I’ve first met Cyndi Souder in the mid-1990’s; we were both working in Corporate Communications for related companies and had a number of common acquaintances. A few years later, I learned that Cyndi was gaining a reputation as a very talented quilter and textile instructor. I’ve been following her career ever since.
These days, Cyndi is an award-winning artist, whose work has been featured in magazines and books, and a member of the teaching faculty at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. We’re connected on Facebook, and her neighbor Helen is a mutual friend. One day last fall, Cyndi suggested that we get together after the holiday season and hang out in her studio for the day.
For me, an invitation to see Cyndi in action in her studio space was nothing short of an opportunity of a lifetime. Plus, who can turn down a chance to play hookey on a workday to hang out, talk and sew pretty things? Not me.
Cyndi suggested that I bring some projects to work on, explaining that she would be focusing her energies on a client commission that day. I considered working on my Mystery Quilt, or perhaps playing around with these zippered pouches to use up some of the hundreds of yards of fabric scraps I’ve accumulated over the past 20 or so years. Eventually, I decided to jump onto the the “Scrappy Trip” bandwagon.
I first read about this technique in Rita Hodge’s “Red Pepper Quilts” blog and a few days later, Amy Smart wrote about it in her “Diary of a Quilter” blog. The technique, which apparently originates from Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville, has gone viral with a dedicated Flickr group where people post their blocks for others to admire. How could I NOT want to be part of that?
The day far exceeded my expectations.
Cyndi was incredibly generous with her time and knowledge. After a tour of her studio (with lots of organizational tips that I have noted for my future studio), she explained her current project — a 6′ x 6′ textile rendition of a stylized logo — and walked me through how she planned to translate that image into fabric. It’s going to be absolutely gorgeous and I hope to see the completed piece.
In addition to talking about our interests (music, travel, etc.) and our pet peeves (no, we are not OCD!) while we worked on our individual projects, Cyndi showed me a number of techniques that should improve my piecing skills. One in particular might actually prevent my larger square blocks from taking on more of a rhomboid/trapezoid shape. And wouldn’t that be nice!
So, here are the three squares I completed during my day with Cyndi:
The finished blocks are 12″ squares (more or less) and came together pretty quickly since I had pre-cut my 2 1/2″ x 16″ strips. I really like the technique and can see myself continuing on to make an actual quilt (as opposed to at test piece). Plus, I will be making a dent in my mountain of fabric strips.
Thank you, Cyndi! Let’s get together again soon!