Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hand Piecing with Jinny Beyer

I learned more today in one 6 hour class than I have learned in years. What have I learned? I learned to Hand Piece. Yep...the Berninas got a break today and I had the privilege of learning from a true quilting master. Jinny Beyer came to town and had a workshop where she taught us to hand piece. I leaned to hand piece years and years ago at my first quilting class in Heidelberg, Germany. I didn't know what a lost art it was at the time...I wanted to quickest and easiest way to piece and then quilt. Today I had a refresher. And it was fantastic.

Ironically my first quilting instructor had studied under Jinny Beyer....and then Jinny herself comes all the way out here to the middle of Australia? It was destiny, I had to go to her class! She said she has been so inspired by the colors out here in the Bush that she is going to design a new line of fabric around them. I completely understand...the colors here are otherworldly, especially at gloaming.

This is Jinny Beyer's 9-11 quilt. The center is a little Statue of Liberty. She wanted a piece of fabric for each life lost on that terrible day...this quilt has over 4,000 pieces. Each of those tiny pieces were hand pieced and then when the quilt top was finished it was hand quilted. She said it takes her about a year to make a quilt. 3 months to piece a top and then about another 9 months to hand quilt it. Wow...and I thought I spent a ton of time on a sewing project! She is so brilliant, the math and computations that she uses to create a quilt top are mind boggling (well, my mind felt boggled!). I have been doing the Liberated piecing technique for so long now that it was odd to actually try to match up points and measure.
Here are Jinny and I. I loved her necklace. It is a fantastic Chatelaine (like the Lady of the Manor would wear long time ago with a needle case, scissors, and her thimble) Here is a link to a website where you can get yours if you like (Thimbles by TJ Lane) that website does not do the wee little tools justice. I purchased myself a fancy thimble. And I love it. They are super expensive...I wonder if I can make it a tax expenditure? It is a tool....

Here are Wendy and I making our templates. I look pretty drunk in this picture, but I swear I am totally sober. I hate it when I make goofy looking faces when I am getting my picture taken. Oh well...I had a blast.

This is Jinny with another of her extraordinary quilts. All that is hand pieced!

Here I am with my block and what I got done in 6 hours. The fabrics were not my choice, it was a "lucky dip" and you got whatever set you pulled from the bag. I think it will look better when it is finished and I take a picture out in the sunlight. See my fancy little thimble? I love it.
What a great day...just me and a bunch of great ladies learning something wonderful. I wish you all could have been there!


Dayna said...

It's always refreshing to step outside your box and do something different once in awhile and soooo much better when you get to do it with others!

Dragon's Dolphin said...

OMG what BEAUTIFUL quilts. I can't imagine using a sewing machine to try to get that much detail let alone to try to HAND piece and quilt it all. But the old ways sometimes produce the most beautiful results. I'm glad that you got to attend this class. Looks like you had a blast!

Kristin L said...

You don't look so much drunk as just chuffed to be there with JINNNY BEYER!!!!!!!!!! How cool is that?! She was one of my first influences (via books, not in person), believe it or not. I have a fancy thimble like that too and also love it. Worth every penny I spent on it.

~ Phyllis ~ said...

How wonderful to be able to attend a Jinny Beyer class. What a wonderful talent. Thanks for posting pictures of the event. Her Statue of Liberty quilt is amazing.

Jennie said...

Oh, lucky you! How much fun to get to be there and learn from her in person! I have wanted to learn to hand piece... now I think I will look for her book and go for it! ~ Jennie

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

It's not a lost art to me! I've never used a machine in my life. If I used a machine I feel like it would become about finishing and less about the process. When I get carpal tunnel, i'll buy a machine!

jan said...

WOW, lucky you to go to a Jinny class. She is one of my 'Hero's' from the quilting world. I bet she is fabulous 'live'. So many beautiful quilts, so little time. Janet in UK

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