Sunday, June 19, 2011

Design. . . Its a process - Crosses at the Beginning

Some Sample Cross ideas
Well after spending the last couple of weeks totally immersed in traditional quilting and clothing scraps up to my elbows, I'm totally ready to get back to my artsy side.  All this month, I've been taking the Quilt University class by Elizabeth Barton - Working in Series.  Now if you haven't taken a design class with this woman - let me tell you - she's serious about what she does.  Each week we've been getting a 20+ page lesson on design principals and how to apply them to working in series.

Its so hard for me to work in series - so many ideas - so little time.  But still how else are you going to get to know a topic thoroughly if you don't?  One piece is only a little intro - you need to hang out with the theme - put it through its paces - argue with it - coax it - get all touchy-feely . . . .anyways - you get the picture!  This is the third class, I've taken with Elizabeth and have gotten to know her and her me.  She knows that I usually need a good push shove to step even a toe out of my own little box.  So in that light, she's guided me into making my next series a study in abstract..

Value Sketches - Placement  ideas for the Cross blocks
ABSTRACT???  Me???  I mean I didn't even start liking abstracts till the last 5 years and I'm not ashamed to say that sometime they just look like a mass of value and shape!    But -- as Elizabeth said - What did I have to lose?  So started designing a series using the simple shape of the cross.  I want to explore value - I want to engage the edge - I want to limit my color palette - I want to really study how the blocks interact. . . .WOW! just realized that's a lot of things to want.

So I started by freely sketching out blocks that I might make up into quilts.  I also did some value studies using gray pencils.    Then I copied over the little blocks - cut them up- and played with their relationship on paper.  Really - these are all the same steps I do with my figurative work but was surprise that you do them for abstract too LOL! After a whole afternoon of playing, these little cross blocks are starting to grow on me!

The next step???  picking out a palette - putting them in values - and finally - sewing some up!


Dee said...

I must say I'm liking your cross blocks. Sometimes it's nice to step outside the box and play, but I'm also one of those that usually needs a push.

QuiltSwissy said...

I am like you. I did like the non-traditional quilts, but never thought I could do them. Now I am learning so much and love it!

I love your cross blocks.