Victoria Findlay Wolfe

The Needlechasers of Chevy Chase hosted Victoria Findlay Wolfe this past week. She drove to the DC area from NYC where she lives and talked to our guild on Wednesday and taught a 6 hour workshop on Thursday. She is amazing!

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She showed many bright and beautiful quilts which included pieced-together scraps.

Her lecture on Wednesday was about “15 Minutes of Play”. This is the title of her first book and also describes what she tries to find time for every day in her sewing studio.

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She told us about growing up on a farm with a beloved grandmother who sewed (polyester!) scraps together into quilts. Victoria ended up going to art school and eventually fell in love with quilting and used this technique of playing with sewing scraps together to incorporate them into her own quilts.

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She changed into several polyester jackets during her lecture.

Victoria encouraged our group to try anything and never to think you’ll never make a certain design because someday you might want to. Her example of this was her Cow Quilt

The quilt she thought she'd "never" make.

The quilt she thought she’d “never” make.

On Thursday we came with our sewing machine, rotary cutter/mat, and a bag of scraps and she showed us an easy method of making fabric by piecing the scraps together in a way that they could then be cut (again) into usable pieces. (Thereby making more scraps!)

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Thursday workshop

Victoria showed us many examples of mixing the “made” fabric with “unmade” fabric to get even a bigger variety of patterns in our quilts and then set us free to work on our own pieces.

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Some workshop participants cut their scraps into dresden shapes.

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Others cut into diamonds, wedges, hexagons, etc…

It was a very fun couple of days to spend time with this wonderful quilt artist and learn about her process of creating the type of quilts that she makes. It certainly has made me think more “out of the box” about cutting things up – including old tops or blocks that I never intend to finish because I no longer like them. Maybe by cutting them into other shapes and adding other fabrics that I do love, I will make these older pieces into something that I will treasure.  I can’t wait to give it a try!

On Wednesday afternoon a few of us took Victoria to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Museum in DC which currently has a special exhibit of antique quilts from Virginia and Maryland. The Needlechasers guild is booked to take a tour of this exhibit together this summer and I wanted to preview it. It was wonderful to see these old quilts.

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Don’t you love her orange shoes?

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DAR Exhibit – “Eye on Elegance”

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The details on these quilts were astounding.

To see such a variety of quilts, old and new over the course of a couple days this past week was quite a treat for me. You can see Victoria’s blog post about it here.

If you ever have a chance to meet Victoria Findlay Wolfe, hear her speak, see her quilts or take a workshop with her, make sure to do it! You won’t be sorry.  Thanks Victoria, for a great couple of days!

 

4 Comments

Filed under NeedleChasers of Chevy Chase

4 responses to “Victoria Findlay Wolfe

  1. Sharon Hankins

    As a scrap saver and owner of many UFO’s, I think I could have learned a lot from her!

  2. This looks like such a great workshop – thanks for sharing the recap and the photos!

  3. Yes I love my scraps too and want to figure out a way to make them into a bigger project. VIctoria’s “make fabric” exercise was right where I began my first big improvised quilt and I keep going back to that technique. Mixing it with new fabric I love that isn’t one I have tried. I enjoyed your post and I look forward to seeing some of what you do with your new outlook.

  4. I ordered her 15 minutes of play book earlier this year and would have loved to have seen the examples she brought along. It looks like everyone had a good time creating new fabric with their scraps!

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