building by Jim Isermann, the sculpture influenced by geometric shapes of molecular structure and its illustration. Yeah, I’m in love with this.  And did I mention my husband broke three ribs last week?  Yet he still helped me schlep around the quilts (and holding one up for me in another upcoming post), even clamping on one side where I couldn’t reach.  (It was a small household altercation with a huge yard waste container; he will be fine in about six weeks, but for now I do the trash.)

After dinner at our newest Vietnamese restaurant, we flew away home. Thankfully, our house is not on fire, but, regretfully, our children are gone.

Pattern will be coming soon.