2 Days with Gwen Marston!


 I've just spent the last few days in quilty heaven - two totally wonderful, fun, inspiring days of workshops with Gwen Marston

The first class was based on her little quilt Sketches as can be seen in her book, 37 Sketches.
These quilts are tiny! The sizes would be approximately 8-10 inches by 11-13 inches. Beautiful little studies of shapes, colours and composition.  


After an introduction as to how she came about playing with small pieces Gwen then showed us some of her recent sketches one by one. It was so interesting to hear about her design decisions and the progression of repeating elements that she uses. Although I've had the book for a while now and have looked at the photos many times Gwen's points made me see the sketches with fresh eyes. 

Gwen has such a wonderful way of sharing information. The things she says are so interesting and are delivered with such a wonderful sense a humour. 

Soon it was time for demonstrations. Line work, triangles, super skinny curved lines and teeny tiny little squares. 

We all loved her sample book with examples and ideas. 




 Armed with our newly learnt skills we revved up our sewing machines and started to create! Gwen was "The Beauty On Duty" who would turn up at your table at just the right time to help with a decision or suggest the next move. In between she would entertain the class with funny jokes, fascinating stories and more tips and tricks.

The result was wonderful Sketches made by everyone!! This is just a few made on the day. 

This is my little piece.  I had fun with those curvy lines and like how the stripes add highlights. 
I'm sure everyone would agree it was such a very inspiring and happy day. There was a real excitement in the room as we all played with our little pieces, and the results were so rewarding. And I don't think I'm the only one who can't wait to make more!! I'm already thinking the next one will be firey reds, oranges and sunny yellows...

I went home that evening very happy to know there was another day to come...

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Day 2!! 

Liberated Medallion Quilts is one of my very, very, very favourite books. I've almost worn it out from flicking through it so often so you can imagine how happy I was that Gwen's second class was based on the ideas/skills outlined in these book. 

We got to see the cover quilt in real life! 

Plus more examples of Gwen's Medallion quilts. You can imagine the Oooohs and Aaahhs as these quilts were unfolded


It was wonderful to hear about how Gwen was taught how to hand quilt by a group of Mennonite women.

Here's a handy fashion tip that I thought was a gem - Wear black because it shows up all the threads that stick to you and everyone will know you've been busy working.

My medallion center so far.. I'm not so sure about the colourful border, but it's now on my design wall at home and I've pulled some more fabrics from my stash and will be working on getting it finished soon...


Here's Chris Jurd's quilt!! She totally rocks at being liberated. 


Here's the A Team!  Me, Erica of Creative Dabbling, Beautiful Gwen with her winning smile, Chris of Patchwork Fundamentals and Stephanie who flew from the other side of Australia to do the class. 
Erica and Chris have done posts on the classes so check them out. Chris is having a giveaway as well at her blog so doubly worth checking out.

Such a wonderful couple of days!! Thank you so much Gwen for coming to Australia to spend time with us!!

I have to say Cottage Quiltworks was a great venue. Chris, Jann and Sandy were such great hosts, not to mention the shop was full of gorgeous fabrics. 


For Sydneysiders- Gwen will be doing a lecture about Abstract Quilts in Solids this Thursday 11th July.  It's being held in North Sydney and starts at 7 for 7.30pm. Call Cottage Quiltworks 02 9997 4661 or Quiltsmilth 95504947 for more info



2 Days with Gwen Marston!

32 comments

  1. Oh, you lucky girl! That must have been an inspiring two days! I love all the things you've shown, and look forward to seeing more of your liberated Medallion!

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  2. You look so happy and I'm sure you absorbed it all and will now translate it into your own style.
    Can't wait to see the new directions.
    I have a ticket for Thursday sooo!! excited.

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  3. ooooo u r sooo lucky. I am inspired just reading your blog...as usual:) I think I will get out my GW books tonight and be happy.

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  4. I knew that spikey turquoise one was yours right away! It looks like a divine 2 days of creativity.
    I think it is great to experiment, change, plan, and work outside the box. It all works in the end!

