Monday, May 20, 2013

Olga Walters workshop

I have just had a wonderful two days participating in a workshop at the Embroiderers Guild.  It was so much fun!  I felt really inspired - now I have to keep that enthusiasm up and continue to play (as Olga called it).
The workshop was called Whimsical Workshop - Fabric Collage.  Olga showed us how she works on her quilts and bags.  It is seemingly simple when she demonstrates - not so much when you do it yourself.  The techniques are not that hard but the design that looks so easy when she works is not quite the same when you try it yourself.
She is a lovely teacher, always seeing the positives in your work and then going on to how you might develop what you are doing.  There is none of that 'do it my way', she allows you to develop your own visions and to play (and make mistakes) in your own direction. She makes suggestions about what to do next, allowing you to decide if that is what you want to do.
Mistakes are usually incorporated into the work and are no longer mistakes.  The occasional mistake that remains a mistake is worked on and problem solving techniques are employed to rescue the work.
Olga not only taught us her techniques for the class samples but demonstrated quite a few other ideas that could be incorporated when we go home and master the class techniques.  She is a very generous teacher and has revved up my enthusiasm.

I haven't finished any of the samples yet but will post a couple of images to give an idea of the techniques.
Torn strips of fabric laid out over Vliesofix(Bondaweb) and iron onto base fabric.

The anchoring sewing - more needs to be done.  Lots of texture still there, I am hoping not to flatten it too much. Olga uses pieces such as this to make her bags and quilts.

More fabric laid out onto Vliesofix, then ironed onto the base fabric, waiting for some machine sewing.
Olga brought in a lot of her previous works to show how her techniques have been used.  You can see images of some of them here.
I have only put images of my work, if you want to see how she has done it, much better, go to the link above.


parlance said...

It's so difficult as a teacher to let people actually learn, rather than pushing them along to a successful product your way. The student's way will teach them more. I remember the best thing I ever learned from a woodworking course was that every 'mistake' can be rectified.

Mary said...

Yes Parlance, I remember doing an essay that the supervisor kept wanting me to take in a direction that I didn't want to go. It didn't feel like my work in the end. It was a good lesson for me in allowing the student to have ownership of the work.