Friday, June 1, 2018

Homage

It's my turn to host the Bee Sewcial improv bee this month and I'm kinda excited about the prompt I've settled on. Over the last three plus years, we've been inspired by a shape, by minimalism with meaning, by a season, and even by a food item. And so much more. But as far as I can remember, we have yet to focus on a person. Well that changes now.


photo by Kathy French, courtesy of John French

Enter (I wish!) Gwen Marston. Retired now from teaching, I sadly never had the opportunity to take a class with her, but she's influenced my work a great deal. I 'met' Gwen late in her career - too late to do much other than enjoy a lecture and start collecting her books. And of course be inspired by her and her work.



So I'm asking my bee-mates to create a "sketch" focusing on Gwen's techniques and designs. Gwen is known for her "painterly" use of solids in bold colors and combinations. Rather I'd like us to focus more on shape and composition while minimizing the color. Basically, think red and white. But by red, I mean redS - a variety of them such as the Konas shown below. No orangey-reds or pink.



If you're familiar with Gwen's liberated patchwork style, you'll know exactly the aesthetic I'm after. If inspiration is needed, consider listening to this Crafty Planner podcast, peruse this pin board, or devour a few of Gwen's books: A Common Thread: A Collection of Quilts by Gwen Marston, Minimal Quiltmaking, or if you're lucky enough to have nabbed a copy before the price became exorbitant, 37 Sketches. Make one block, either minimalist or maximalist, but pieced blocks only please.



To those of you who aren't in Bee Sewcial, feel free to explore with us using the hashtag #inspiredbybeesewcial, or if nothing else, listen to the aforementioned podcast and get to know Gwen just a bit. Chance is, you'll be as inspired by her as I have been.

12 comments:

  1. I look forward to seeing what your bee mates create and how you pull it all together. :)

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  2. cool idea. I wish I had gotten to meet her

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  3. I was a lucky one to have been Gwen’s student twice. Excellent idea, to use her as inspiration.

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  4. I was fortunate to attend one of Gwen's retreats as well as a couple of classes. She ranks very high in quilters who have inspired me.

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  5. I have her "Liberated Quilts" book and am now making a few liberated baskets using her techniques. I love sewing this freeing up way. thanks for sharing hugs, Julierose

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  6. Love the idea ! I can't wait to see the blocks !

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  7. I agree, great idea, Debbie.
    And using reds, that will add some energy.

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  8. What a wonderful way to pay homage to a legend! With the talent of the Bee Sewcial group...it's bound to be amazing!

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  9. I was lucky to meet her. She's a real person and not full of herself like some teachers

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  10. I was fortunate enough to take a 5 day workshop with Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran organized by Santa Barbara Quilt Retreats. These ladies were so down to earth and such an inspiration! Gwen is a great story/joke teller!! One of the best workshops I have attended!

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  11. My research has started as I know very little about Gwen Marston and I haven't even seen any of her books. So I started with the podcast and I have to say I was crazy pleased that she was speaking about Kilim and I'm sure that was just a coincidence, but it made my day. I've been in a "not wanting to quilt anymore" funk and I think this really helped turn the tides for me. Thank you for the introduction Debbie!

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