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Embrace the Chaos Workshop with Libs Elliott :)

Libs Elliott was the guest speaker for the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild Meeting!  It was so awesome to have her lecture at our meeting and present a workshop the following day.  She was such a fun guest speaker (and even did her workshop for us on her birthday!)  
Libs delivering lecture at SAMQG meeting

The workshop Libs presented for our guild was “Embrace the Chaos” and was a great way to discover some planned improv piecing.  I know I have a lot of trouble just winging it and creating something without any planning.  Libs’ workshop was a really unique presentation on how to create something similar to her code method without the use of electronics.  

This is the quilt top that I ended up with (after I enlarged the blocks quite a bit)…these are 12″ blocks, so it’s roughly 60″ x 60″.

I’m waiting for a small break in my work load until I can quilt this for myself, so I’ll post an update as soon as I get it finished!  

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15 Minutes of Play with VFW

This past July (2015), Sew-lebrity Victoria Findlay Wolfe visited our guild for a trunk show and two days of workshops.  This was the first workshop I had ever really had the time or opportunity to take by one of the more “known” teachers/quilters/designers, and it was a blast!  Some of the other members in the SAMQG have taken lots of classes with other “sew-lebrities” and said that the VFW workshops were some of the most fun and they really got a lot out of them.  I really learned a lot, and had not tried VFW’s technique of “made” fabric.  



Let me just start by saying that I am not an improv kind of girl.  Starting the “made” fabric was actually really a lot of work, and it took some time to get it out of my head that “made” fabric did not have to be some planned, geometric masterpiece.  The more you wing it, the better it looks, in my opinion.  VFW’s basic teaching is to create your “made” fabric and then cut down to manageable sizes to piece with.  

In the class, I started with a triangle template and trimmed my pieces down to size.  Then I had planned on cutting some solids from the same template to use with my made fabrics so they didn’t just get lost in an all made-fabric quilt.

Please forgive the less than gorgeous carpet background on this pic…

The really great thing about VFW’s techinque is that you can really use it with any quilt pattern, just by swapping your made fabric in place of the other fabric.  It can really do wonders and add interest to your quilt, along with color, texture, etc.  It is really freeing to sit and work on a project without any real plan or direction, and have your made-fabric as the result.  

Another thing Victoria teaches is that you don’t have to have tons of time to sit and work on something, and you should practice “15 minutes of play” to create your made fabric.  Basically, 15 minutes a day will get you a lot of progress over a few days.  

This technique is a great scrap buster, and Victoria’s motto is that anything goes!  I like to kind of divide my scraps up and get rid of the muted, subdued colors, so that when I’m blindly grabbing from my scrap bag to create made-fabric, I end up with an assortment of saturated colors and patterns that work well together.  These small pieces below were my made fabric trimmed down using VFW Quilts’ 1″ square template.  

I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do with these, but they are really fun for a stress reliever…or even when you feel like you’ve lost your sewing mojo.  It’s a quick project that you don’t have to think about, but you’re still making progress and getting something done, as many of us feel the need to do.  

I would highly recommend taking ANY workshop from Victoria, and I think her techniques are great for those of us with  jobs aside from sewing, or with children, etc.  You can still make time to be a maker, even if you have other deadlines looming and kids and a husband/wife to feed.   This workshop was definitely money well spent and Victoria is such a sweet person with lots to share!

She’s also awesome enough to take lots of pictures with her workshop attendees 🙂