Siciliano

George and Virginia Siciliano – Visit in May 2010

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The Lecture

Yes, this man is nuts!  George and Virginia Siciliano’s lecture “This Guy Must Be Nuts” is very funny.  While his work is extraordinary, he presents it with a sense of humor.  Many of us have seen the results of his workshops at various quilt shows, but to actually see the originals is phenomenal.

How George got into quilting is a very funny story, but I will not tell it because I would not be able to do it justice.  If you missed his lecture, make sure you see him the next time he’s in the area.  George’s lecture is a trunk show of his quilts starting with the first quilt he made through to his latest.  He talks about his experiences both good and bad in his life of quilting.  I loved his story of how he got roped into becoming a member of his local guild.  We guild members can be sneaky.

When George first started quilting, Virginia would hand quilt his quilt tops, but that got old.  George explains his initial attempts at machine quilting.  His story of using invisible quilting thread is great.   His first quilt using it ended up being unquilted after if was bound.  It’s was still unquilted at the time of his lecture.

George is a very animated and entertaining lecturer.  This evening was a great opportunity to be able to get a close look at his intricate work and see how tiny his pieces really are.

The Workshop

The workshops were held at the Nevin’s Library in Methuen, MA.  If you have never been to this library you  are in for a treat.  The library was built in 1883 by the Nevins family.   The architecture is wonderful and when the addition was constructed they took care to keep it in a cohesive style with the original building.  The stained glass in the room is original to the building.  Carrie Zizza was busy drawing the stained glass to create a quilt from it.  I took pictures of it so she could enjoy the class instead.  Carrie, I hope to see the resulting quilt soon.

Enough about the library,  we had two classes.  One on Friday and again on Saturday.  George is very patient with his students.  He has everyone gather around his machine so he can demonstrate his technique.  The ruler George designed (a.k.a George’s Tool) for foundation piecing aides in trimming and lining up the next section to be sewn and is easily used by both right and left handers.  He demonstrates how he cuts and stacks each round of logs as he goes along.  This makes the assembly go a little quicker.  Following George’s instructions we were able to create one of his ultra mini blocks with precision.

George showed us a trick when it comes to assembling the blocks.  Instead of using pins, he uses double stick tape.  That way he can check to make sure the blocks are lined up and adjust as necessary.

As George is demonstrating the  block assembly, Virginia uses an extra-large version of the block to point to the piece George is talking about.  With the block being so small it helps to see a large version so you know exactly what George is working on.

All in all this is a great class and lecture.  Will I continue with foundation piecing?  I’m not sure.  I was never a big fan of paper/foundation piecing, but after taking the class I understand the do’s and don’ts a little better.

Thanks George and Virginia.

Click Here for the slide show of Lecture and Workshop