Here's a roundup of some of the newer patchwork workshops, and some of those that remain firm favourites on the workshop circuit - hopefully the photos will help groups decide which workshop to choose!
I'm teaching 'Japanese Fans' (above and below) at Purely Patchwork in Linlithgow on Sunday 15th July. This is a workshop based on my 'Sensu' quilt in 'Japanese Quilt Inspirations'. The fans are done with machine sewn freezer paper applique and the worksheets for this class are preprinted freezer paper templates, ready to cut out so there's nothing to trace off (I have the master drawing used in the book of course). It's a good workshop for newcomers to freezer paper applique. Each student will be given enough templates to make the quilt as shown (the templates can be reused once), but it's one of those workshops where you can work at your own speed and there's no pressure to keep up. By the end of the day, everyone will have made a number of blocks, and the really quick ones may have finished the quilt top! The fans are a good project to show off large scale prints, including yukata kimono cottons (as above) and Japanese style gold prints (below). Contact Purely Patchwork if you are interested in attending.
There are several quilts in 'Japanese Quilt Inspirations' that work well as day workshop projects, partly because some of them have their origins in things I used to do with my beginner's class years ago. 'Igeta' was originally designed as a class project and uses 9 print fat quarters and a half yard of each main colour - the first one uses red and black and the second blue and cream. The idea is to use prints where the background colour is a close match to the plain fabric, so the block borders merge slightly with the background to the igeta motif . As you can see, the red, blue or cream prints aren't always a perfect match for the plain backgrounds, which makes the quilt a little more lively. If you are wanting to get an exact colour match, it is possible and you could try using more than one plain fabric in each colour to achieve this, in which case you wouldn't need a half yard, but several colour matched fat quarters instead.
'Igeta' - that's the thing that looks like # by the way, and it's the Japanese kanji character for 'well curb' - the grid that stops you falling into an old fashioned well. Igeta is a popular motif for kasuri ikat and as a stencilled motif it appears on kimono. It used to be very popular for little boy's summer yukata, which is where the colour inspiration for the blue quilt came from. I am going to remake the red and black one, as the original was sold last week. I called the red and black version, which was actually the first one I made, 'Matsuri' (festival) because the colours echo the happi coats worn by Yuza Taiko drum group and other festival ensembles.
'Sakiori', also from 'Japanese Quilt Inspirations', is made with three different blocks - a simple strip block, a square in a square and a freezer paper applique circle. The pink one was made with a 'Honey Bun' from Moda's 'Wonderland' fabric range, with the applique backgrounds cut from some Layer Cake squares from the same range - some of the leftover strips went into the other blocks. The multicoloured one below is a scrap quilt and the circles made a good place to feature a very large Japanese crest motif print. The pink one was longarm machine quilted with a crest-like design in each appliqued circle, which would also make a good place for a sashiko motif. You won't get all the blocks made in one day but you'll get started on each set. The layout could be adapted to have more or less of any of the blocks, depending on those you most enjoy making. Sakiori means 'rag weave', so you can be as colourful as you like. The workshop would require precutting 1 1/2in strips.
The fourth workshop I'm offering from the book is 'Irori'. This features a part sewn seam block and is a great design for directional prints and stripes. The red, green, brown and blue quilt was made with a coordinated fat quarter bundle plus several stripes and longarm quilted, while the blue one below has more stripes and a bigger assortment of block centre fabrics. Again, only the speediest stitchers would get towards finishing off this quilt top in a day, but you'll learn the technique of the part sewn seam block. The block 'Irori' featured in 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match' as well and means 'sunken hearth', like the traditional fireplace in a tatami mat room. The blocks are 9in square, so it is a relatively quick make.
If you are interested in the part sewn seam technique but want something a little more complex, 'Shimacho' (stripe book aka a weaver's scrapbook) could be for you. This scrap quilt also features the part sewn seam technique to add the individual block borders (just 1in finished width), but uses differently sized scrap patches so you can showcase your larger scraps without cutting them up. This workshop would also require precutting 1 1/2in strips for the patch borders. The quilt is actually made of 9 giant blocks made up of individually bordered pieces, so as a workshop we would concentrate on making one block in the day - I made a single block into a huge 22in square cushion.
'Time and Time Again' is a jelly roll workshop based on my quilt pattern 'Time and Again'. One of my workshop samples is at the top, followed by quilts by Charlotte Cogbill and Daphne Ford made at The Royal, Bridlington earlier this year. My patchwork was made with a Robert Kaufman batik roll and Daphne's with a Moda Jelly Roll. Charlotte cut her 2 1/2in strips from her stash. Once again, the technique involves the part sewn seam block, but with less cutting out - if you use a Jelly Roll of course. Daphne gave her quilt an extra column to make it wider, and changed the borders for a squarer quilt, but it is still just one Jelly Roll.
'Super Strips' isn't a new workshop, but it is one of my most popular patchwork workshops. Once again, it uses a Jelly Roll or 2 1/2in strips. The first quilt below (tacked and ready for quilting) was made by one of Dyffryn Clwyd Quilters (if it's yours, can you remind me who made this?) using a batik roll, the second by Christine who came the first time I taught this at Bridlington with a Sandy Gervais Jelly Roll by Moda, and the third and fourth are Fiona Garth's second and third versions of the design - Fiona cut her own strips for these two. I'll be back in Bridlington for another residential course at the end of October - a sampler quilt course based on my two Japanese quilt block books. There are lots of previous workshop photos of this design - just click on 'Super Strips Quilt Top' in the label list on the right. It never ceases to surprise me just how different this design looks in different fabrics - or even when made from the same jelly roll - no two quilts are the same!
'Spinning Squares' is another precut workshop, this time for Layer Cakes or 10in squares, although it works just fine with squares down to 8in - the blocks just come out smaller. Learn how to deal with triangle and wedge points so the centres match up, either on a 60 degree angle or a variable angle (more fun IMHO). The first quilt is mine (I've entered it for the Great Northern Quilt Show in September, so you may get to see it in person soon), the second by Charlotte Cogbill and the third by another quilter who came to the Bridlington workshop earlier this year.
And finally, the patchwork workshop I've been teaching for nearly 10 years and still remains one of the most popular - Japanese Circles and Squares. It uses seven fat quarters and an eighth for the applique circles. I guess one reason it remains so popular is that it uses fat quarters and also seems to work in just about any fabric combination! The first one was made by Lorna Henshaw and the second, showing the quilt top turned through 90 degrees, by Bev Anderson when I taught in Lincolnshire last October. It is a quick quilt to make once you've got the hang of the very economical cutting layout for the fat quarters...
I hope you've enjoyed the eye candy and perhaps these quilts will help you choose a workshop for your group?