Recently I was delighted to receive an invitation to teach at The International Festival of Quilt and Patchwork in Gramado, Brasil, the largest such event in South America. Although I have never been to it during the 20+ years it has been running, some of my quilts have gone there for exhibition. I always love teaching people my way of making patchwork without using patterns; that freehand organic-looking patchwork, which since the late 80s has become something of a contemporary tradition, spurred on in part by the Modern Quilt Movement.
When we went to live in Denver Colorado, a neighbour took me along to a local quilt guild meeting, I took some construction classes in american patchwork, joined a bee, and became hooked. While I was there, that great american quiltmaker, Nancy Crow, came to Colorado to teach a 4-day workshop on colour and design in quilt making. At the beginning of her workshop she taught us lay aside our rulers and pins and work freehand as a faster way to get through all the exercises we needed work through. It can be used to add strips and inserts, organic wavy, circular and arc shapes, all of which can add complexity to a design. Though I’ve modified some of her directions, and developed skills and ways of working beyond what she taught us, basically I’ve been piecing this way for about 30 years now, and am always happy to pass on what I know. The one-day classes will be:
(1) beginner improvisational patchwork, learning the basics to enable this level of freehand piecing:
(2) advanced improvisational piecing, where students learn more complicated levels of making patchwork freehand:
I have started taking lessons in Portuguese with view to being able to do the commentary to my demos in the language most students will be speaking !!