Latifah Saafir Workshop

Barely had I recovered from the retreat weekend when it was time for a guild workshop. Latifah Saafir  spoke at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting, and while she was in town, she led three workshops. I chose Designing with Bias.

And here is the result.

bias 1

The narrow bias is 3/8 inch and the wider is 3/4 inch. The middle loop is dark green, not the black that it looks like in the photo. I decided to do an 18-inch square (unfinished) in the class. That left me with two options: If I didn’t like the process I could border it and make a doll quilt; if I liked it, I could make more and have a larger quilt, probably 40 x 40. To make more than four blocks I’d need to buy more yellow.

Looking at the block now that I am home, I see it is more top heavy than it seemed in my sketch. I’ll add narrow green rows, one or two, and I think that will fix it. I’m considering trying the 1/4-inch bias maker; however, 3/8 is already fairly hard to work with. Maybe I’ll try one strip of 1/4-inch and see how it goes.

I like the process enough to make three more, so a lap or baby quilt it will become.

There will be sashing.  Maybe squares of various yellows. The bottom lines will repeat (nor exactly) to form sort of a diamond in the center. Each block will have 3-5 loops. Some may be outlined in green; I haven’t decided that yet.

Latifah showed us a neat way to cut bias without drawing lines, using any size piece of fabric. I had a half-yard piece of red and cut it all (figuring I’d never be able to refold it if I underestimated how much I’d need).

I’ll probably work on it tomorrow before the bias gets too messed up.

Latifah’s tips for working with bias will be useful to me when I want to make lines a part of a design and don’t want to piece them in. I prefer a class like this where a skill is taught instead of one where the class follows a pattern together. “Design” was in the title, but there was minimal discussion of design principles. We did have the first hour to sketch our plan for our projects, though, and all projects will be different.
As is my custom, I took fabric from my stash. I never buy fabric for a class. So the yellow print is very old. It sort of pushed the design toward primitive art instead of modern. Time will tell what the whole will look like.

I’ll link with Move it Forward Monday, this one or the progress I make tomorrow. (Button in sidebar)













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9 responses to “Latifah Saafir Workshop

  1. Helen

    Looking good, Claire!

  2. Are there any tips from her workshop on using/making bias that you feel able to share without infringing copyright? I’ll never get to see her speak, living where I do…

    • Since method can’t be copyrighted, I feel comfortable talking about it. (Had her method been written, the text would be copyrighted.)

      We used bias tape makers; I bought Clover; she said Dritz also worked well. You cut fabric twice the width of the size maker (finished bias) you want and press as you pull fabric through the maker. Seams pull through the larger makers easily; I had difficulty with the 3/8-inch one. Had to press by hand and burn my fingers.

      About sewing it. Start on the inner curve and do not stretch. If you have an S-curve or a figure 8, keep sewing on the same edge for the outer curve and stretch as you go around the curve. Press after every seam; steam the second edge flat. Slow down. Think about where to put the starting edge so it is covered up.. Leave 1-inch tails–it is easier to trim than to add fabric.

      Those are the main ones. I can’t begin to describe the folding she showed us; I’m not even sure I can do it again. But I can do the tube method, so I will survive–I’ll just have to mark and cut with scissors instead of rotary cutter.

      • I have a set of the bias makers in different sizes, so perhaps I should just harden up, cut strips and use them! I always find making bias strips so wasteful of fabric, so I tend to bind with straight grain strips, and save bias for curves… Thank you for the explanation – the bit about attaching the inner curve first is useful to know.

  3. I’m intrigued by the method as well! I can do the tube method, and I find it fun to stretch my brain with the offset seams that it requires. But cutting without drawing lines sounds worth teaching my brain some new tricks!

    • The jury is out as to whether it is a time saver (I think drawing lines and making seams equal out); however, its advantage is that you can use any size piece of fabric and any size cutting mat.

  4. Very cool, though it looks scary. Thanks for the details on the process in the Comments!

  5. Nice that you got to take a class with her! I’ll be interested to see how your quilt comes out!

  6. dezertsuz

    I don’t know, looks pretty modern to me. Maybe the other three blocks will balance out what you are seeing as top heavy? It sort of reminds me of a modern floral block wth a basket in the bottom right corner. =)

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