The week before last I went to Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreat (week 5). Each year Gwen generously shares her skills over a five week period, each week working with about 30 quilters, many of whom return yearly for their "Gwen fix". This year the topic was small studies. It focused on practicing techniques for make various elements and subsequently using those elements to design small quilts, or sketches as Gwen called them. Gwen recently published a lovely book, 37 Sketches, showing her small quilts and the thought process behind their creation.
During the retreat, we played with color and sewed skinny curves, spikes, free pieced log cabins, overlapping curved strata, inserts of tiny specks of color, checkerboards etc. We learned not to be afraid of using little pieces of fabric and to let ourselves experiment with abstract designs. We explored colors we don't often use in quilt making. We were challenged to think out of the box.
I had a wonderful time exploring and trying new things. I made the following small quilts:
|Color Study: Blue and Green|
|Color Study: Brown|