Curved piecing class and Step 4 Scrap Dance Tango

I want to tell you about a class I took this week with Maria Shell – Tales of a Stitcher .  Maria Shell lives in Anchorage Alaska, and having her come to speak and teach at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Delaware was amazing.

I stumbled across Maria’s blog the first few months of my blog journey and began following her.  She is so inspired and creative and fun. I had the opportunity to meet her in person at the IQF in Houston, where she was doing demo’s for CRAFTSY.  If you have followed my blog, you might remember me making “Artful Oven Mitts” a few years ago, using her tutorial and pattern.

Two years ago I contacted Maria about the possibility of speaking and teaching at our guild during my time as co-vice president.  At that time, our budget didn’t allow for the costs of air travel, and I was unable to book Maria.  Last fall, Maria contacted me and let me know that she was going to be on the East Coast in April, speaking at the Studio Art Quilt Association annual conference in Philadelphia!  The timing of the conference, and the timing of our guild meeting lined up perfectly!  Our current VP’s worked out all the details and Maria came to Delaware!

Maria lectured on Monday at our guild meeting, telling the story of the journey of an Alaskan Quilter.  Her community quilting projects are fascinating, and her work with a group in North Carolina was such a wonderful, heartwarming story.   It was fun to hear how this young woman from Kansas ended up in Alaska.  We enjoyed her lecture and seeing her quilts “up close” and in person was a treat!

On Tuesday Maria taught a workshop.  Our class was called Circle and Curved Sampler, and the cutting was done WITHOUT A RULER  (gasp)!! I heard people in the class saying “how freeing” !!  The sewing was done without PINS !!!   Imagine that!    I found it all very fun!!  

Maria is such an excellent instructor, taking time with each student, working on their “color palette” for the piecing project, doing countless demonstrations, and no doubt answering our same questions over and over again.   I took a rather large bin of fabrics to the class, had a general idea what I wanted to work with, and found her sense of color/pattern to be so effective.  My stack of fabric left on the table after she helped ME decide what to use was totally different that what I had chosen in the beginning, but it all worked well together, and I had fun with the process.

 Somehow in my excitement to get busy cutting, I never did take a photo of the stacks of fabric, but I did get a couple of our curved piecing.  My “circle” piece never got photographed either.  So, get ready for graphic and non traditional!  I will identify my photos and those I took of other classmates.    These first 4 are my fabrics/pieces


This first picture shows the soft gentle curve that was done and how smooth the stitching was “without pins”.

Reading the 2nd layer

This photo shows us getting two layers lined up for another round of “cutting curves”.

Curved pieces

Then we “relayerd” our stack and got these wonderful pieces to stitch

The outcome

And, after a little stitching, you have this fun “bit” to work in with more layers and curves.

The photo’s below are other classmates projects –  I liked these because of their fabric choices!

Other class participants projects

Other class participants projects

Do go take a look at  Maria’s website & Maria’s blog and get inspired by her use of shapes, curves and “no rulers” work.  Her long-arm quilting makes the pieces almost vibrate. It was as much fun to look at the “backs” as it was to see the pieced front.

And now, the update on my “MYSTERY” project.  In case you have’t been following – I am doing a mystery quilt called Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt.  This was designed by Carole and you can find this months “step 4” information on her blog – From My Carolina Home  .  You remember my 1430 half – square triangles I finished up in March….and those two great blocks we made in February and March, right?

Well, you take 2 blocks from February And we are starting step 2 and 2 blocks from March Step 3 complete Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

and join them together!  CUTE…..

And this is what you get with  step 4 !

First completed block for step 4 of Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

Thank you Carole for the earlier post!  I asked Carole to “post early” as I allow for no interruptions on my 2nd Friday of the month for sewing. Well…that didn’t happen, as I had to make a return visit to the doctor, get a chest xray, and prescriptons, and tie the last senior quilt at church.  I do really appreciate the early posts, if for no other reason I could anticipate sewing later! I finally got to my machine after supper, and got these 14 blocks  put together.  I have another 14 in “halves” ready to stitch the center seam.

14 blocks complete for step 4

When these blocks are finished, they will be called block A.  I need 72, and they should not take too long.  What is fun about Carole’s patterns is when you start “construction” of the blocks, the bits are ready to sew !!

I do need to “trim and square up” after this block.  Block A finishes at 8″ if I did the math correctly.

Carole has set up a FLIKR group to share photo’s and mine are linked there!  Check out the colors and variety of backgrounds people are using as they work on the “mystery”.  Scrap Dance Tango Flickr group

Next weekend this time I should have my suitcase packed and ready for my trip!  Boyoboy do I have a lot to do this week!

Hope you are getting a little warmth and sunshine and Mother Nature has stopped playing winter tricks at your house.



7 thoughts on “Curved piecing class and Step 4 Scrap Dance Tango

  1. Love it! And I now have seen your studio so I know what is going on behind the scenes too! Thank you so Mary for making it possible for me to share my work with the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild. It was a fabulous time! And I hope you will keep me posted on what all of you are stitching.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you again Maria for coming to Delaware! Anyone who gets an opportunity to take a class with you should be considered VERY lucky indeed. I so enjoyed meeting you a second time and being part of the reason you were with us at Ocean Waves!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.