I feel so fortunate to have been able to take a class with Jacquie Gering of Tallgrass Prairie Studio. I took the Modern Log Cabin Makeover with two friends and each of us left the class with totally different projects. We learned several ways to piece together a log cabin block, but we also learned how to design our own unique interpretation of the log cabin. Jacquie was absolutely wonderful as a teacher: the fabric and supply lists given out prior to class were clear, complete and gave us options for fabric choices; her presentation was well-organized; she gave clear handouts (so we can continue our designs at home); she gave each student in the classroom individual attention and affirmation; she had quilts to illustrate each of the different possible log cabins; she had a great sense of humor and was willing to learn from her students. In fact, one of my friends, Pam, convinced Jacquie that ‘hot pink’ is the ‘new’ neutral. Some students walked into the classroom totally comfortable with improvisation/wonkiness and others were not. Despite these differences, Jacquie inspired each one of us to push our boundaries. I think that everyone walked out of the class feeling good about their design and feeling good about themselves.
Below are a few blocks from my project (with apologies for the photography): “Radiant Chair.”
I walked into the class with the very beginnings of an idea–purple blocks on a gray background. Thanks to Jacquie holding my fabric up I changed immediately to a purple background and started piecing “Minimalist” log cabins. I think I just needed her permission to ‘go bold’. I wanted to put slivers of yellow in and around the blocks. Jacquie loved this idea and supported my experimentation with it. She helped me feel confident about finishing the quilt at home.
I finished the piecing the blocks at a quilting day with friends at a local church I started using painter’s tape (a method from Jacquie) to put the blocks on the wall so I could see what they looked like, the pastor walked in and asked anxiously how I was affixing them to the wall. lol. (No churches were harmed in the production of these blocks). During class we learned the importance of auditioning (trying out) fabric on a design wall, walking away, analyzing and then sewing. We also learned that we needed to use math to finish the blocks so that they fit together and make a quilt. In addition, we learned her method of ‘paneling’ blocks in larger and larger groups to form the quilt top. I can hardly wait to finish sewing my top and quilt it. I’ve marked each block with painter’s tape ‘addresses’ because I’ve been working on them in various places and I don’t want to get them mixed up when I assemble the top.
Here are some of Pam’s blocks:
Pam’s blocks were originally going on a hot pink background, but, after auditioning it, Pam was underwhelmed. Next, she tried the Kaffe Fasset print and it.was.gorgeous. Pam is ready for the ‘math’ part, but I think that she is deciding how many blocks she wants in her quilt and how large she wants to make it.
And these are JoAnn’s blocks:
I love JoAnn’s use of the red and orange throughout her blocks and those big beautiful flowers. She is almost ready to piece together her top. I’m excited to see what it will look like!! I think that her blocks look like a perfect summer day, all I need now is a glass of lemonade.
Sew outside your box today,