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  5. How fun!!! You are so lucky!! I love your little quilt. I was wondering if that one was yours and sure enough, it was. The colors make me happy =D
    The Cottage Quiltworks shop looks adorable!!

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  6. I am so glad that you guys have had a chance to meet and sew with Gwen. She is a quilter's treasure. I am happy she is getting to the far sides of the world to spread her charm and spirit. I love the quilts and blocks that resulted from the workshops. Sewing with Gwen is magical and I think it shows!

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  7. The magic of those days is clearly seen in your photos. What a wonderful two days of inspiration and hands on experimentation! Love your little study in turquoise too. It has Rachaeldaisy written all over it.

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  8. I'm soooooooooo jealous ;-)
    But you deserve this luck.
    your pieces are gorgeous. Can't wait to see how you proceed with them

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  9. What a wonderful 2 days. Great job on the abstract bock...I loved it.

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  10. Oh, you lucky girl! And smart for taking both classes! Gwen is the real deal. Love your pieces!!

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  11. Lucky you! Someday, someday, I'll take a Gwen class!!!
    Your little piece was the one that jumped at me from the group -- so beautiful. And Medallion Fun is on my to-do list.
    Thanks for sharing your 2 days!

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  12. wheee, woohooo, how fantastic!!!!

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  13. What an incredible opportunity you had. Thanks for sharing. Maybe one day, I'll be able to meet her and take a class too.

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  14. sounds like a wonderful couple of days and very inspiring!

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  15. How wonderful for you that you were able to have this opportunity! You are probably all revved up and ready to go with so many great ideas bubbling about in your brain now.:)

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  16. I love that little piece you did! So fun! And your medallion is SO you! I love it! What fun those classes must have been! I'm hoping to take a Gwen class one day, too! :o)

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  17. You lucky duck! You got to spend two days in the presence of greatness. What fun! And I love those little Sketches quilts. Your piece is gorgeous!

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  18. Gwen sounds like she has a great personality. Her quilts remind me a little of your wonderful unique style. Quilt on girl !

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  19. We sure had fun and thanks for being my sewing buddy!

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  20. Looks like a totally enthralling couple of days.

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  21. Oh gosh, rachael! How amazing....I can't even begin to tell you how green with envy I am right now. If I could take a class with anyone it would be Gwen. So glad you were able to take a class with her!

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  22. Oh gosh, rachael! How amazing....I can't even begin to tell you how green with envy I am right now. If I could take a class with anyone it would be Gwen. So glad you were able to take a class with her!

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  23. Hi Rachel, I really like your block and Chris's Quilt. How lucky you were to attend the Workshop. I would love to have a look at your work at our next met. The colours just pop out at you as you say especially the stripe fabric. See you soon!

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  24. Thanks for sharing the exciting time you've had in the workshops. Wow on what the class was producing and you did awesomely well. Love everything! I see a wall of little sketch quilts pop up at your place maybe.

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  25. What an incredible couple of days. The pieces you have worked on look amazing!! I can't wait to see what comes next!
    Isn't it great when you have an instructor who inspires and makes you feel at home at the same time?

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  26. fun fun fun
    that is what spending time with gwen is. I love your sketch piece - it is so wonderful!!!
    your medallion has a great start.
    I'm so happy you were able to take a workshop with gwenny. I credit her for most of my quilting growth and style.

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  27. Wonderful to see such beautiful abstract quilts in such glorious colours. You obviously had a great time and came away really inspired! xCathy

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  28. looks like you had a wonderful time!!!!

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  29. You are one lucky lady! Oh how I'd love to hear Gwen Marston talk about her creative process or see her quilts in real life. I have her two books Collaborative Quilting and I can't tell you how many hours I've poured over those photos. Thank you so much for sharing about your classes!!!

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  30. Well that sounds like a pretty amazing way to spend two days. It must have been extraordinary. Bet you didn't sleep for a week after that!

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  31. Oh wow, that sounds like an amazing weekend! Love your wee sketch, and good luck with your medallion :o)

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