February 13, 2014

Meet Jann...

 I'd like to introduce you to one of the ladies who attended the retreat
last weekend. Her name is Jann, and she belongs to the Peace River
Guild, located in Punta Gorda, FL. She's in that guild with Susan 
Slaton. (Susan also belongs to the Disconnected Piecers Quilt Guild.)

Jann sat across from where I was set up with my machine, so I caught 
glimpses of her work. I was instantly intrigued, and had to ask about it.
 One of the coolest things about Susan's retreats is that we can work
 on whatever we want to. I had decided to work on the "group" project
(Purple Mountains Majesty, in my case), but Jann was hard at work on
something completely different. She was working on an art quilt piece she's
entering in an upcoming show in Manatee (in only a couple of weeks!).

When I asked about it, she graciously showed me her inspiration, her
concept and her design work. I had a hard time concentrating on my
own projects the rest of the weekend, because I didn't want to miss each
step as she built her quilt. It's comprised of piecework, embroidery and
applique'...and if you keep track, you know how I love those pursuits.
 Jann began with the concept of flowers and her garden grew from there...
 She pieced batiks for the background of her quilt, and then she 
added machine-appliqued' coneflowers. When she was showing
the group her finished flowers, the light coming through the back
of her fabric made it look just like a stained glass window!
 What really got my attention was the center for her sunflower.
Hundreds of French knots were stitched using 3-ply cotton floss onto
a ground batik fabric that she hand-dyed herself. When I looked at the
fabric from a distance, I initially thought she was stitching on wool.
 While we were talking about her needlework, Jann explained that her
next step was to add more knots using 5 weight pearl cotton thread.
She wanted to create a different texture, so I suggested colonial knots.

After a quick tutorial from me, Jann was stitching away making knot
after knot. Her colonial knots in the pearl cotton were a perfect choice.
 This will give you an idea of what her next floral block will look like. She 
appliqued' her hand-dyed fabric to create the petals, stitched a chocolate
brown ruffle for a clever center accent, added fabric tabs which will be
embellished further and inserted the center motif. When Jann is finished,
the center will be entirely stitched in French and colonial knots. That same
center will be hand-appliqued' to the background when the embroidery is done.

I'm sure as I write this, Jann is working feverishly to complete it in time for
the take-in portion of the quilt show. I know she's going to make her deadline.
The girl knows "Focus".

Thank you, Jann, for allowing me to shadow you during retreat. Thanks 
also for your sharing spirit. Not only did you cheerfully answer my
questions, you also graciously allowed me to photograph your work. 
I'm planning to attend the quilt show where you'll be competing this
piece, and I could already see that it's going to be a stunning art quilt.
I'll be showing up to cheer your fabulous work. Good luck!

5 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Jacque. said...

WOW! Such beautiful work...and what an eye for detail! Stunning! I wish her well at the show. Cheering her on from afar. Thanks for sharing this with us, Donna.

Mandy said...

I agree, stunning work. Thanks for sharing this, Donna. There is such a lot of work in all that hand stitching, but feel sure that Jann will have finished it all in time. Please pass on my best wishes, since I feel sure she should do well at the show.

Kathy Ellen said...

What a stunning quilt Jann was making. She is definitely a very talented and creative young woman. The hundreds of french knots in the center of the sunflower makes it that more beautiful. Hope that she wins one of the Best In Show awards.

Thank you for sharing your photos.

Createology said...

Your sharing of Jann and her stunning work with fabric and threads shows what an amazing quilting retreat you experienced. I know you will follow up on her show and hopefully she will be ribboned as "Best of Show". How sweet that you contributed your Colonial Knots to her work. Happy Hearts Hugs and Valentine Love Dear...

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

FUN!!! Love all those French knots!


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