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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Working on Design

Recently, a lot of chatter has been going on over at the Quiltart message list about technique and design.  I feel that quite often, it is easy for quilters to be seduced by techniques and to ignore learning the elements of good design...or to explore other areas of the quilting world for that matter.

You see, techniques are fun.  Learning the elements of design and finding your voice....well, that's more work.  I own several books on design, and have thumbed through most swearing I was going to take the time to work through them....even buying a bajillion erasers to carve into stamps as suggested by one of the books.  Good books on design include Lyric Kinard's Art + Quilt; Jane Dunnewold, Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan's Finding Your Own Visual LanguageAnn Johnston's The Quilter's Book of Design; and Joen Wolfrom's Adventures in Design.

The Miami Valley Art Quilt Network is hosting workshops.  In the past, they had one group which met in the evening in Centerville...which usually takes me about 45 minutes to get to.  Therefore....I often didn't go.  Sue DeSantis and I often grumbled about starting a new group on the north side of Dayton...particularly this fall when the night-time group changed their meeting place to Yellow Springs, which is even farther away for us.  So, Sue set up a meeting held the last Friday of the month on the Northwest side of Dayton.  Five of us have been meeting following the same lessons and format that the south group is doing...The two people who are leading the southern group, including one who has taught elements of art before, hand over the assignments and exercises to Sue, and she leads our group.

We are working through Joen Wolfrom's book.  Carroll Schleppi and Marilyn Doyle set up what we are supposed to do.  So far, we have been reading through the book and doing a couple of the exercises here and there, usually with some more restrictions thrown in by Marilyn.  I admit...sometimes I feel like I am a petulant child.  Especially with this last exercise.  Marilyn gave us the pile of color chips and we were supposed to pick one of our least favorite colors...I chose the dusty pink...which I don't particularly like...and think of as puke pink.  We were then supposed to add up to 7 colors to go with it.  This was my color chip line.  Then we were to make a quilt based on one of the exercises.  To be fair, the size requirement was 8 1/2" x 11"  I initially wanted to do them 12" x 12" as I thought that it might be easier for my hands to handle.  I was thinking, though, I prefer a rectangular format for the most part and the other aspect of  Carroll and Marilyn's madness is that we are going to put an exhibition up in one of the church galleries once we have finished.  Therefore, I thought better of my larger size and thought for the sake of looking well when they hung the show, I would do the recommended size.

The next part came a lot of thinking.  One of the options was to do a designed based on the Fibonacci sequence or Clifford Circles.  I researched it and my head was swirling with the math....Nope.  The colors reminded me of the organic patterns from the 1950s.  I remember in particular a set of end tables my mom had in black, pink, gold, white and sagey pink with shapes reminiscent of protezoa.  So....I did a sketch...and this is what I came up with.  I kind of liked it...but...by this time, I was right up against the deadline.  It was Thursday evening...and the class was the next morning.  So...I thought this would take me too long...especially if I wanted to do a good job on it.  I also thought that once again, I was over-thinking this.  So....I just decided I would dive in and just do it.

So, this is what I came up with.  I am not quite done with it, as I wanted to put a series of gold beads down the diagonal running left to right with the batik piece in the middle...only the house seemed to have eaten the beads I had in mind.  While looking for them, I did find some others that I want to put on as a fringe...and I also wanted to add some hand stitching with perle cotton.

I admit, I was being pushed by a comment that either Kathy Loomis or Karen Musgrave made a week or so ago...about people who signed up to do things...then didn't.  I admit, I am way behind in doing the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge, the Sketchbook Project and Sew Cal Gal's Free Motion Challenge.  But..I have resolved that I am going to really try harder at doing this.  Even though I balk, it is only through doing the work that you will get better...So, there you have it!


Once again, I am participating in the Off-the-Wall Friday's quilt posts on Nina-Marie's website.  If you follow this link, then you'll be able to see others who are posting on fiber arts as well!

2 comments:

Sylvia said...

I enjoyed reading about working through this project.

Lisa Quintana said...

Thanks, Sylvia...even if this piece does need a lot more work!