Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quilt Retreat

My birthday present this year is going to a new quilting retreat in Tryon, which is in western North Carolina, where the wild and wonderful Marilyn Doheny, quilt designer extraordinaire, is the new owner of the old Melrose Inn, freshly refurbished in her inimitable way.  Here she will teach her inspired techniques using the 9 degree ruler in a week long class called Instant Garden --  Just Add Fabric!  She promises that our flowers and critters will be completed by the end of the retreat and ready to applique onto our background quilt!  I hope so.  I am not known for getting my quilts finished in a timely manner....

Experimenting with colors in bright strata, Marilyn has brought a fresh and exciting perspective to the quilting industry, and has been instrumental in developing the tools, such as the 9 degree ruler, to do this.  That's Marilyn, there, on the right.   She's just a wisp of a thing, but she has the energy of the Eveready Bunny! 

So, she has given us a list of supplies, including about 17 different fabrics, more or less.  We are to start with a baseline quilt, already made up and consisting of a fabric of our choice as the center and three borders around it.  Here are my choices for the borders.  The central fabric for the body of the quilt hasn't arrived yet. (Don't forget, I live in Outer Slobovia or its equivalent down here in deepest darkest southern Virginia, and we don't have fabric shops within reach.  We have to travel hours in any direction to get to one, so I ordered mine online.)

The widest, outer border will be the black fabric with bright flowers on it.  Then there will be a narrow turquoise blue one and then a medium sized, checked one for the innermost border.  I'm thinking of using a muted peach for the center, but we'll see.

On this background quilt, we will place our "garden flowers and critters" that we create from our strata.  Some of my selections for the colors for my strata are below.

I guess you can see that I haven't really settled on any particular palette yet.  But the whole idea is to mix and match, choosing the colors for each strata not so much to match the others as to balance them -- light and dark, opposites on the color wheel, striking saturation vs pale.    And then we're also supposed to choose at least three "zingers" that are bold enough to "pop" the design in small quantities.  Here are mine:

Lastly, we're supposed to experiment a little with plaids or stripes.  Here are a few that I'm auditioning for my strata:

What to choose...what to choose!  Maybe all of them.  Won't that be a wild garden!  Tomorrow I need to bite the bullet and start creating some strata to take with me to the class.


  1. Oh love all of those color choices. You are going to have a blast. We are in the same boat as far as fabric shops. Here I am at least an hour but the good shops are like 2 to 4 hours from me. So I also have to depend on the online source. I like to support the brick and mortar shops but when you cant get there all the time you have to make do. Cant wait till you post your photos from this retreat.

  2. Sure wish I knew how to do this by return email, but since I don't -- thanks, Sue. I'll keep you posted by blog.