Posts Tagged ‘Gyleen Fitzgerald’

Last May. Gyleen Fitzgerald came to speak at the Merrimack Valley Quilters Guild.  If you ever have the chance to see Gyleen in person, I would definitely recommend you do.  She has a unique way of looking at quilting. Her philosophy of going with the flow and make a beautiful quilt really inspired me.  Sometimes one gets bogged down in the preparation, causing us to lose the fun aspect of quilting.  Quilting should be fun!

Anyway, I was not signed up for her workshop, but after hearing her speak I wanted to attend.  That gave me one day to prepare for the workshop.  I needed at least 100 2″ strips cut by Saturday morning.  The guild meets on Thursday nights.   The workshop was for her pattern Anything Goes Star Tessellation.  You would think that after her lecture I wouldn’t stress out about the fabric I would choose for the workshop.  But nooo,  I had to find my inspiration fabric and choose fabrics which match my inspiration fabric.  I did follow the rule that the fabrics did not necessarily have to go with each other, but I wanted to match the inspiration fabric.

I feverishly pressed and cut all day Friday.  Luckily, I work from home.  Otherwise, I would not have been able to get this done.  By the way, I like to heavily starch all my fabrics before cutting.  I find I have better accuracy with cutting and sewing when the fabric is slightly stiff.  The fabric shifts less, therefore you are more accurate without trying too hard.  And yes, I go through a lot of starch.  So much so I started purchasing the concentrate so I can just mix up a batch as needed.  It’s much cheaper that way.

Anyway,  I got to the workshop with all my fabrics cut.  I had always wanted to make a star tessellation quilt but never wanted to spend the time planning out the tessellation.  With Gyleen’s pattern and instructions, you did not need to.  I had to see how she did this.

She was right, you don’t need to pre-plan a star tessellation in order to make it look good. I’m not going to tell you how it works you will just have to get her pattern.  But I will tell you it is so easy.  I couldn’t believe it.  You start with one block then build your first row. Once you complete your first row you move on to the next.  As you finish each row you sew them together.  Adding rows until the quilt it the size you want.  As usual, I never make anything small.  I put together 9 rows with 9 blocks each.  Which gave me an 81″ square quilt.

Some in the class used a background fabric, some used a specific color pallet.  We also set up a space for sharing strips.  I only took one of those.  I could see why she said anything goes.  I only got two rows made in the class.  But when I got home, I added more fabric to my selection.  It didn’t matter how well they matched each other.   I did keep to a specific color pallet, blues, burgundy, greens, browns, beige, dusty pink, golden yellows.  Well maybe not that specific, but I didn’t use purples or any bright colors and no blacks, greys or white.

Once I had all my rows together,  did I stop there?  Of course not.  I wanted to give the illusion of the stars tessellating into the border.  I used all of the lighter neutral fabrics and created half blocks for the first pieced border.  It doesn’t really look like a border. It just looks like part of the piecing.  But it really is a border.

The next border I attached is made up from the neutral scraps.  I pieced them together on the diagonal.  Then I put on three more borders, a burgundy, a taupe, and a green print with burgundy and taupe in it. (The last border is mitered.  The print has a strip effect that cried out to be mitered.)  Needless to say, it got big.  I think I ended up with 108″ square.

Center of Quilt

Center of Quilt

Now I was stuck.  How I was going to quilt it.   I asked my buddies from LANE ( Long Armers of New England). They gave me a few ideas.  I didn’t plan it but the quilt ended up with a light neutral in the center.

That became my starting off point.  I used a swirl in the center that came out into a star-flower design in the center 9 blocks.  I repeated a smaller version of the star-flower as a border around the larger one.  Followed by a fern feather, followed by more star flowers followed by another fern feather.  Then just a fern type meander in the corners of the main quilt area.Tesselation borders

In the pieced border that really doesn’t look like a border, I quilted half star flowers.  In the rest of the borders I quilted a ribbon, then swirls, a small wave, and lastly more ferns.

I love the way this quilt came out.  The colors just flow.  You can’t really see the quilting unless you get right on top of it.  Gyleen was right, “Anything Goes.”

Let me know what you think.  Do you like it?

Seriously.

CTesselation 2

 

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