Sunday, October 23, 2011

Technical wizard

While I was reporting from my experiences in Falera at the workshopwith Nancy Crow I once mentioned that Heide Stoll-Weber gave me few hints which would have helped me a lot with one top, had I thought about them before sewing things together. Heide and I shared a house in Falera, together with a few other friends.
I had known about Heide as a technical quilt wizard and dyer before I got to know her personally. Her technical wizardry is documented in the 2001 publication accompanying the Berlin Quilt Symposium, in which she described her technique for inserting pieces of fabric, thus eliminating unwanted seams. My admiration for that technique grew immensely when I tried to follower her directions and wante to insert something myself!
Her hand-dyed fabrics are well-known throughout the quiltworld, and I think one can safely say that her contribution to the development of quilting in Germany through her hand-dyed fabrics cannot be overvalued.
As a dyer I was self-taught and well infected with the dyeing virus before I ever took a class with her and first met her personally (except for over the counter encounters at quilting events). Nevertheless, her class proved an enrichment of my dyeing knowledge.
In Falera Heide demonstrated that she has technical wizardry in other areas as well. She was the one who showed us how to boost our too low cutting tables (pushing the local store’s sales of canned tomatoes to numbers unknown until that day):

Always include in your supplies
when going to a workshop:
 high cans that help boost a
cutting table to a much more
comfortable height.

She was the one who kept insisting and negotiating with the janitor until we had a wonderfully large cutting table in the hallway which became everybody’s destination when the individual cutting tables next to our work tables turned too small:

Put a large board on top of two tables
pushed together, and cover with several cutting mats -
voilà, your large cutting table is waiting for you...
And she was using and promoting a new little tool to such a degree that she really should have been paid for it:

Magic little tool: pattern tracer
And she was right, this thing is a little wondertool. It is called “pattern tracer” and uses the same principle as pattern tracers that one knows from sewing one’s own clothes, except that this one doesn’t have the little teeth that they used to have. It leaves a clear mark that functions as the seam line, but can be easily removed by steam ironing.

It has completely altered my working method for free hand cutting and is a fantastic addition to my tool box. Thank you, Heide!

This past Thursday evening a joint exhibition by Heide Stoll-Weber and Christine Brandstetter was opened at the Quilt Star Galerie in Freiburg(Quilt Star, Basler Str. 61, 79100 Freiburg, opening hours Monday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to – 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.)

I’m going to be in Freiburg during the first week of November for two days, and am looking forward to seeing this exhibit!

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