Friday, February 10, 2012

Laura Fogg workshop: by Arleen Kukua

Last week, I took a 2 day workshop given by Laura Fogg.  She asked us to choose a picture that inspired you and you wanted to recreate into a small wall quilt.  I chose a picture that we took from the balcony of the New Otani Hotel.  It overlooked the Natatorium and San Souci beach.  The picture had a lot of buildings all along the shoreline, but I decided to leave them out.  Hey, it's my memory, and I just remember the sound of the wind in the coconut trees and the waves on the beach.  

The technique Laura showed allowed you to use fabric instead of paint.  You start with cotton backing and cotton batting cut to the size of the picture that you want to do.  With your picture as inspiration, you choose fabrics that will be your sky, your clouds, the beach, the waves, the concrete, the coconut tree.  Starting with the sky you can layer your fabric directly onto the batting.  Once you have all your pieces cut out and on the batting, you place a layer of tulle to keep all the pieces in place.  Use pins to hold all your pieces together.  Can you believe I finished cutting out the main picture in one day?  Well, I did have to change the picture, when Larry told me that I was missing San Souci beach in the foreground.  How could I forget?   So on Sunday, I redid the left hand portion of the picture.

On the second day, we used the free motion foot to quilt the pieces in place and carefully took out the pins.  Once it was all quilted, I started on the border.  First you straighten out the sides.  Attach a backing border, cotton batting and an eyelash border to the sides.  My first mistake was choosing the Kaffe fasset wash fabric.  It was very flimsy and stretchy.  I should have fused some interfacing to strengthen the fabric. It makes for a beautiful border, but the stretchy fabric does not lay flat.  Laura did warn us about the grain of the fabric and now I understand what she meant.

I cut some green fabric into strips to make the coconut fronds.  My friend Deanna gave me the fabric that made up the coconut trunk.  Its perfect.  Laura showed me how to fold the fabric to give the trunk dimension.  Do you notice the coconuts?  I think that was Deanna's idea.  In a workshop, Deanna and Toni and Rusty and I shared a working area and were able to help each other with ideas, fabric and inspiring words.  Good Job!  That looks Great!  Try this fabric.  It did help to have inspiring words and Laura was full of encouragement.

We mitered the borders, quilted a simple design on the border with the free motion quilt and then got to work on the foregrounds.  I chose a simple coconut tree.  Do you see the wool roving?  That softened the line of the waves that hit the beach.  I found a turtle button and stitched it on the beach.  Ta Da.  It's done.

-- Arleen Kukua
This post came from Arleen's blog, -- Rachel Holmen

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