Today I took a class through the Delmar Guild with Dianne Hire. I have been hoping for years that I could find her books, but it was difficult because although I had seen one quilt I couldn't remember where, what it was called, what the designer's name was, if she had a book out, and if she did, what the name of the book was! Just a few obstacles. You see, when I saw the picture of her quilt ("Come Play with Me" one of her several "Oxymoron" quilts), I knew I wasn't ready to make something like that so I just moved on assuming I'd come across her someday.
|Photo from: http://calenderpages.blogspot.com/2011/05/diane-hire-oxymoron-quilts.html|
Well, wasn't I the lucky one! She was here today (and will be teaching another class tomorrow on a different style and technique which I will take also), and I had one of the best quilting experiences of my quilting life! She is an excellent teacher as well as a genuinely nice woman with a good sense of humor. The book is called Come Play with Me and has a host of super quilts (she calls them Improvisational Quilts which is quite accurate) in it in addition to the one above. What you can't see in the photo is how heavily embellished with buttons and beads her work is. Her joy is evident in her choice of colors and fun - my kind of person.
Here is my version of the first "block" she taught us to make. It's called "Hopscotch". If you look at the photo above, it is in the upper right and is a long red block with seven dark squares. Lovely person that she is, she encouraged all of us to make this block as we wanted to and helped us if we got ourselves into a mess.
The next block was made in a slightly different format than the one in hers. This is called "Tic Tac Toe" and in her quilt it's in the bottom middle (turquoisey blue with lavender "bars"). She had us make ours using four different back ground fabrics that were of the same "ilk" (I do so love it when others use the same words and phrases that I grew up with, don't you?) as the fabrics in our Hopscotch block.
It's difficult to see but the "bars" are purples with black and white fabrics and have a zing of color - again from the previous block - added. Having always loved the punch black and white can add, I am ecstatic that I finally have a good way to use that combination!
But one of the best things she did? Before we could go to lunch, we were given a small piece of paper and an envelope. Our instructions were to find two fabrics we really like, cut them into a 10 x 12 (or something close to that), and write a letter to another quilter. She suggested that we say something about ourselves or about the fabrics we were to put in the envelope. When I turned in my letter, I was handed a sealed envelope. In that envelope was a letter from a woman in western NY and two pieces of fabric. The fabrics I received were purple and orange and I used them in my Tic Tac Toe block! Some ladies received letters from quilters in Indiana and Pennsylvania. Isn't that a super idea?
I am lucky that my letter was from a woman who included her e-mail so I plan to send her a note and these photos.