2014 PIQF Part 2: Workshops, Lectures and Fashion Shows

While I love seeing all the quilts on display at PIQF, I also enjoy having the opportunity to attend workshops, lectures and events with world-renowned quilt artists and teachers.  In past years, I have taken workshops with Jennie Rayment, Esterita Austin, Frieda Anderson, Marjan Kluepfel and this year I lucked out big time and took 2 workshops with Gloria Loughman!!!  Her workshops filled up within days of registration going live, so I knew I was in for a real treat!!  I also set aside some time in my schedule to attend some evening lectures and the Fashion Show--both PIQF firsts for me.

Thursday Full-Day Workshop:  Light Up Your Landscape 
This workshop focused on Gloria's fused tiling technique for creating spectacular landscapes, as featured in her "Radiant Landscapes" book.  I was the first student to arrive as I was excited about the day ahead.  As I settled into my work space, I noticed a beautiful assortment of hand-dyed fabrics she brought from her Australian studio which were available for purchase.  As fellow students started to arrive, they started to peruse the folded fabrics, which once you started to open them up to the full width of fabric got even more spectacular!!  One student picked up and opened an absolutely gorgeous fabric that gradated from a rich orange, to magenta, purple and then a lovely rich teal--the colors of the sunset images I brought for inspiration.  My heart leaped for joy when the student started to fold it up and returned it to the table.  I quickly raced up to the table and picked it up to use with my project.  In fact, despite pulling a large assortment of fabrics from my own stash, I ended up only using two pieces:  a Kona solid for the quilt back, and another striped batik for the backdrop to the tiles I would fuse and cut from her hand dyed piece.  Another student next to me found another fabulous and colorful piece, which she too returned part way through class, which I then went up and retrieved to add to my collection for use on a future project--quite possibly another tiled landscape piece.
My tiled sunset backdrop created using Gloria's technique and gorgeous fabrics

Gloria quickly proved to be an amazing instructor and began class with admitting that this class is usually taught in a 2 to 5 day format.  She assured us we would still get all the information, while helping to set a realistic expectation that we would not be finishing the entire piece in class.  But she reassured us that we would have all the technique and information provided in her detailed handouts, to complete our pieces outside of class.  She got us started with some basic design principles and color theory and had lots of terrific class samples on hand.  She would do some brief lectures and then set us free to work on our individual designs, while moving around the classroom to individually connect with each of the students and answering questions/concerns.  It was a great opportunity to run our design visions and fabric selections past her and get her feedback/suggestions when we were stuck.  While I do not want to reveal the plans for the foreground of my intended design, I can share a picture of the tiled background that I designed, laid out, fused and started to quilt in class.  Before the end of class, I met with Gloria and got some invaluable design and fabric selection input from Gloria to complete the foreground element of my design, and I can't wait to start that element of my design!  And it was so interesting to see the other students' pieces--some using squares, larger rectangles, etc to create all different types of radiant skies.

Thursday Evening Lecture:  Share the Journey
Thursday afternoon, Gloria presented her lecture and trunk show entitled "Share the Journey."  During this hour, she took us on a virtual tour of her Australian studio and outback backdrop that fuels her with loads of design inspiration.  She also shared stories of her adventures travelling the world as a quilt instructor.  Throughout her presentation, she included visuals of her work space, dye process, travels and journey as a quilter.  Last but not least, she treated us to a mini trunk show featuring several of her quilts.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Friday Full-Day Workshop:  Playing on the Surface
A preview of my quilt design and color scheme
Friday was another round with Gloria, and she promised the group of students that took her Wednesday workshop that Thursday would be all new techniques and information--and she delivered on that promise.  This workshop got us started on creating a more abstract quilt using techniques from her "Quilted Symphony" book.  While she did provide another brief review of design and color theory concepts, she had an all new collection of class samples to drive those points home.  Throughout the day, she presented so many design ideas and techniques, that my head was just spinning with ideas.  Being Day 3 for me I was running a bit low on energy, so it was a lot of information and inspiration to take in.  Rather than race through to create a ho-hum quilt in class, I decided to spend the in-class time to develop my design and do some preparations, but would do the bulk of construction once I returned to the comfort of my studio.  So unfortunately, I do not have as much to show for my workshop progress, but I have the perfect quilt on paper and in my head!!  This time around, I did use a larger selection of the fabrics I brought from my stash using the complementary color scheme of red-violet and lime green fabrics, supplemented of course with 2 more pieces of Gloria's gorgeous hand dyed fabrics!!  I can't wait to start implementing some of her design techniques in bold magenta colors with lime green accents, into my seven abstract and flowing quilt segments!!

Friday Evening Lecture:  My Desert Experience with Caroline Sharkey
Caroline Sharkey was a fellow Australian quilter/instructor who had popped into our workshops to say hello.  So when I had a gap in my schedule that coincided with her lecture entitled "My Desert Experience," I signed up with minutes to spare.  Again, I was transported to exotic Australian desert landscapes that inspired many of her quilt designs and learned of her technique where she cuts up her fabric into tiny bits that are then laid out and heavily quilted to create her quilt designs.  Again, she incorporated many photos of her quilts as well as brought a large selection of her quilts that were were invited to come up to admire up close.

Friday Evening:  Artistic Expressions in Wearable Art Fashion Show
One of my fellow guild members and friends, Tiffany, volunteered to be a model in the Fashion Show, so I purchased a ticket to cheer her on as she worked the runway.  While I am not ready to cross over to quilted fashion design, I am so glad I attended, as the garments were quite stunning and it was so interesting to hear the artists share their inspiration, motivation and intentions for their piece.  While each piece that came out was truly a work of art, Tiffany proved to be the star of the evening as she was totally in her element as she rocked the runway!!
Tiffany Rocking the Runway in this Mermaid Ensemble