The 1,000 year old craft of stained or art glass, is often found in the windows of churches, mosques and other significant structures. Stained glass is made from glass that has been colored by adding metallic salts. Small pieces of the glass is crafted to form patterns or pictures held together by strips of lead.
Just as art glass requires the artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design and skills to engineer the piece, so does creating a stained glass effect with fabric. Road 2018 teacher Allie Aller has achieved just such a mastery and will be sharing her unique techniques in three classes. Allie will be teaching on Monday,
Allie began quilting in 1971. As she puts it, she “stumbled through” her first quilt (made out of bandannas from the army surplus store) entirely on her own. Her cousin was at that same time working in applique as a freelance illustrator. Allie credits her cousin as the one who took her by the hand and sent Allie off in the right direction.
Everything Allie does is “quilt related.” An avid gardener, Allie says she gets inspiration for her stained glass effect quilts “absolutely 100%” from her garden. The fabrics she uses reflect and express the colors and forms that she sees there. “My quilts look like my garden and my garden looks like my quilts. The line is totally blurred…” confides Allie.
Allie also is an avid traveler. The farthest she has traveled was to Varanasi, India, where she bought the most beautiful jacquard silks in the world. She is excited to be returning back to India this winter to study Indian quilts and handcrafts.
Allie enjoys teaching, sharing with her students new concepts and skills, and watching them take off with what they are learning. While Allie will be sharing the various and wide interpretations of stained glass quilting, she hope her students will leave her classes with smiles, great memories, and increased confidence and enthusiasm for their work.
What is Allie’s best quilting tip? “Practice, practice, practice. Think of your quilting the same way as playing a musical instrument. There are skills to learn, craft techniques to perfect, ideas to jam with…. but the bottom line is, it takes practice to be able to do what you want to do. Get it in your hands. Have discipline. And play your heart out.”
To learn more about Allie, follow her on her blog.