“Creativity is usually seen as an individual attribute but it depends on opportunity for expression and a receptive audience.” Margaret Cruikshank
Sharing a day with friends and acquaintances while playing with fabric is my idea of heaven! Last Saturday (February 15) we set up our machines, ironing stations and cutting boards as we gathered to learn from another guild member. The Rogers Public Library was the setting and Sheila Bayles was our teacher. Taking four different fabrics we used a technique developed by Ricky Tims which he called “Harmonic Convergence” to sew and slice and converge fabric pieces–like magic–into a new whole.
My quilt top is pictured above after I reworked it some at home and added two borders and a touch of a fifth fabric. The process takes concentration to follow each step. Here is where I started. I wanted to use this black cotton sateen skirt with white embroidery I found recently at a thrift shop. Then I chose the other three fabrics to complement and contrast. The touch of green was added later.
We worked steadily all morning while laughing and visiting with each other. We shared tools and tricks consulting with Sheila or each other if we got stuck. The transformation process was tricky, but created amazing combinations. After lunch we spent time on the last grouping and carefully matched seams to line up each row of contrasting fabrics. Most of us finished sewing our tops and each quilt top featured startling combinations of contrasting fabrics. Each of us showed her top as she finished sewing and pressing it. We admired every one of the tops and took pictures to record the effort.
Here is the quilt top Therese Ramsey created with her choice of clear bright fabrics. Something did not seem quite right with my own top. I scrutinized it when I got home and realized I had turned some of my strips upside down. By placing the quilt top on the portable design board I’d created, I could see the design issues I faced.
Something did not seem quite right with my own top. I scrutinized it when I got home and realized I had turned some of my strips upside down. By placing the top on the portable design board I’d created I could see the design issues I was facing.
Every combination of fabrics resulted in interesting colors woven together. Hazel McFall (left) created a seascape effect and Cindy Askins’ version looks like a desert sunrise to me. Once we have sewn the strips, we each face the challenge of how to orient the resulting composition. Charlotte Ralston chose purple midnight colors.
After much visual examination at home, I decided to move one on the strips from the far right side back to the far left. As I kept looking and considering, I wondered if adding another sliver of color might be a solution.
In conversation with Nora Krein at the class she had commented on the variegated polka dot fabric I was using and how the fabric moved through numerous colors including a touch of lime green. Remembering her casual comment inspired me to pull out a favorite lime green fabric with tiny gold dots. Yes, I liked that addition! I would use a small inner border of the green. Next I decided to insert the green for a zinger in that strip I had just moved to the far left side.
I carefully ripped out the cross strips of red in that one row and replaced them with my zinger green. Once I realigned my strips, I was finished and had a title! Borders were tricky, but I found a combination that pleases me. The off-center border weights the lower left side, but does not enclose the design. And the 5″ wide border gives me a chance to highlight the large scale red floral fabric. After I machine quilted it, I added a black binding with a lime green flange. I’ve been inspired by the class and added my own take on the convergence design. What fun!
More fun when you view Raija Salomaa’s finished quilt and the detail of her quilting in this photo she sent. You can see that each of us had to choose how to orient our quilts to the best advantage. Raija rotated her quilt top 90 degrees in the finished version. Several of us finished our quilt tops by the February 27 guild meeting. Many of us from the class of twenty-one quilters showed our work to the entire group that night.