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What do stained glass and quilting have in common?

Last week at the summer workshops of the Israel Quilters Association a group of us learned what stained glass and quilting have in common. The class was taught by my friend and teacher, Phyllis Cullen, the innovator of this technique.
The stained glass fabrics that worked best were vivid batiks, marbles and small prints. The designs we worked on, based on patterns that Phyllis supplied, were all set on black backgrounds. Then we were taught the tricks of fitting the patterns together and quilting the pieces. One new friend finished the quilt during the one-day class. I managed to finish the quilt top. It was a lovely, inspiring day.
Here is Phyllis teaching and another shot of some stained glass quilts that Phyllis made.
Phyllis Stained Glass

I took a second day of classes with Phyllis, where she taught the art of portrait in quilting. Here are a few images of Phyllis’s work. I’ll talk more about this in another post.
Moses as a quilt portrait Phyllis's kids and grandchild quilted portrait quilted portrait

This summer conference of the Israel Quilters Association was a special one because the group is celebrating its 20th anniversary. There were quite a few guest teachers from the US, England and Scotland in addition to the long list of talented Israeli teachers. I wandered around and saw some wonderful projects. It’s just this kind of gathering that everyone needs to help motivate and jump start new ideas and energies.

The conference opened with a few speeches given by some of the guest teachers.

Alicia Merrett discussed “A Passion for Color”. Her talk dealt with the use of color in quilting. She loves vivid shades and uses color to give different impressions in her work.

The next speaker was Pat Archibald, who took us on some of her journeys and showed us how her travels had inspired her work. Pat, a teacher from Scotland, reminded us about the art of storytelling as well as sharing some amazing art with us. Her stories were mesmerizing, particularly her climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

The last speech was given by Phyllis Cullen, who discussed the “Rules of Art”. Phyllis touched on the questions: How? Why? and What? She said that we can take artistic license with color, texture, values of light and dark to bring harmony, variety, contrast and balance to our work. These element lend themselves to movement. By playing with proportion and focal point of a piece you change the balance, tell a story and set a mood. Is your piece abstract? surreal? a landscape? a pictorial story? Phyllis mentioned keeping a journal of sketches, emotions, doodles, words and photos. In summary though her message was to have fun!

The conference was also an opportunity to meet new friends and visit with old friends. A group of participants on the Internet Jewish Quilters chat list attended the conference. Each day a group of us ate lunch together. Now my email pals have faces! I really enjoyed meeting everyone.

Are you getting the impression that I had a great week of learning, sharing and inspiration? You are right! That’s exactly what it was. Below I share some photos from the conference.

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