On Saturday, June 18, i took the "Wee Willow" class with Jane Sassaman. "Wee Willow" is one of four small seasonal quilts that Jane designed. "Wee Willow" is the summer quilt, and it's a much much smaller version of Jane's famous "Willow" quilt, which was named one of the Best 100 Quilts of the 20th Century (she made it in 1996 for her daughter, who was 12 at the time).
Jane Sassaman is well known for her use of forms derived from nature...lots of curves and squiggles, lots of flowers, leaves, thorns, etc...in her own inimitable graphic style. Her technique involves cutting the basic design out of a piece of fabric that has been backed with lightweight nonwoven fusible interfacing and then layering on other pieces that are backed with a fusible (except for the pieces that overlap a dark/light intersection where you don't want the color to show through, and those pieces are backed with the nonwoven fusible interfacing as well). The advantage of having the whole quilt backed with nonwoven interfacing is that she heavily machine embroiders her quilt tops and the interfacing stabilizes it without having to use tearaway stabilizer.
Here's all i accomplished in a 6-hour class...it's the foundation on which the rest of the quilt will be assembled (this is a small piece, about 18" square. (The white piece is also backed with nonwoven fusible interfacing and is set in behind the black, which is all one piece.) Here's the pattern envelope, and some of my many little pieces of flowers, all traced, fused, and ready to go. There's a lot of work left after they get fused to the background: Jane edges each piece with a straight stitch, with a medium zig zag stitch, and then many get some sort of fancy edge stitch. The quilting should be fun...she uses a thick (12-weight) topstitching thread with fairly long stitches, so it almost looks like hand quilting.
Jane brought a whole pile of her quilts to class which were great fun to look through. This is the class sample for her other class at the Vermont Quilt Festival that i didn't get into, called The Personality of a Leaf. Students made a sampler with multiples of pretty much the same leaf and stem, but they're all embellished with different stitches, which changes their appearance a lot. Here's a close up. What fun! I think the cute moth is from one of her fabrics.