Monday, June 10, 2013

Gwen Marston on Lopez Island

I've just returned from four days with Gwen Marston and friends on Lopez Island, Washington.

This was one of several workshops I've taken from her.  


She never fails to be witty, good natured, helpful, talented and SO much fun.  




This retreat was all about making medallion quilts.
Here's Gwen with the flimsy I made during the first two days.




This is the start of one I worked on the last two days.



Photo by Sharon Risedorph, shown with permission from Roderick Kiracofe.

The inspiration is this quilt in Roderick Kiracofe's book, QUILTS, at Blurb.com.
It's made between 1950-1975 in New Orleans by an African American quilt maker.

  


Here's Gwen showing the book, while everyone took notes about how to order it.
If you like quirky quilts like I do, you're going to want this book!



The retreat took place at this historic one room school house, set in an idyllic field. 



One day, I heard a "baa" and looked out the door to find a herd of sheep passing by!  
If you look closely, you can see a black border collie working the herd.



Our hosts were two lovely women who did everything to make sure we were all relaxed and happy.  
One has a great little quilt shop on the island.  Isn't this a fun sign?



Each day started and ended with a ferry ride from and to a friend's place on a nearby island.



And a drive past driftwood sculpture.




One morning I spotted these deer outside my bedroom window.




The last night, we all made a scarecrow for our friend's garden.  

Ah, the island life!

Sharon and Anita were also at the retreat.  It was a real treat to sew with them.  
Check their posts for photos of the participants' quilts and thoughts from Gwen.  




31 comments:

Nat Palaskas said...

Wow, how fantastic the retreat with Gwen would be. I want to take her retreat too. Please tell me where can I make a booking? Your medallion quilt is gorgeous, but I love your quirky quilt more - Hugs Nat

Cathy said...

Oh lucky, lucky you!!! What a wonderful time you have had I always love seeing what inspires your amazing creations! xo

Stacey said...

Looks fantastic....location and workshop....lucky you!

Marit said...

What a wonderful way to spend a weekend, looks like so much fun! Love your makings...
; )

Kathie said...

thank you for sharing your retreat with us.
wow Love the medallion you made, great fabric for the center. I LOVE the scrappy quilt based on the quilt in Rodericks book. LOVE that...
what a beautiful place to have a retreat....
can't wait to hear more !
kathie

regan said...

What a fun retreat! Gwen sounds like a wonderful gal, I hope to take a class from her one day! And your two quilts are AWESOME!!!!

Sharon said...

This looks so fun! I love retreats, sewing with others is so energizing

Brenda said...

thanks for sharing with us. your retreat looks fabulous!

Tonya Ricucci said...

how fantastic. amazing!

Jodi said...

Wow! I thought of so many comments to make while reading your posts about your retreat and the island. I will just say I LOVE islands, hate the ferry rides (suffer from losing my stomach contents), LOVE your medallion and scrappy quilts, and I have that book that by Roderick Kiracofe, and LOVE that, too!!! Thanks for sharing!

beth said...

Love your medallion quilt. Wish I could have been there. It all looks more than wonderful!

Victoria said...

Oh my goodness, does that sound great!! I remember when I first read Gwen's terrific Liberated Quiltmaking, and felt my whole mind expand. I can only imagine how great it must be to take a class with her, let alone a whole island retreat! Thanks so much for sharing and letting me live a little vicariously. :)

(And that vintage African American Quilt is fabulous)!

Chris said...

Oh my goodness, looks like a perfect setting for creativity, serenity, and fun! Evidenced by your great tops! And ditto what Victoria said, I did a little gasp when I saw the African American quilt, what rhythm it has! Thanks for sharing - happy quilting!

Kim said...

Heavenly, I have to say my retreat time with Gwen was one of my favorite vacations. I came home all refreshed with great new ideas.
Heavenly setting too.

Happy Sewing

Barb said...

OMG that looks like such a great place for a workshop!

Mary Keasler said...

How Nifty! Looks as if you had a mavelous time. And created great pieces.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Everything about your retreat looks amazing!! So many inspiring quilts, I love your new quilt top!! I might just have to get that book.

smazoochie said...

It looks like heaven on earth!
I'm trying hard not to be jealous (a deadly sin, you know) but just be pleased you got to go & had such a wonderful time.
Yay YOU!

Julie Fukuda said...

I'm not sure I could have concentrated on the retreat with all that scenery and outdoor activity. It must have been fantastic.

fiberchick said...

What a dream week!!! LOVE your flimsy, your version of the Kiracofe quilt and the shots of the retreat. That book is one of my faves too. What did you learn from GM this time???

Tammy said...

I'm so bummed I could not make the workshops this year with Gwen. I had such a great time last year when she visited the northwest. So good to hear that you and all the others had such a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing pics.

Shirley said...

Enjoyed the visit with you.

Helen said...

Wonderful quilts, wonderful time! You must be bursting with enthusiasm to finish these now. I like the idea of slow meaningful creativity, too...savoring the process

cinzia said...

Wow! That sounds like a dream vacation to me!! And to spend it with sewing friends makes it even more fantastic! Your quilts are fabulous as usual. I especially love he second one. And, yes, i would love to get my hands on that book!

Marge said...

I can only imagine how inspiring your time was. Gwen is one of my favorite quilters, and I hope to take a workshop with her soon. Thank you for sharing!

audrey said...

Yay for you! What a fabulous time you must have had. Your flimsy is wonderfully you and the scrappy quilt from Roderick Karacofe inspiration is very exciting in a completely different way. Thanks for sharing your work with us. Always a pleasure to come to your blog.:)

MulticoloredPieces said...

Nothing like a quilting retreat with wonderful people in the Pacific Northwest. I'm dying of envy!
best, nadia

Cheryl said...

You are such an inspiration! It was fun meeting you up on Lopez and I enjoyed seeing your quilts in person. Keep up the great work! Cheryl

the girlfriend gap said...

hello, In an amazing coincidence I will be traveling to the San Juan Islands in Sept. You have renewed my enthusiasm for the trip. If I sweet talk my husband he may let me stop at a quilt shop. We will be riding our bikes around the Islands. I have been trying to get in shape for the trip and if I can be motivated to exercise by knowing I might be able to find a quilt shop while I am there, it will make it a little sweeter. Can you tell me where the quilt shop is located that you went to. Thanks so much. Loved the inspiration from your quilts. Janita

Janet said...

I'd love that chalkboard! What a great retreat to be on, loved seing what you're up to.

Sherri ~ daintytime said...

I like the quilt you started in Gwen's class and thanks for posting images from Kirocofe's book. What a stunning example of strip piecing.