Sewing My Life Together

Applique Landscape Workshop at Lowell Quilt Museum


Well, yesterday I went to a three-hour workshop at the Quilt Museum in Lowell.  There were about 20 of us who were students. Well, it was exciting and a lot of fun.  The instructor,  Jo Diggs, does really, really, extraordinary work… ( Click on ‘Jo Diggs’ to see her web page and some of her work).  Her work is both large and small  and took my breath away. I took some photos of her work also:

This was made of wools.

This was very old-fashioned and looked deceptively simple to create. But this other one below is gorgeous!

She manages to get reflected light through the use of fabric….so beautiful!

As she demonstrated cutting, layering, and what she calls “auditioning” fabric (trying different colors, hues and patterns), it all seemed so easy. Her fabrics were already sorted (by her, in preparation for the workshop), and she told us some techniques she uses. I think all of us in the workshop were thinking, “Oh, I can do that!”.

I had probably brought 50 blues, greens and browns to use. Our first assignment was to make a mini-landscape using only three fabrics.  My fabrics seemed so dull, so lackluster, and as the minutes ticked away I became terrified. What would happen if I simply could not do it? What if the ten minutes were up and I had nothing to show? I quickly cut small pieces of fabric and auditioned them, one by one. Then we used four strips of black construction paper to ‘frame’ our three-fabric landscape. This is what I ended up with:

Ok, there are no ‘bright’ spots in this but I liked the simplicity of this one.

Today I took some more time to try one. I still thought my fabric stash was boring, but I combined batiks in greens, blues and some pinks into a decent mini-landscape:

I sewed on the sun at the end but I don’t like it. it is much too obvious. And this took me a while to get the colors right!

This was not bad, but certainly not nearly as beautiful as any of Jo Digg’s! So much for looking at one of her landscapes and thinking, “Oh, I can do that!”. And the hand-applique took several hours. Compared to Jo, my stitches are too obvious, and the turning-under is quite challenging to do. She recommends silk thread for hand-applique, and I only have cotton here at home.  And I do not have silver fabric or glowing yellow fabrics to work with…

So, was the workshop successful? Yes, I think so. I will keep trying this and practicing my stitches. I will be on the lookout for bright fabrics. And I will remind myself that one of the reasons her colors went so well together was that she had sorted them all out before….and I have at least 100 pieces of fabric in my stash….so that sorting through them will take time!

And I have to remember to buy silk thread!


This entry was published on September 16, 2012 at 11:02 pm. It’s filed under Fabric Landscapes, Ideas, Landscapes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Applique Landscape Workshop at Lowell Quilt Museum

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