Gateway to Mongolia Workshop at Quilters Anonymous

Last Saturday, I thoroughly enjoyed the day in Edmonds teaching my Gateway to Mongolia class at Quilters Anonymous. I’ve been a member of this group for almost 20 years, but with my teaching schedule becoming much busier in the last two or three years, I’ve been unable to attend the meetings as regularly as I would like. I was delighted to be invited to teach a class for them. My class of 14 students was a mix of quilters I knew and others I hadn’t met.

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We had plenty of room for everyone to spread out. When the Olzii components are laid out for the large 20″ center block it’s great to have enough space for them next to the sewing machine. Small sections can be sewn and easily put back in the right position so they don’t get mixed up or turned around during piecing. Most of my students completed the large block during the class. Here is a sampling of their work.

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This Olzii pattern is a traditional Mongolian design, often painted on the door of the ger (Mongolian yurt) and thought to bring long-life and prosperity to the people living there. In Tibetan Buddhism, it symbolizes the universe and unending cycles of life and death. The block looks really funky during piecing, but as soon as it is placed on the background fabric, the Olzii motif pops and you can really see the under-over look of this never-ending knot. As each block was completed, we pinned them onto their backgrounds and oohed and aahed, congratulating the maker. It’s always fun to see the fabrics that students bring to class. Every choice is different and students learn from one another as well as from the teacher.

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