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Fern Royce, October 14-15 Speaker and Workshop

Fern Royce was born and raised in Northern California, surrounded by sewing, textiles and quilts.This is how she describes her journey: “When I was very young we lived with my maternal grandparents in Paradise, CA. It was there that I got my first peek into my grandmother's sewing room - filled to the ceiling with boxes and tins of fabrics, buttons and notions.  That same grandmother bought me and my sisters a treadle sewing machine for $12.50 when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since - although now I use an electric sewing machine.

“My sisters will be the first to tell you that, as much as I loved fabric, I had a very difficult time cutting into it. My younger sister did not suffer from that hesitation - she would be wearing her new outfit while I was still "petting" my fabric. She, of course, thinks it's quite funny that I now cut up fabric as a living!

“I took my first quilting class in 1995 at New Pieces in Berkeley with Johyne Geran. One of her opening statements was "Once you start quilting you won't be able to stop"….. I was skeptical but she was right.  Many more classes followed that first one with such quilting notables as Roberta Horton, Mary Mashuta and Freddy Moran. Best of all, I was able to take those classes without leaving town!

“Early in my quilting career I found Gwen Marston's books and followed her sharp left turn onto the Liberated Quilting path. I am grateful that I was able to attend the last two years of her 30 years of Beaver Island Retreats in Michigan. She is my biggest inspiration.

“Here I am, 21 years later, still quilting, still cutting up fabric and now teaching others to do the same! I hope that I can inspire and encourage my students as much as my teachers inspired me. It is an honor to be part of and carrying forward the long tradition of quiltmaking.”

Her talk on October 14 is “Following the Inspiration” trunk show with stories.   Where does a quilt idea come from and how does it get from an idea to an actual quilt? Fern’s lecture and trunk show describes the starting point (inspiration) of each of her quilts and the path it took to completion, including the steps or missteps, quick gestation or months/years long process.

Liberate your string piecing and use small pieces to make bigger pieces without using a foundation

String quilts are made from narrow strips or "strings" of fabric. The strips are sewn together to form squares, triangles or other shapes. Traditionally the strips were sewn onto a paper or cloth foundation. I teach a paperless or foundation-free method. It is a quick and fun way to use up lots of scraps. You will be amazed to see how a random assortment of fabrics can come together and make a vibrant, cohesive quilt.

This class is a "process" versus "product" class, meaning we will be focusing on learning tips and techniques for making string quilts rather than completing a quilt top. During the workshop, you can focus on making just one style of string blocks or make a sample of multiple types of blocks. She will also spend some time talking about various settings for string quilts so you will understand how to put all those blocks together to make your own unique quilt.  

If you are not familiar with string quilts she recommends the books listed below for ideas and inspiration:

Liberated String Quilting or Liberated Quilting II by Gwen Marston

Every Last Piece by Lynn Harris

Fern’s website: www.fernroycequilting.com

October 15 Workshop:  Foundation Free String Quilts

String Quilts Supply List