By The Book

I’m part of a small group of local quilters who are working through Jane Davila and Elin Waterson’s Art Quilt Workbook. We meet monthly to review a chapter, show our work, share information, and discuss successes and failures. At our last meeting a member talked about Casting Shadows by Colleen Wise and kindly loaned me her copy.  Although it was published in 2005, this book has lots of ideas about creating shadows and dimensions in quilts of all types.

Members vary from experienced art quilters to want-to-try-that-art-stuff quilters. We even have one member who never touched a sewing machine before last November. He was bowled over by the Quilt National exhibit and is eager to make his own artistic statements. You read that right – he. So far he has followed his own muse and has even started free motion quilting. As he is unfettered by any quilting “rules” he tries out whatever comes to mind. I look forward to seeing his first piece for our group.

We are to create a 9 by 12 inch, vertically oriented, quilt for each chapter using a common theme in all our pieces. I chose openings – doors, windows, gates, etc.

The first chapter of the book set out some basic principles of design – value, perspective, etc. I tried to show perspective, but I jumped ahead to a later chapter on thread work and used bobbin stitching for the gate in my piece, shown below. I’m not happy with the shadows in the wall cutout. I should have used a darker fabric for the edges of the ground. Luckily, fabric markers can cover up some of my errors in judgment.

DD Wallgate


Filed under Art quilts

5 responses to “By The Book

  1. Sounds like an interesting and helpful group! And I do love to hear about men taking up quilting. I’ve never really understood why so few do.

    • It may be that men are put off by the atmosphere of the usual quilt guild – the rota of refreshments, the flowery quilts, etc. Maybe if men could use power tools to make quilts…

  2. sandy

    You’re welcome! I’m glad it helped. I remember the moment that I was taught about the light source. It opened a new door for me.

  3. sandy

    Great job! I have trouble with perspective sometimes even with my drawings and paintings. You have to ask yourself, where is the light coming from? Once you decide that, it’s easier to determine where the shadows will be. In the piece you did, the shadows are not in the right place, since the sun would be on one side or the other of the picture. Try placing the shadows on only one side of the gate. Work like this forces you to really notice the small details of the things we see every day, but never really see.

    • Thanks for putting your finger on what’s not working. Since this is meant as a small exercise I won’t redo it, but will put the lesson learned towards the next more serious piece.

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