Join Me At The Beach!

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Join Me At The Beach!

Want to spend some time on the California coast with me next April?

I’ve been asked to teach at the world-famous Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar Conference Grounds on the Monterey Peninsula. And I couldn’t be more excited!

I’ve only been to California a few times and never to the Monterey area. It looks stunning. I’m a beach gal, so expect to find me with my toes in the sand when I’m not in the classroom.

I admit I’m also a forest geek, so if you don’t find me on the dunes, I’m probably wandering somewhere in the Del Monte Forest engaging in a little “nature bathing”. It all sounds heavenly.

Monterey Peninsula 4 frenchie calibaby
Monterey Peninsula; photo credit: @Frenchie_Calibaby

Transforming Gems Into Quilts

Treasure Hunting MC Promo 3 1
green blue zoisite full
Photography credit: Geoffrey Watt (Mayer and Watt)
mayer watt images page Pink Purple Zoisite
Photography credit: Geoffrey Watt (Mayer and Watt)

We’ll spend the week of April 10 – 15 searching for intriguing designs within the depths of gorgeous gemstones and transforming them into a spectacular piece of artwork using freezer paper as your templates.

Keep in mind that this is a technique I like to describe as traditional piecing using freezer paper as your template. It’s the same way I’ve created my giant gem portraits for the past 25+ years. This is not foundation paper piecing! We don’t sew to paper. We don’t use the flip-and-sew method. And we don’t have to claw paper bits out of the back of our quilts when we’re done.

If you can put two pieces of fabric right sides together with a quarter-inch seam allowance, YOU CAN DO THIS!

Another very important message I want to share with you is that there are no wrong answers when it comes to gem color and design! Colored gemstones are found in an infinite variety of hues and values. In addition, perfection is not a priority with this technique. Why? Gems don’t follow quilters’ rules. Light doesn’t care about the Quilt Police.

This is a powerful technique that you can add to your toolbox, regardless of your inspiration. My inspiration happens to be gems, but yours might be landscapes, flora & fauna, portraits, or abstracts. The beauty of this method is that it allows you to create a quilt design in which every single piece is a different size and shape.

I’ll share all that I’ve learned during the last two decades of creating faceted quilts about how to use the concepts of cut, color, and clarity to create a sparkling design.

  1. We’ll crop, tile, rotate, blend, and otherwise manipulate an image of a gem to find a stunning interior landscape that could be a great candidate for a quilt design.
  2. We’ll explore how value contrast and saturation contrast make your work sparkle and glow.
  3. We’ll create a freezer paper pattern complete with all the visual clues that will help you confidently piece your quilt together.
  4. We’ll learn assembly tips and techniques that I’ve used over 2 decades to piece my gems together.
  5. We’ll experiment with various quilting techniques you can use to stitch your final work.
  6. And finally, we’ll learn how to finish your quilt with a gallery facing.

I’ll bring lots of large gemstone images to play with OR you can bring an enlarged photograph of a piece of personal jewelry you’d like to use as inspiration. I’d recommend enlarging to at least 11″ x 17″ for best results.

Please note that I don’t recommend trying to create a design by looking at an actual gemstone that might be part of a ring you’re wearing. The most minute movements of your hand and variations of the light in the room will change the way the light dances around the gem. It’s best to use a photograph of a gem, rather than the gem itself.

Mayer Watt Spinel White
Photography credit: Geoffrey Watt (Mayer and Watt)
Mayer Watt Tourmaline bi color
Photography credit: Geoffrey Watt (Mayer and Watt)
Mayer Watt Tourmaline Russian Pink
Photography credit: Geoffrey Watt (Mayer and Watt)

I hope you’ll consider joining me and other gem-lovin’ quiltmakers for the week of April 10-15, 2022. We’re going to have a marvelous time creating, learning, and playing together. For more information, click the button below to visit the Empty Spools website and register today. Be well and shine on!

Catalog Cover
Empty Spools 2022 Catalog