Monday, October 16, 2017

Sujata Shah - Paper Beads Workshop

Sujata Shah, aka The Root Connection was in the PNW this past weekend and I had a blast creating with a fantastic group of quilters.  The workshop was advertised as Rail Fence, from the cover of Sujata's book, Cultural Fusion.

 I was excited to meet Sujata, see her quilts, and hear her quilting experiences.  I was also excited that this project needed LOTS of fabric and I had a bin of blacks and whites that have been begging to get cut up and put into a quilt top.  I'm a pre-prepper so I had all my 16 sets cut, pressed, and ready to go......
.....and then Quiltmania put out Simply Moderne with Sujata's Paper Beads on the cover.  Class got switched up and everyone was moving down a different track.  Here are some of the fabulous creations that came from this weekend in Mt.Vernon, WA

Creativity starts here.
Beads are on the wall and backgrounds are being auditioned.
Some choices have been made and we were grateful for having a quilt shop next door.  Bolts were brought over, many rejected, but as quilters, everyone  persevered and found just the right background.
*all photos can be enlarged by clicking*
K decided she couldn't decide so she pieced the backgrounds and it is fabulous.
Here K has added in her vertical strips, which have also been pieced.
Close up of fabrics. 
Mary, (one of 3 in the class) was on task and had lots of beads together and was using a fabulous neutral woven background.
No sashing yet, but auditioning some border strips.  This pink was fantastic.

Cherrywood always looks like suede to me.  Mary adding in some piecing in her piecing, and is going to use a brown grunge for backgrounds. 
J is using an orange grunge for her beads. Grunge and grunge dot were popular options for this project. The fabrics in the beads were amazing.  Every bit of design wall had my head spinning, picking out and pointing at so many GOOD fabrics. We really are blessed to have such an abundance of product to work with.
S got into the October mood and was using Hallow'een fabrics.  Her background was perfect for her beads, BUT............once you start cutting up the backgrounds, the prints can be a bit muddled and mixed up and detract from the string beads.  A few ideas got tossed around at that end of the room, and pretty soon several makers were going to raw edge applique their beads onto the backgrounds.

A dotty grey was chosen here.

C couldn't decide between the brown or the red dot so she chose to use both.  She was also part of the applique discussion and after getting her beads sewn, she added a little square as a connector.  Then her featherweight got to work and she raw edge appliqued her beads onto the grunge dots.  There were pins and glue and extra hands used in getting this under the needle, but WOW!
Auditioning  top and bottom sashings.....
close up of fabrics used.
Something to crow about!  I'd say, C had her top finished, except for borders. 

Me, well, I was invested into the original Rail Fence project and I decided to stick to that plan. After making a test block a few months ago, I was sold on rectangle blocks and I loved the block layout.  After getting each block on the wall, this was my final design, and I couldn't be happier with this. I got all the blocks pieced and designed into my finished vision.  There *might* be a sliver of lime added in while putting the blocks together.  In the process of doing all this piecing, I did manage to produce 5 -6 black and white beads by using left over strips as leaders/enders.

I have just come out of a few intensive string pieces, and didn't want to get into another one just yet.
It was definitely a weekend of intensive piecing; machines were humming, bobbins were emptied and rewound, minds were spinning with ideas and the sharing of fabric and friendship was the best part of the weekend.  Life is GOOD!


Mimi said...

Wow! Those were all impressive. I don't know if I could pick out a favorite, but the orange one really speaks to me. I don't know how you could talk yourself out of all the fun they were having; but then again, your blocks look great. In all, it looks like it was a fun time. Thanks for sharing.

Gayle said...

VERY cool blocks!

Shasta Matova said...

Thanks for sharing all these pics. These blocks are all lovely and I liked seeing all the different combinations. I can understand having a plan in mind - that is a big shift to a completely different kind of block.

ES said...

The raw edged appliqué beads quilt is a real delight! It can be added to my inspiration ideas. Thanks for sharing lots of photos. Your rail fence monochrome quilt is going to be a winner too :)

Janet O. said...

I can see how these blocks are beads, but they make me think of Japanese lanterns. :)
I like the idea of a spritz of lime in your quilt.

Roxanne said...

Very fun post! So much inspiration!

Pat said...

Talk about free style piecing - amazing results. I see things like this and realize how conservative I am. The workshop must have been so fun and I can hear those machines singing together!

Barb said...

looks like such a fun workshop! love playing with string piecing.

Lori said...

I'm surprised they would change the advertised class. :( Sujata is a lovely woman and a great teacher. All of the blocks makes me think it was a really terrific class.

Diane said...

Wow, what fun work! Thanks for sharing all of the different versions are so interesting. I sure wish I had been in that workshop!

Kristen Willard said...

I machine quilted C's quilt and it turned out beautiful. She raw edge appliqued the beads on top.