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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quilty Pleasures Wednesday-Beaver Island Quilt Retreat 1

I'm a newbie to the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat, Gwen Marston's yearly series of classes, each year fashioned around a particular theme. This time the theme is small studies in solids, which Gwen calls, Small Sketches. We aren't sketching with pens or pencils, but with leetle bits of fabric, piecing improvisationally, muddling through, learning as we go.

Gwen's new book, 37 Sketches, is our text for the retreat, a classy, gorgeous full color hardback, lovingly crafted by a small press, 37 small quilts beautifully photographed along with Gwen's commentary about her ideas and inspiration for making small quilts about 12 inches square. Check out her website for more info about the book.

Gwen is friends with Jean Wells whose newest book is called Intuitive Color and Design. This all started when Gwen had a few days free to stay with Jean in Sisters, Oregon, where she began experimenting with some of Jean's techniques, thus beginning a new quilting adventure and the new book.

Here's Gwen explaining a motif in one of her 37 sketches.

Today we worked on curves, among other techniques, at our own pace on our own first "sketch." I'm just going to give you a taste of what people are working on, so the rest of the photos can speak for themselves. Later I will show some of the finished products.

The first two photos are pieces from Gwen's 37 Sketches collection.

Each "sketch" is just 12 inches square
The variations are intriguing

These other photos are works in progress by some of the students. I am amazed at how quickly the time goes when a quiltmaker is "in the zone."






  1. Lucky lucky you!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    : )

  2. Oh lucky luck you!

    Awesome little quilts.


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