Thursday, August 29, 2013

Edyta Sitar lecture and my new fabric for fussy cutting

Yesterday we went to a quilt shop to hear Edyta Sitar speak. She did a wonderful trunk show and we got so see more than 60 of her quilts, many of which are featured in her 2013 calendar. She entertained us for more than an hour with her stories and ideas! I love trunk shows and show and share at the Guild because I always come away excited, inspired and itching to create! Edyta's trunk show delivered on all counts!

Edyta has a natural colour sense and it is evidenced in her scrap quilts. I don't subscribe to the notion that all fabrics go together in a scrap quilt and sometimes there are bits that just have to be left out or altered in some way, tea staining for example. Or as Edyta said she can't help it if a patch drops in her coffee!

There are secrets to making a successful scrap quilt and one of those tips that I've blogged about in my previous posts and that Edyta talked about is the use of a single colour to "control" your quilt. Using a particular colour can tame down the scraps and add cohesiveness to anchor the quilt. Think of the many log cabin quilts we've all seen each of which has a red centre but not necessarily the same red.

Edyta talked about the five colours that she likes to use to pull together the large variety of scraps in her scrap quilts. They are navy (notice the navy flowers in the corners),

or brown (the tree trunks),

or barn red (notice how the reds are all pushed out toward the border),

or olive/drab green,

or black (the centres of the pineapples are black).

You can use a little of an anchoring colour as with the pineapple quilt above or you can use more as with the tiny baskets and the olive green. The strategic use of a single colour or colourway can make the difference between a nice scrap quilt and a spectacular scrap quilt!

After the trunk show there was a question and answer period. She was asked what type of sewing machine she has and she replied "You aren't going to like this". Of course we all figured she would say a top of the line machine that cost thousands of dollars but boy, were we wrong! She uses a $200 Kenmore machine! I assume that that was for the piecing only and that the quilts are sent out for quilting. Nonetheless it is nice to hear that you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on a machine in order to make beautiful quilts!

last week I found this great fabric and even better, it was on sale! I thought it would be perfect for fussy cutting diamonds and hexagons.

I placed a window template on the fabric to get an idea as to what it would look like. I prepared a tutorial to explain how I make and use window templates and clear templates. You can read it here. There are two motifs that repeat in the print.

I cut some diamonds and basted them to paper so I could include them in the diamonds for the border of my quilt "81".  And here is one of them sewn into a large diamond!

This is a great fabric with all kinds of possibilities. If I get back to the shop and they still have the fabric I might buy some more! And I'll be sure to take my window template with me so that I can audition other fabrics too because you just never know what surprises could be in store for you!
Until I post again, happy sewing! 


  1. what a moth watering post today! I loved seeing those quilts and your fabric is yummee. Good tips about taking your window template with you and also what the speaker said about a single colour. I think I discovered that by accident, but it's a good rule to follow.

    1. Mouth watering is right! I love trunk shows, even when the work is not my taste or style because I always learn something and I come away all fired up and ready to create! Edyta's work was very much my taste! And I agree that we often do things intuitively but hearing it explained is validation for what we do and how we do it!

  2. Oh I wish I had been there lucky girl. Love your diamonds. I always see something beautiful when I come th visit.

    1. The diamonds are so much fun to make and to play around with! Experimentation with bits of fabric is a good way to learn about colour, value, hue and scale. If it doesn't work out....oh well! It was just a little bit of fabric so no great loss!