Sharyn Craig comes to Spokane


I had the extreme pleasure of introducing Sharyn Craig to my quilt guild on Thursday. She flew up from El Cajon, CA to Spokane to speak on “Setting Solutions”‘; and to teach classes on Friday and Saturday. Her lecture was informative, humorous and entertaining! She is a real delight to listen to, and be inspired by! She believes that you do not need color theory classes if you work with colors and fabrics that you like! Go with your gut instinct on what makes you happy and feel good. We react to color first when looking at a quilt; and then notice the design or fabric.

The main emphasis of her lecture was how to handle quilt blocks that do not necessarily go together because of size, color or fabric. These may be the blocks that you won at a guild block drawing or block swap or the “orphan” blocks (as she calls them) that are leftovers from a class or a quilt. She encouraged us to not throw them away but figure out a “solution” on how to make them work together in a quilt top. She said that the size of the quilt block is usually the biggest stumbling block in putting them in a quilt block. How do you combine a 6″, 8″ and 10″ quilt block in the same quilt top? Here are her solutions:

1. Remake the quilt blocks so they’re all the same size! (Sharyn said she’s done this once in 30 years).

2. Trim the quilt blocks so they’re all the same size! (Yes, you CAN trim the points if you want to and like it!)

3. Add coping strips or triangles to the quilt blocks to make them the same size!*This was very interesting! You can add negative strips (matches background of blocks) ; accent strips so the strips are visible which can add another color dimension to your quilt; OR power bars which causes another color to emerge in your quilt.

This is Sharyn’s red and green quilt yet it doesn’t “read” red and green or even Christmas. The blocks are not the same size so she sewed a negative coping (light) strip around the block; trimmed the corners diagonally; and sewed a different colored triangle on each corner of each block. She added the light sashing strips to unify the quilt also; and a large vine type border. She added more visual items to the quilt to keep the viewer interested! Notice the block in the bottom right hand corner. It’s different than the others, and Sharyn likes it that way!

This is Sharyn’s sampler quilt that was supposed to feature 6″ pieced sampler blocks and half log cabin blocks. She ended up sewing on coping strips to the sampler blocks and trimming the log cabin blocks to make them all the same size. After she sewed the quilt top together, she appliqued small circles scattered over the quilt to provide more visual interest. This is a stunning quilt in person, and I really like it!

The blocks in this quilt were done by a small group of Sharyn’s were each block had to feature a plaid fabric. She added the wide dark coping strips to make all the blocks the same size and “work together”; and put the blocks on point for more visual interest. She added a coping border of pieced triangles, also. This quilt does not look “plaid” in person at all but does look cohesive yet interesting!

And, last but not least, this is a STUNNING quilt in shades of mainly blue, purple, teal and lights! You can see the coping strip border around the blocks on point that are offset by the other blocks that are straight. A very unusual setting. Coping triangle borders connect the blocks together to make the quilt center, and then as the border.
She was AMAZINGLY inspiring! And now, I have to get ready as I’m having dinner with her tonight – what a treat for me!