In 2015 I went to a 5 day workshop at Empty Spools in Monterey, California. In 2016 I signed up for Elizabeth Barton‘s year long online master class. It is a design class; knowledge of techniques that work for you is assumed. Each month the students get an assignment, and have three items to produce: a sketch or plan, a quilt layout, and a final quilt. We get to see everyone’s work and Elizabeth’s comments.
Our January assignment was value, and we were to submit three black and white sketches, then a blocked out quilt, and finally a completed quilt. We could use a color other than black, such as blue or brown, but all the fabrics had to be in that color family.
Based on Elizabeth’s recommendation, I went with the following sketch. It’s based on a photo taken outside the Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio, by my friend Judy.
Elizabeth’s comments were that the leaf on the right needed more shading and that I needed to make sure the two leaves weren’t the same size. The space ratio needed to be more one third/two third to focus attention on the dominant leaf.
I revised to those ends, and tried to add still more shading with my quilting. From the back this piece looks like I covered almost every inch with thread.
I’m not thrilled with the end product. It feels more like an exercise than a work of passion. It may be the still life type subject matter. However, my purpose was to learn more about design and how to realize my intentions. This may bring me to a word for the year – focus. As in, I need to create work with more of it and focus more while creating the work.
Oh, Elizabeth said it was elegant and showed “a great grasp of values.” She also said “You don’t need to have Great Big World Shattering Messages each time. Showing Beauty is enough.” Well, I’m good with that.
I’ll let you know what the coming months bring with this class. I know others have taken it, but don’t know how they felt at the end.