The Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild held its annual luncheon Saturday at the Harker Heights Activity Center.
The luncheon featured a lecture and presentation by internationally known quilt artist Cynthia England. Many of those present attended England’s workshop on Friday at the Harker Heights United Methodist Church, where they learned to make a block from England’s beginner or advanced paper-piecing patterns.
“Prepare to be amazed,” quilter Nancy Judd said, as she took tickets at the door Saturday.
England began the lecture by showing a PowerPoint presentation of the quilts featured in her book, “Picture Piecing — Creating Dramatic Pictorial Quilts.” Pictorial quilts are based on realistic imagery taken from photographs or other sources.
England’s quilts, many available as patterns, feature landscapes, flora, fauna and emotive or nostalgic themes. Along with her signature paper-piecing technique called “picture piecing,” England described how she uses paint, magic markers and embroidery to get the desired effect in her quilts.
England encouraged the audience to always try new techniques.
“If you don’t know how to do it, do it anyway,” she said. “If one way won’t work, do it another way.”
England’s message to the quilters was to keep their projects fun and attainable, advising them to leave out or substitute areas that would be extremely difficult to replicate when attempting to reproduce a photograph in a pictorial quilt.
“Nobody’s going to have the photograph with them when looking at your quilt, so be good to yourself,” England said. She gave multiple examples of how some of her favorite techniques, including using magic markers on the fabric to create a shading effect, actually came about as a way to cover her mistakes.
England’s down-to-earth manner impressed her fellow quilters.
“Best instructor I ever had,” Loretta Woehrle said. “She’s a very hands-on instructor. If you’re having problems, she’s right there with you and shows you what you need to do.”