Saturday, July 11, 2009

Return from Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

I’ve been teaching for a week at Arrowmont in S.E. Tennessee on the edge of the Smoky Mountain National Park.  I drove through the park early this morning and it lived up to its smoky name – of course the “smoke” is the early morning mist rising up the mountains – a great lesson in atmospheric perspective as the curving blue hills are fainter and fainter in the mists!


The evening sky from the window of my room.

Arrowmont is a green oasis in the pretty  (lots of hanging baskets) but overly busy little tourist town of Gatlinburg.  Actually at 7am this morning, it was delightful!  I was the only one driving through the town apart from one lone jogger.  Arrowmont runs weeklong courses throughout the summer and for a month in the spring and fall too  and it’s a great holiday for those who don’t like to like on the beach developing their skin cancers!!  I’d always much rather be learning something new with kindred spirits, then broiling with a potboiler!

I had a great class; everyone was excited to be learning –  - some were experienced artists and some had never dyed or made a quilt before.  They designed, dyed gradations of several different colours, made masses of shibori and even dyed their socks! Then they blocked out their quilts on the design wall, and some were able to sew several sections together – one lady started 3 pieces – an achiever for sure!


Karen worked on two pieces: the left one had the theme of “What’s over that hill?) (the trees will have more branches before it’s finished!), and the right one will have the square and diamond notes of Gregorian chant…reflecting a particular piece of music.





Rosie had to be “persuaded” to use the gorgeous piece of shibori fabric she made as the background for her lively dancing tulips!





This is just the start of Elaine’s cityscape, there will be a glittering bridge in the foreground.




Bonnie’s piece is about hope, she will be making the skinny white lines that cross through the piece in a dark colour.

Carol started on a series of mood pictures to brighten her office as vice principal of  Middle School – the tree lateIMG_1613r moved to the left of the house by the way!!  The beauty of blocking out your quilt on the design wall means that you can make these adjustments as you go along.  Always make visual decisions Visually!!!  I love the transparent effect of the peaceful smoky mountains…and the brightness of the quirky little yellow houses!IMG_1616


Patty worked on three quilts that she’ll hang together – contrasting the grimy factories and polluted cityscape with the freshness of the waterfall – she’s going back to the dyepot this weekend to dye some really pale blue for the splashing water at the bottom.



Susan and Carol both dyed up a storm!!

many people had not dyed fabric before, so they rushed down to Arrowmont’s art store to buy dyeing kits to take home with them!










When you’ve used up all your fabric, then start dyeing your clothes! what else?

(apologies to those ladies whose work I didn’t get a picture of)

and now to prepare for my next class which will be at Quilting by the Lake in Syracuse, NY in 2 weeks.   If you have been, thanks for reading!   Elizabeth


Victoria said...

This looks like a wonderfully diversified and talented group, and I am sure its a fun class to be in! While all the examples are great, I particularly like Bonnie's piece on hope. Beautiful!

karenviser said...

Can I say I'm published now? Thanks again for the great week. You are a generous and patient teacher. I'm dealing with real life today and plan to get back to work tomorrow. I'm going to try and redye fabrics for the road quilt - I want to make it bigger.

Anonymous said...

'Alwyas make visual decisions visually.'
I collect quotes, and because I am a quilter I collect hints for quilters. I am not too sure where to put this line, but I know it is one I will use!

Nina Marie said...

First of all color me green with envy :) Secondly - kudos go out to all the ladies who tried something new and got such amazing results! Way 2 Go!