Monday, May 16, 2016

Medallion Making with Gwen

In a moment of weakness when I was feeling sorry for myself missing QuiltCon 2016, I registered for a three day class with Gwen Marston.  Never mind that it was taking place on the other side of the country; that just happens to be where my grandson lives anyway!

When I wasn't learning from Gwen, I was hanging out with Leo!  That's what I call a win win!
 The Liberated Medallion was a three day workshop hosted by The Quilted Strait in Port Gamble, WA.  Such a beautiful location on the water, with lots of natural light in the classroom.  I was familiar with Gwen's liberated quilt making style but had not met Gwen before, and I was super excited about the opportunity.  Gwen did not disappoint.  This workshop was right on the heels of QuiltCon so I got the scoop from Gwen on what I missed ;-)

So, this was how my medallion started.  I brought my low volume fabrics and some bright prints and a vague idea of where I wanted to go with my quilt.  Gwen is all about doing "what makes you happy", so I kept that in mind while I worked.

Gwen was good about having us gather up front periodically so she could teach us new techniques, walk us through her book, and answer questions.  This was my first three day workshop ever, and I can really see the benefit of more than one day of a class.

There was some show and tell by Gwen and even others in the class.  These ladies are all so lucky to live close to The Quilted Strait and quite a few of them had taken classes with Gwen previously.  She is a regular teacher in the area.

We each had our own design wall, and my table mates were encouraging each step of the way.  It was great to bounce ideas of each other.  There was such variety in the projects going on, and it was nice to take a break, walk around the room and admire what others were creating.

 At the end of a long day at class, I would drive "home" and have dinner with Leo.  We each talked about what we did at "school".  I sure miss being so far away from him.

The last couple of times I have visited Leo, I rented a cute little bungalow on a farm which has plenty of room for Leo to run around outside.  The horse wasn't around this time, but their rooster was a nice alarm clock in the morning!
After making a few rounds of my medallion, I realized there wasn't much "liberated" going on.  Notice I changed that around border number 3.

 This is as far as I progressed on my quilt top at the retreat.  I have a lot of "parts" made for the next round; it's just a matter of getting back to it.  The medallion and the extra bits on are on my design wall at home now, and I add to it here and there in between other projects.
Some of the ladies left before I thought to take a picture of their progress, but below are some who graciously allowed me to photograph their creations.  I also apologize if I have any names and pictures mixed up.  This was in February after all!

My "next door neighbor" Catherine

My "across the table" neighbor Eddie Jo





and last but not least, Sharon who I "knew" from Tonya's Liberated Amish challenge.  It's so nice to meet quilty friends in person...even if it takes a few years!  Sharon's blog post about Gwen's workshop can be found here.

 Leo's expression sums up how I feel when I am not with him.  Fortunately, I will be back for a visit next month...with Leo...not Gwen ;-))

 Thanks for stopping by my not so consistent blog!
Happy stitching,


  1. What an amazing WIN WIN Rene'!! Time with Leo and a chance of a lifetime with Gwen.

  2. I just ran across one of my favorite quotes I got from attending my Gwen class, "She speaks with authority, but is often wrong" LOL. And "Don't commit too soon" is in head with every project. Gwen changed me as a quilter, my projects may not look as modern as Gwen's, but I've come a long way. I'm so happy you were able to meet Gwen before she retires. She's such an inspiration. OK, next post, Spain, and how your iPhone was stolen! details, we need details.

  3. looks like fun. I would love to meet Gwen and some of my online quilting peeps!

  4. Wow, what a fun class! I love the colors you chose and think yours looks amazing! Can't wait to see the finished product. Great seeing what others were doing too.

  5. I'm so glad you shared this awesomeness!! Love the beginnings of your medallion quilt and love all the pics of Leo!!

  6. How fun to take a class from Gwen. Looks like everyone made nice progress. I have three of her books. Ought to get them out and find some inspiration.