This past Sunday my local guild hosted a workshop and lecture with Kathie Alyce of Plainfield, Vermont. I was glad to have an opportunity to take a workshop and learn from someone, as opposed to working on my own projects for a change. It was a nice change of pace and quite relaxing to learn and sew a new technique without having to do all of the brainwork myself. And I have to tell you, Kathie has put quite a bit of brainwork into her technique so you don’t have to! With stunning results!
Kathie developed her “Flip Flop Block” concept almost 10 years ago after admiring many contemporary-looking art quilts at shows. She started designing beautiful landscape quilts and just loves the look of gently curving seams. She designed and sells a plastic template to easily cut out the “Flip Flop Block”. But unlike so many other templates which generally make just a couple of different quilt designs, she has designed over 40 completely different looking quilts using just this one template! So, as she would say, her Yankee practicality and ingenuity really shine through on this one! The possibilities are endless!
The workshop was geared toward learning how to use the template on some of the more basic designs to create a placemat. No big fabric commitment for this workshop – (there’s that Yankee practicality again!) – just fabric from your stash. After I finished putting together my blocks for the placement, I decided to add a few more and make it into a table runner. Here it is in the placemat stage and withoout borders.
Because our class was relatively small, Kathie also allowed us to try our hand at some the additional variations. Of course, without knowing it, I picked what she deemed one of the most complex designs to try. But after a brief demonstration of how to use the template to cut my pieces, it was really no more complex than the basic pattern. Brilliant! I won’t tell, if you don’t! This design is called Stars in Motion.
In addition to individual patterns that use the Flip Flop Block, Kathie has also recently published a book with AQS which features even more patterns as well as instructions on how to add complimentary wavy borders.
Look for Kathie’s booth at most major quilt shows for a free demo or better yet, tell your guild’s program chair that it would great to host her for a workshop! You can also check out her website www.waterfallquilts.com or watch her video on Quilter’s TV www.quilterstv.com/video/1356/kathie-alyces-eye-popping-flip-flop-template-quilts.html.
Have fun with your Flip Flop Block! (Makes you think of summer, too, doesn’t it!)
But of course you gravitated to the most challenging option for the blocks! You are not the “just get it done fast and easily” type (but you are a fabric minimalist! quite a Yankee sentiment in its own right) 🙂 This book and the 6″ ruler are on sale at the AQS site right now.
So sorry I didn’t take Kathie’s class. Her trunk show and explanation of how the “Flip Flop Block” works was wonderful.