STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Class with Laurie

Laurie Swim was born and brought up in Lockeport, Nova Scotia. She has worked as an artist for more than 40 years, honing her skills and developing techniques specific to her landscape/pictorial wall quilts. I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend two days learning from her and soaking up her tips and techniques.
Laurie offers workshops to students of intermediate level and beyond. I must admit I went with fairly low expectations for myself - landscape quilts are not really my thing. I did not want to have to try to "create a masterpiece" - you know how that just works much better in your own familiar surroundings. In a class you are always wishing you had brought those other fabrics or whatever... I wanted to just learn some of Laurie's techniques and work on small samples.
As we neared Lunenburg a message came through on the Blackberry that there was a change of venue - we would be in Laurie's studio rather than the previously arranged Lunenburg Academy. I immediately said to the other two gals- "Maybe it will be just the three of us! How great would THAT be!" And I was right!! We had Laurie all to ourselves for two whole days. Her studio is upstairs over her inspiring Gallery (a MUST VISIT if you are EVER in Lunenburg). The view is inspiring, looking out on Front Harbour and over to the golf course- we all wondered how she ever gets work done with such a "distraction" right in front of her. I find a view of the water is mesmorizing.. I could watch it all day long...
Anyway, we had a wonderful two days- doing just exactly what I had wished for - learning new techniques and making small samples. We painted skies and water, made cobweb lace, we learned Laurie's trick for easy applique, her finishing techniques and more. Laurie was warm and welcoming, supportive and helpful, and happy to answer our every question. Her class was well paced and organized and we appreciated her notes and the prep she had done for us. Thanks Laurie, it was wonderful!!
You can visit Laurie's website here . Be sure to have a look at her quilts, notecards and her latest book  Rags to Riches- The Quilt as Art. Laurie's quilts can be found in many public and private collections, as well as in her own Gallery at 138 Lincoln Street in Lunenburg. She has also been very involved in initiating and carrying out the "building" of a number of large scale "community quilts" created with the help of volunteers. These large pieces have been done as memorials and historical records, some addressing social issues such as workplace safety.
Breaking Ground, The Hogg's Hollow Disaster, 1960 measures seven feet by twenty feet and is permanently installed in the York Mills subway station in Toronto. It is a tribute to five Italian immigrant workers who lost their lives while digging a tunnel for a water main
Left - Right,  Sue, Laurie, Marty and I
under the Don River in northern Toronto. I will definitely be making a trip to see it next time I'm in Toronto. The Canadian Young Workers Memorial Quilt is a memorial to 100 young workers, aged 15-24, killed on the job. It was completed in 2003 and measures nine feet by eighteen feet. We felt a connection to Laurie because of her work on this quilt, as one of the young people commemorated on it is my buddy Sue's niece, TerriLynn Stewart.
If you are looking for a special workshop set in a magical little town by the ocean - this is it! Get in touch with Laurie and book your spot. Alternately, Laurie is on the teaching faculty when Quilt Canada 2012 comes to Halifax N.S. next spring. You can see more info on that here.
Just down the road several miles from Lunenburg is a picturesque little spot known as Blue Rocks. I'll leave you with these last few photos taken there. Is it any wonder I love Nova Scotia? I can't wait to return to Lunenburg and just spend several days doing nothing but photography... and maybe eating a little seafood, of course... (Okay, that's not a maybe, that's a definite...)


Near the sea, we forget to count the days.


GailM. said...

How nice. I hope to see your landscape at guild this week! Love the pictures. I thought my friend Vivian was supposed to go to that class.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, at a quilt show in Kitchener, I saw "Breaking Ground, The Hogg's Hollow Disaster". It was simply amazing! I had never seen a quilt like that before [or since].... the detail was quite astounding. Linda, I hope that you get the opportunity to see it.
Sue W, Bathurst

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...