Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Jacquie Gering: Instigator of UFOs

Have I mentioned recently how cool my quilt guild is? In addition to excellent meetings (great demos, fabulous conversation, killer snacks), we do sew-ins, retreats, and workshops. In the past six months, I’ve participated in two workshops that focused on improvisation. The first workshop, on bias-strip piecing, was with Sherri Lynn Wood. (You can read more about that workshop here.) Then, a few weekends ago, we met with Jacquie Gering to learn her slice-and-insert method for improv piecing.

Workshops make me so happy. I love spending time with friends and discussing quilt making as an art. Sure, there’s talk of technique, but devoting time to the bigger picture—why we make certain design decisions, why one approach conveys a different message than another—makes for compelling conversation (for quilting geeks like me).

If I had to describe Jacquie’s style in one word, I’d say it’s linear. She loves lines, and her slice-and-insert method supports that love. Check out some of her signature quilts—Shattered, Unparalleled, Tall Grass—to see what I mean.

I could have made my own version of a Jacquie Gering quilt—I think I could have pieced something pretty cool—but I was committed to making something that was more me, starting with my fabric pull. I selected some prints from my stash, including finds I scored at Marden’s this past spring and a big dose Denyse Schmidt. The gray/blue/pinkish-red results are pleasantly girlie.

Before attending the class, I had the idea to make a modern improv chevron. I floated the idea past Jacquie, and she set me loose, checking in with me every so often to refine my vision. It was those interactions, in addition to seeing what my fellow students were sewing, that was most valuable. Jacquie’s suggestions that I change the size of my blocks and add some black will help me take this project through to a successful finish.

Before Jacquie’s feedback: blocks of the same size

Ugh. And now here’s the problem with taking workshops. I have this Jacquie Gering-inspired UFO (unfinished object) and no time to work on it. Higher-priority projects are demanding my time. I hope I can sustain this momentum until my sewing schedule opens up. Perhaps the time away will help me further hone exactly where I’m going with this quilt?

After Jacquie’s feedback: lower-volume background fabrics, random thin black lines

How do you juggle multiple UFOs? Or perhaps you focus on one project at a time (in which case I envy you!)? It’s worth noting that the quilt top I started in the workshop with Sherri Lynn Wood is still unfinished. I’ve tried to work on it—I even purchased fabric for the background with the intention of wrapping it up—but I was unable to commit to a vision and run with it.

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social, WIP Wednesday, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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  1. I bounce back and forth from project to project, i usually have three going at a time. I get tired of looking at the same thing over and over for long periods, so i hope over to another one. When i tire, I rest. Then..back to it. If I need a real break, I take one, like tomorrow the hubby and I are going camping hiking and and kayaking for a few days. Then I will get back to what I love.

  2. I like Jacque's work a lot. It's so neat that you got to take a workshop with her--to learn from her but also keep your own voice in your work. I have three projects going right now--not typical for me, but it works when they are in different stages. I have one machine quilting project, one planning/piecing and one hand quilting. A few weeks ago, I was a bit overwhelmed with three projects (one is done now) because they had the potential to all be at the machine quilting stage at once. Definitely not comfortable for me.

  3. I keep a "healthy" running list ... more like overwhelming list of UFO's that tend to occupy lots of brain space. Then add in the deadline projects and ahhhhhhhhh. P.S. our guild is awesome.

  4. I actually HAVE to have multiple projects going at once, although I don't recommend it for everyone. I get bored too easily if a project goes on for too long, which make it's totally ironic that I even quilt at all. I do have an actual sewing room, so I don't have to pack things away, but am able to keep my WIP's where I can see them. Once they are packed away they are gone. When I keep seeing them, then I eventually come back to them.

    Sounds like a really interesting workshop. I've tried a little improv, but am never too pleased with the results... (note to self and statement of the obvious: I guess that is why workshops are helpful!)

    This looks super fun and it will be interesting to see further progress on it!

  5. I try not to have too many things going at once. I love to have at least a paper piecing or binding to do at night...I hate having idle hands! Love your idea for a chevron!

  6. I try to juggle a bazillion projects at once although some get cast aside while I focus on a few. Problem is I think I can accomplish more in a given period of time than I can.

  7. I know what you mean about the energizing effects of workshops... without the necessary extra time to play with those new skills. For me, I make a list of UFOs only once a year. It helps me stay focused on the projects that have been hanging around for FAR too long... and decide if they're really worth the time anymore. I've also being finding A Lovely Year of Finishes to be very motivating in getting UFOs off my list and into Finish posts!

  8. Very cool with the slice and dice! I never go to workshops, but maybe I should...

  9. I have a good stack of UFO's but I am okay with that for right now. I figure that when it is the "right" time to work on them and finish them is when I have inspiration to do so.

  10. I have a whole lotta UFOs as well... I feel like if I try to "push it forward" when I'm just not feeling it... it doesn't go so well for me. That said, it's getting cold here so I'm inspired to pull several out and wrap them up! Then wrap up in them! ;-) I love the colors in your fabric too!


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